Written by Lou Lenzi, Director of Industrial Design for GE Appliances
I’m dating myself with the Steve Martin reference, but that phrase will resonate with at least one of the two customer segments driving the shift towards smaller living spaces.
While most trend spotters attribute these smaller confines to “urbanization” (the migration from the suburbs to urban centers) and the millennial generation, we can’t forget the 75 million strong Baby Boomers entering retirement, emptying the nest, downsizing, right-sizing, remodeling, or taking to the road.
Smaller living spaces – whether they’re micro apartments in city centers, vacation homes, casitas, or even RV’s – required us to fundamentally rethink appliance design. We couldn’t simply shrink today’s products down in size and honestly say we’ve met our customer’s needs. We went back to the drawing board to develop a new appliance form factor that would be compact, space efficient, and extremely flexible. We also knew our customer wouldn’t tolerate a product that doesn’t possess the latest thinking in technology and usability.
The result is a modular, easy to configure, customizable system. The base module is 24” wide and follows industry standard conventions for counter top height and counter top depth. It employs a drawer-based system for easy access and a smaller overall footprint, however, we utilize hinged doors where appropriate.
Have a look at our MicroKitchen and MircroLaundry concepts. Imagine going on-line, configuring your ideal kitchen, placing the order, and having it delivered in one piece to your micro-space.
Whether you’re a boomer, millennial, gen-x, y, or z, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Should we get small?