Tag: GE appliances

A “Pin-worthy” Production – from Storyboard to Social Media

Written by Molly Ford, Monogram Experience Center intern

I recently observed as GE Appliance’s user experience team attacked one of a food-lovers’ greatest challenges – creating food that looks as good as it tastes. Our “office” at the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, KY, was taken over by a fascinating team that spent their workday preparing, arranging and shooting dishes for the GE Appliances website, Pinterest page and other social media outlets. The journey from inspiration board, to story board, to cutting board, was quite the production.

Reciple shoot 1

In the weeks prior to the shoot, photos of bright colors, contrasting textures, and refreshing ingredients filled the team’s summer recipe inspiration board. With the goal of creating photogenic foods, they decided on a menu featuring Blackberry-Raspberry Coconut Pops, Grilled Sweet Potato and Corn Salad, and Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Dip, among other light and savory recipes. Everyone knows that no food shoot is complete without the appeal of melted cheese, so accordingly, Fig & Prosciutto Pizza and Roasted Vegetable & Chicken Enchiladas served as the decided main course.

Reciple shoot 2

As in any efficient production, story boards were drawn to ensure that every step in the process was captured at the right moment, from the optimal angle. The menu collaborated with appliance features, to highlight how GE Appliances and Monogram not only produce amazing food, but also facilitate a love for the process of cooking. No logistical piece was overlooked – sliding racks, temperature settings and door features all played roles as the story boards followed the recipe’s progression.

reciple shoot 3

Once to the cutting board with the big picture in place and cameras shooting, the team focused on ensuring every detail was carried out perfectly. While the shoot was meticulously planned, down to the degree, the team came prepared to solve issues that arose during the shoot. Several members of the team worked simply as “runners,” to fetch another light board, a different colored bowl, or additional fresh herbs. The team’s biggest challenge, however, was holding off on digging in to their creations until every perfect arrangement and angle had been captured!

Reciple shoot 4

As I tasted the starring recipes at the end of the day, I deemed the photo shoot to be a success, but you will have to be the ultimate judges.  Head over to the GE Appliances website, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest sites to get inspired and test out these summer recipes!

Micro-topics in a Macro-space

Written by Lou Lenzi, Director of Industrial Design for GE Appliances

I recently had the pleasure of visiting UCLA’s Architecture and Urban Design (A.UD) department located at the Hercules Campus in Playa Vista, CA, the site where Howard Hughes built the infamous “Spruce Goose” aircraft in the 1940’s.

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The Hercules Building then

The Hercules Building now

The Hercules Building now

Ironically, I was invited to this cavernous space to talk with a group of post-professional Masters of Architecture students and faculty about micro-things, specifically our Monogram micro-kitchen concept for small scale homes and GE Appliances FirstBuild micro-factory.

The students are engaged in a year-long research project that explores what “community” will mean in the second half of the 21st century, factoring in rapidly changing developments in technology, communications, transportation, healthcare and other major societal forces. So it was fitting to visit and exchange ideas around the future of housing and the future of manufacturing.

As a designer, I find it beneficial to occasionally get out of the studio here in Louisville, spend time with design and architecture students and take a look at the world from their perspective. I often find myself becoming the student in these situations.

The design team here at GE Appliances is excited to see this project develop and I promised the faculty to stay close as their research project progresses. It shouldn’t be too tough to get the design staff to visit the class in Southern California – particularly during the winter months.

How many designers does it take to design innovative appliances?

As an Industrial Designer focused on appliance design, I pay attention to a wide variety of consumer product design. I look at design trends in interior design, electronic products, architecture, car design and even fashion.

Trying to predict the future of appliance design, particularly of controls, is really challenging, especially as technology evolves at such a fast pace. Our goal is to be innovative but never to lose sight of the consumer’s needs as they relate to simple, intuitive interactions with machines.

To this end, I have spent the last four months with a variety of people working on a project to predict the future of refrigerator dispenser controls. So how many designers does it take to design an innovative appliance? More than you’d think! Internally, I have worked with our awesome team of designers, Consumer Insights researchers, Product Managers, Engineers, Marketing Specialists, and Technology Gurus. But we don’t stop with the internal teams. The true experts are the people that use our appliances everyday, those who spec them for their clients, and the salespeople who sell them.

To get this valuable input, we started listening. We held a design summit with top interior designers at our Monogram Design Center in Chicago. We traveled to the northeast to talk to key retailers about how they sell appliances and what their customers are looking for. And most importantly, we went into consumer’s homes to study how they interact with their appliances and ask what features they’d like to have. As we continue to move forward on this project, we will build prototypes and put them in front of consumers for testing and validation of our concepts.

In the end, it isn’t just designers who design great appliances, it takes a village!

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Design Summit discussion at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

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In home interview

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Industrial designers meeting