This past summer, Whirlpool released a new range of kitchen appliances in a new premium exterior finish named “White Ice”, sparking articles/commentary asking if Stainless Steel has been replaced by sleek new alternatives.
These appliances also come in “Black Ice”, as well as the usual Stainless Steel.
On first glance I can not help but to wonder if Whirlpool is taking queues from iPhone 4; though departure from the long standing, monolithic, stainless steel finish is a welcome change in my opinion. However, I wonder if this will be a short-lived “fashionable” finish as white kitchen appliances are the norm for non-luxury rental apartments here in New York city. One really has to look very close in these photographs to see the shadows and reflections that give hints of depth especially around the Whirlpool logo, which is nonexistent on the Black Ice models. The photos make the black appliances look like they have a satin aluminum finish.
Refrigeratorinfo.com‘s article states Whirlpool’s intentions:
Because the whole suite of appliances have such a unique style that’s exclusive to one manufacturer, it’s a safe bet that Whirlpool is hoping customers will upgrade their entire kitchen instead of taking a piecemeal approach.
Whirlpool seems to be aiming their new finish at customers who have grown weary of stainless and its numerous imitators. Indeed, the manufacturer says the new finish is “signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances.” Because it’s essentially an update of the classic white exterior, White Ice may appeal to consumers who are bored by stainless but also don’t want their kitchens to look dated. For Whirlpool, it’s an attempt to appeal to homeowners in a bottomed-out housing market, where renovating is less about increasing resale value and more about appealing to an individual’s own tastes.
Before the recession, investors looking to flip a house for profit wanted to install upscale finishes that could cheaply and easily update the look of a home. So from the HGTV-era onward, the most popular kitchens have combined granite countertops along with stainless steel appliances. Go to any home improvement store and you’ll be sure to see rows upon rows of fridges and dishwashers with stainless steel and stainless-style exteriors.
Interestingly it also goes onto say:
It wasn’t always that way, and all it takes is a look at classic sitcoms to see how far kitchens have come. If I Love Lucy were in color, the Ricardo’s kitchen likely would’ve had pastel finishes alongside white and stainless. Along with shows like Maude andSoap, the ’70s and early ’80s brought in earth tones, like avocado, harvest gold and almond. Later on, white and bisque became popular — even on the upscale appliances that Geoffrey tended to in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In addition to the modern White Ice, there are several other alternative finishes available on premium appliances. Smeg, an Italian company, builds retro-looking fridges that could easily be mistaken for your grandmother’s Norge. They’re available in a whole rainbow of shades, from bright yellow to deep purple. AGA, a British manufacturer, puts hard vitreous enamel surfaces in a variety of different colors on their ovens and dishwashers. Whirlpool’s own Amana division also introduced a series of colorful refrigerators in 2009, including an exterior called Green Tea which features a floral motif.
Refrigeratorpro.com points out that White Ice solves some of the problems that exists with stainless steel finishes.
I came across this video today and was immediately intrigued because the poster frame for the movie showed what would have been a very shiny chrome bumper, and in true Jay Leno style, I thought he would introduce a car that I would not have known about because of its age.
Jonathan Ward, founder of Icon, is an expert in restoring old cars. In fact, Icon has a very successful restoring and updating process for Ford Broncos, and Toyota FJ and CJ cruisers. Mr Ward also has a “Derelict” line where the company reinvigorates vintage cars with modern chassis and creature comforts so that they could become versatile daily drivers… and yet be under the radar; a point he explains in the video… “… with two young sons and dog, surfboards and skateboards, I just always wanted to be a little more liberated and enjoy it.” … “this car is just liberating, I can take it down a dirt road, I can drift it sideways on Mulholland, I can park it anywhere, leave the windows down and no one screws with it.” … “better sense of history with this car… more smiles, less judgement. … it’s about the fun.” “I love how counter intuitive it is, the way it looks and the way it feels.” –— this is all about using the aesthetics of the car/materials to satisfy a set of intention in order to alter the perception of the people around you. I think it’s brilliantly executed.
Also check out the wooden deck in the trunk! They talk about how the designers in the day must have been studying luxury rail cars and streamliners.
Here is another movie by eGarage.
The use of wood in automobiles have evolved from structural in the early years to decorative. Now its use is standard in most cars to help soften the feel of the cars interior. Recently the Rolls Royce announced its 2012 Phantom Drophead Coupé would feature teak panelling in its trunk as well as its soft-top cover; inspired by classic racing yachts. This week, Mercedes Benz released their 2012 CLS Shooting Brake with a wooden trunk deck made of American cherry with inlaid smoked oak and aluminum rails.
In case the owner would like to protect the wooden deck, there is an available non-slip mat.
After my History of Industrial Design class last week where we had briefly talked about the early history of Louis Vuitton, I decided that I would check out LV”s flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street to see if there were any artifacts that might be of interest. and much to my surprise, there were indeed some vintage trunks on display and unfortunately just out of reach for my little iPhone camera. Here are some grainy photos. They did have some newer trunks on display. Here are some images closeup. Notice the variety of materials used inside and out. The chrome hardware does not seem out of place and the wooden trims serve as bumper rails to protect the outer leather surface. The…
According to Budnitz Bicycles, Paul Budnitz began creating bicycles for his own use in 2006 while running Kidrobot. By 2010 people were stopping him on the street and asked where they could get a bicycle like the one he was riding. Several offered to buy his bike right out from under him! The bikes are classic-looking and built to last. Depending on the model, the bike frames are made of either brushed titanium or gloss black True-Temper™ cro-moly steel (chromium, molybdenum, steel alloy). In my opinion, the standout bike in their lineup is the No. 3 Honey Edition. According to the company’s description, the bike is: a classic remix of our Model No.3. German-made 2-inch creme tires, a titanium honey leather Brooks saddle and…
After finally taking some time off from work, I’m finally back to attack the final semester of my time at Pratt. Here’s an video that serves as a good inspiration for such an occasion
Posted on Vimeo regarding the making of “American Eagle”. Filmed by Ronin of HotMop Films, he spent 9 days filming Osamu Koyama, an artist who built a gold-plated armor for a blank Nike Zoom Force 1, a commission from Nike for their Shoeshine Project 2012.
Xylinum is a bacteria that consumes sugar and produces an artificial cellulose material, a random three dimensional fibre nano structure. It can grow around any given form. The properties of this material can be changed by changing the genetic code of the organisms. Jannis Hülsen, in collaboration with Jenpolymers, developed a technique to create a skin around a wooden fram, forming a coating and the seating surface. Here is a very informative video from Jannis explaining the process. Xylinum from Jannis Hülsen on Vimeo. http://www.jannishuelsen.com/?/work/xylium/ [via designboom & fastco.]
The ‘X-Federation’ chair by New York-Based Designer Victor Vetterlein uses a combination of laminated wood, combined with carbon-fiber to achieve a very slim and minimal look without compromising the weight-bearing function a chair requires. The technique first started in boat building and was further developed in the skateboard industry, which is where I first encountered this technique but was somewhat skeptical. (I have 2 Sector 9 Cloud 9 skateboards, very thin wooden veneer decks. Very maneuverable and a joy to ride. Sector 9 doesn’t seem to make them this way any more. They use fiber glass now. Here’s a that proves the strength of this kind of construction.) The design includes a thin steel frame under the seat where the legs are mechanically fastened.…