GE is releasing more details regarding one of its newest and most exciting projects, part of a new partnership with MakerBot and TechShop that will serve as an incubator of sorts for innovations in the appliance space.
“As we watch what’s happening in the U.S., there’s a clear trend toward smaller, more efficient living spaces,” said Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design for GE Appliances. “There will always be a need for larger appliances for existing homes; however, we can’t ignore the growing need in urban environments. GE Appliances is excited to tackle the design challenge of creating micro-kitchen concepts that help people maintain or enhance their lifestyle in substantially less square footage.”
Among the concepts is the monoblock, which seamlessly integrates cooking, cleaning and refrigeration into the cabinetry. A second design uses a drawer-based system to stow -- and make available -- various appliances as needed, including a microwave oven, conventional oven, convertible refrigerator and freezer, and dishwasher. It will also include an induction or radiant glass cooktop, downdraft ventilation system and kitchen sink with disposal.
According to the company, GE is the first manufacurer to have its own micro-factory production facility, which is called FirstBuild and is located in Louisville, Kentucky. There, GE will prototype, manufacture and sell small batches of the micro kitchens later this year.