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in a new premium exterior finish named “White Ice”, sparking articles/commentary asking if Stainless Steel has been replaced by sleek new alternatives.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.
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.
The Garbini/Garbo trash can is designed by Karim Rashid for Umbra. It is part of the permanent collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Chicago Athenaeum Museum, Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Toronto Design Exchange and San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts. This particular photo was taken by JSDesign@Flickr at Tenleytown in Washington DC.
It is also available in steel mesh.
Other trash cans from Karim Rashid include the Umbra Skinny Can, Afterglo Can, Sway Can, Pop Can. Most, if not all of these trash cans are out of plastic.
3D printing is inching closer to mass production of products. Here is an interesting iPhone Case I found this past weekend at the Apple Retail Store.
I like to browse the accessories section of the Apple Store for this precise reason… sometimes these surprise finds are so worthwhile. It appears the company, Fresh Fiber is really doing 3D printing justice by only producing cases that can only be 3D printed.
Their website is well worth a visit as well as they show off many more designs and colors. Here’s one that I find fascinating.
I think this might be a product worthwhile looking more into. Perhaps I need to get a sample or two.
Tegris is a 100% Polypropylene (Thermoplastic) composite material. It is a monomaterial. Polypropylene is drawn into filaments, made into a yarn or type, then woven into a sheet. Multiple sheets are fused together there by adding strength without adding new materials. Here is a helpful comparison chart provided by Milliken. Tegris would be 66% the thickness of ABS and 52% lighter at the same stiffness, whereas in comparison with Carbon Fiber/PP mix, Tegris would be 2.1 times thicker and 30% heavier at the same stiffness. However, that may be a good offset as according to some sources, Tegris is 10% of the cost. Tegris fabric is 0.132mm thick, weighs 0.11 Kg/sq meter. Here is an interesting writeup by Lori Hobson at Mind Tribe. Other…
Visiting my uncle, when I was little, I remember him telling me about Steinway Pianos and how they sounded far superior than any other. Then when he finally got one years later, that was my first time experiencing the difference. Not only does it sound better than his other baby grand, it also played different. The touch of the keys as the hammer strikes the strings, there’s a certain crispness… All the years I’ve lived in the area near Steinway Hall and walked passed it countless times, they always had a grand piano displaying in the window. Today, there was a white one featuring a caricature of John Lennon. I spoke with one of the staff there and she let me walk around a…
I was looking for Kauffman & Sons Saddlery but alas it seems to be all gone. It use to be located on the corner of Lexington and 24th Street, then East 64th Street, then as a online entity… but now it’s gone. However, I did find Manhattan Saddle, which is only half a block away from Kauffman’s original store. The idea of visiting this store was to open my mind into a culture or sport that I’ve never had contact with. According to my thesis advisor, Kauffman’s was a rarity especially since there aren’t many riders actively riding in New York City that it’ll make me think about its objects on display in a materiality sort of way. I think Manhattan Saddle did the trick.…