GE Micro Kitchen
The GE micro kitchen is a compact and efficient kitchen system that could fit in just six feet of space, designed to meet the needs of urban consumers.
The concept gained national attention as a way to rethink and inspire what could be the next evolution in kitchen appliances. Initially designed as a solution to the challenges faced by people living in urban areas with limited kitchen space, the micro kitchen evolved into a platform for expressing new concepts that were missing from traditional appliances. By addressing the needs of urban consumers, the micro kitchen sparked a conversation about the future of kitchen design and inspired new ideas for making kitchens more functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing.
IDSA IDEA Gold
Full Suite in Six Feet
The GE micro kitchen was designed with several innovative features that addressed the challenges of designing a fully functional kitchen in a limited space. One of the key features was a 25% reduction in the kitchen's footprint, achieved through a combination of compact appliances and clever design elements. Another innovative feature was the shared power and plumbing, which enabled the micro kitchen to be easily installed in a range of spaces without requiring extensive renovations. The micro kitchen also featured customizable panels, allowing customers to choose from a range of materials and finishes to match their design preferences. Finally, the micro kitchen included a unified control hub, which provided a central location for controlling all the appliances and features of the kitchen. These features helped to make the GE micro kitchen a highly functional and space-efficient solution for urban living.
Cabinetry First Approach
The initial sketches were variations of a standalone unit. I was initially inspired by simple cabinetry in the design. Something that could be adaptable to different environments, while the chassis stayed the same. To organize the appliances, the team divided the micro kitchen into three 24" sections: cooking (including ventilation, baking, and cooktop), cooling (including fridge and freezer), and cleaning (including sink and dishwasher).
Learn from the Best
After recognizing the impact of urbanization in the US, the team traveled to China, Korea, and Japan to study how these cultures designed smaller and more efficient kitchens. Despite the significant differences in cooking styles, the team found that the layout and construction of these kitchens could provide valuable insights for envisioning concepts for the US market. By studying the kitchen design trends in Asia, the team was able to better understand the needs of urban consumers and incorporate these insights into the development of the GE micro kitchen.
On a weekly basis, I would present the appearance model to a group of real estate developers, interior designers and sales people within the GE network to receive their feedback. We received positive feedback on the concept and discovered many developers wanted to use this style of kitchen not for urban environments, but for ADUs, pool houses, bars, and Mother in Law suites. This was important vote of confidence because if developers could see a use beyond a smaller.
Saved for Another Day
The project moved to FirstBuild, a wholly owned GE subsidiary, to be slated for further engineering and manufacturing. Unfortunately, the project was halted and did not continue.