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Recognising that the role of appliances is moving away from their traditional places in the kitchen and laundry room, Whirlpool decided to explore a household of linked appliances....


This involved two major shifts in traditional appliance design thinking: conceptualising new devices for locations where they've never been and inventing ways that they could all interact as a system, rather than just as standalone devices.
Whirlpool and Syneo created 11 new appliance concepts that they took all the way to physical prototype and installed at the Future Technology in the Kitchen exhibition at the Milan Furniture Fair.
To envision how these products would interact, they developed four use scenarios and had the prototype house "act" them out. The four scenarios represented (roughly) an active morning, a quiet morning, a busy evening and a quiet evening.
- Read full post by Mike Kuniavsky, who contributed on the project
- Introductory essay (pdf, 108 kb)
- Some context based on demographic and social trends (pdf, 170 kb)
- The Living Cube prototype (pdf, 164 kb)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Vanderbeeken, who is in charge of the successful experience design blog at Experientia titledPutting People First, is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications. He worked in Belgium (his home country), USA, Denmark and Italy for both profit and non-profit, studied at Columbia University, and is now a senior partner in Experientia, an experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy.

Prior to Experientia, he was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF, Copenhagen, Denmark), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (New York, USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Antwerp, Belgium).