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Appliances you wished you had


Natho
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I am a third year industrial design student and for an assignment I am entering the Breville Young Designer competition . The brief is to design a more eco-friendly kitchen appliance. What I am researching is what kind of gaps there is in the kitchen appliance market. What kinds of machinery do you wish someone would make? Is there a particular thing you do in the kitchen or when cooking that no-one caters for with an appliance? Or do you have an existing appliance that you wish would do more? This kind of research is very important to developing quality designs. So please, help a designer out!

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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For folks who really like to cook, part of the problem with the engines on appliances is they tend to reflect two inadequate options: overpriced ersatz "professional models" that have chrome and sophisticated timing mechanisms but mediocre engines (nearly everything at William Sonoma, for example) and actual professional models that are much more expensive but feature the power you want (or more). I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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As I've already posted on the "Invent This" thread, see if you could figure out a way to design this:

A spiral slicer for home use so that I could spiral slice my own hams or even a whole roasted turkey breast or leg of lamb. I'm not a huge fan of the flavor/texture of most of the spiral sliced hams sold around the holidays. A combination regular slicer--from see through paper thin to thick, even slices of meats and vegetables--and a spiral slicing feature. I know a combo like this doesn't even exist commercially, but it would be so cool have one for the home.

Well? :wink:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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... inadequate options: overpriced ersatz "professional models" that have chrome and sophisticated timing mechanisms but mediocre engines (nearly everything at William Sonoma, for example) ....

Chris, could you be thinking of Breville????

I am entering the Breville Young Designer competition .

Tim

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Ok, here's one. probably an unrealistic challenge due to cost and complexity. but maybe you're a genius:

A stand mixer with an automatic transmission.

Right now there are two basic stand mixer designs.

Professional mixers have a motor with a fixed speed. The attachment speed is selected by shifting gears. There are typically three speeds. Gears are shifted by shutting the mixer off, waiting for everything to stop, moving a shift lever, and restarting. It's cumbersome. And a mixer is one of the few machines that benefits from having more speeds to choose (unlike consumer 12-speed blenders, which are just goofy.).

Home mixers have a single fixed gear ratio, and control the attachment speed by varying the motor speed electronically. It's a much more convenient design. It's also fundamentally flawed, because mixers need the most torque at low speeds, but motors develop their highest torque at high speeds. The result is that any motor that's capable of kneeding dough at low speeds has to be tremendously overbuilt, or has to run at very high RPMs against serious reduction gearing. The result is more noise, wear, and power consumption than necessary. And also a motor that runs at screaming speeds with outrageous power output when you're doing the easiest tasks of all, like whipping cream.

So my idea is a mixer with electronic speed control, like a home mixer, that will automatically chose between two or three gears depending on the speed and torque requirements. The user just sets the output speed; the mixer chooses the best gear/motor speed to get the job done.

Notes from the underbelly

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. . . I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

You mean like this? Or something lower on the price/performance scale?

--

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The kitchen appliance - industrial complex would have us all buy dozens and dozen of single purpose machines that we rarely if ever use. They're shiny with seductive names and they're priced just right to sell. Everybody knows someone with the graveyard of underused appliances.

Same goes for power tools. However, in the world of woodworking, there's an all-in-one tool that can rip, cross-cut, plane, route, lathe, scroll and sand. It's expensive but it takes up very little room considering what it replaces.

Maybe there is a clever modular device for the kitchen - something that does a ton of tasks. No need to have so many heating elements, so many cutting edges - its not like you'd need to use them all at the same time. A single good motor to drive them all. Something more than a stand mixer with a rotary take-off.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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. . . I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

You mean like this? Or something lower on the price/performance scale?

I'm a big fan of Northern Tool also. I've had my meat grinder for several years and never had a single problem with it. I have used it to stuff a lot of sausage and it's a lot easier to use than others I used in the past.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The kitchen appliance - industrial complex would have us all buy dozens and dozen of single purpose machines that we rarely if ever use. They're shiny with seductive names and they're priced just right to sell. Everybody knows someone with the graveyard of underused appliances.

Same goes for power tools. However, in the world of woodworking, there's an all-in-one tool that can rip, cross-cut, plane, route, lathe, scroll and sand. It's expensive but it takes up very little room considering what it replaces.

Maybe there is a clever modular device for the kitchen - something that does a ton of tasks. No need to have so many heating elements, so many cutting edges - its not like you'd need to use them all at the same time. A single good motor to drive them all. Something more than a stand mixer with a rotary take-off.

I have a Shopsmith I bought in 1965 so I could make my own picture frames. I used it for a lot of hobby work and made a replacement leg and stretcher for an antique rocking chair. It still works just fine but I did have the power cord replaced a few years ago.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The pot lid holder sounds interesting. i'll look into it. As far as all in one appliances go, I don't know how kindly breville would look on a design that stopped people from buying 5 of their appliances in favour of just the one. And as for the spiral meast slicer, i'm not sure how much wide market appeal it would have. Breville markets to the general public mostly.

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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I don't know how kindly breville would look on a design that stopped people from buying 5 of their appliances in favour of just the one.

Well, let's reference Post #1:

I am a third year industrial design student and for an assignment I am entering the Breville Young Designer competition . The brief is to design a more eco-friendly kitchen appliance. What I am researching is what kind of gaps there is in the kitchen appliance market. What kinds of machinery do you wish someone would make? Is there a particular thing you do in the kitchen or when cooking that no-one caters for with an appliance? Or do you have an existing appliance that you wish would do more? This kind of research is very important to developing quality designs. So please, help a designer out!

I am not meaning to have you hoist on your own petard (how often do you get to use THAT expression ??) but what DID you ask us for? Do you want to know, or are you intending to angle toward the powers-that-be at Breville and what they want? Ask here and yyou will hear the truth. Report what you want. If you want us to tell you what we think Breville might like to hear..............

don't ask. :wink:

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I do want to hear what you think. I'm just telling you what the other side of the angle will be. I'm not interested in kissing brevilles arse, but realistically this is a commercial competition for a commercial company. When breville give us a brief to design something for them, I have to design something that will fit their corporate agenda. Anything else would be a bit pointless.

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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The pot lid holder sounds interesting. i'll look into it.

I just realised I was referencing the OTHER Invent It thread...

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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As discussed on the sous vide thread, an accurate temperature controlled slow cooker.

ITs now possible with, for example the combination of a PID controller (SousVIdeMagic/Auber Instruments) and a rice cooker or even better a steam table.

You can do something similar with a controlled steam injection oven for vapour cooking.

Low energy consumption and eco friendly...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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. . . . As far as all in one appliances go, I don't know how kindly breville would look on a design that stopped people from buying 5 of their appliances in favour of just the one . . . .

I realize you're looking for a good idea for a design competition - something you can get excited about and run with. I understand, I've been doing architectural design competitions for twenty years.

A good design is a good design, any manufacturer with half a brain will see that. Let the others worry about marketing, price points, niches, etc. If your concept does evolve into an actual product on the shelf one day, it will most certainly won't be identical to the original submission.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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How about a home pasta machine that has bronze dies? The KitchenAide one gives no texture.

It would take a lot more than that to make extruded pasta that even remotely competed with commercially made dry pasta.

--

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I am a third year industrial design student and for an assignment I am entering the Breville Young Designer competition . The brief is to design a more eco-friendly kitchen appliance. What I am researching is what kind of gaps there is in the kitchen appliance market. What kinds of machinery do you wish someone would make? Is there a particular thing you do in the kitchen or when cooking that no-one caters for with an appliance? ....

WOOOOAAAH there!

As a Designer, the most important thing is to read the brief. Carefully.

Here it is:

As designers, we must take greater responsibility for the impact our products have on the environment. In response to this, the brief this year is to design a ‘more’ eco friendly kitchen appliance or accessory that considers the following:

    * Product life cycle

    * Material choice and impact

    * Product efficiency

    * Manufacturing impact, assembly and disassembly

    * Packaging

    * Ease of use, cleaning and storage

Now, where about in the brief does it say that the product must (or even should) address some "gap in the market"?

It seems to me that the brief is ALL about designing a *better* mousetrap.

Not finding another creature to trap.

This competition is ALL about design, not at all about fundamental product function innovation.

If you want to appeal to Breville, reference an *existing* Breville product category. (Hey, like the sandwich toaster...)

And then design a *better* one - with better being defined specifically in terms of Eco credentials, particularly relating to the headings given, though you might find others to add, like a reduced water requirement...

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I am a third year industrial design student and for an assignment I am entering the Breville Young Designer competition . The brief is to design a more eco-friendly kitchen appliance. What I am researching is what kind of gaps there is in the kitchen appliance market. What kinds of machinery do you wish someone would make? Is there a particular thing you do in the kitchen or when cooking that no-one caters for with an appliance? ....

WOOOOAAAH there!

As a Designer, the most important thing is to read the brief. Carefully.

Here it is:

As designers, we must take greater responsibility for the impact our products have on the environment. In response to this, the brief this year is to design a ‘more’ eco friendly kitchen appliance or accessory that considers the following:

    * Product life cycle

    * Material choice and impact

    * Product efficiency

    * Manufacturing impact, assembly and disassembly

    * Packaging

    * Ease of use, cleaning and storage

Now, where about in the brief does it say that the product must (or even should) address some "gap in the market"?

It seems to me that the brief is ALL about designing a *better* mousetrap.

Not finding another creature to trap.

This competition is ALL about design, not at all about fundamental product function innovation.

If you want to appeal to Breville, reference an *existing* Breville product category. (Hey, like the sandwich toaster...)

And then design a *better* one - with better being defined specifically in terms of Eco credentials, particularly relating to the headings given, though you might find others to add, like a reduced water requirement...

I have READ THE BRIEF CAREFULLY I know what the competition entails. And eco design will be the major part of it. But Thats not the only part of designing for a competition. Why submit a better designed existing product when i can submit a new product that is well designed that fits the brief and opens up a new consumer market? This competition will have a thousand redesigned toasters submitted to it, all of which will only get the most cursory of glances by the judges. Originality marks - 0%

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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Why submit a better designed existing product when i can submit a new product that is well designed that fits the brief and opens up a new consumer market?

I suggested that only because my reading of the brief tells you to do exactly that !
... the brief this year is to design a ‘more’ eco friendly kitchen appliance or accessory ...

If you manage to come up with an entirely new product category, how do you get a "more eco" comparison, when you have nothing existing to compare it against?

Do yourself a favour, bounce that question off one of your teachers.

Unlike Option3 of last year's competition, ( 07 link ), this year's brief ( 08 link )seems to make no reference at all to product basic functionality innovation.

However, the 2008 brief is *entirely* about designing eco-innovation - in manufacturing, in service, and in disposal.

Its about being original specifically in reducing energy consumption (in materials, manufacturing and in use), increasing recyclability, and originality of choice of materials (like how much can be made from recycled stuff and biomaterials) - and what you can come up with for attractive and protective eco-packaging. And demonstrating that you understand the manufacturing implications (ie costs) of "thinking different".

I read it as marks to be awarded for good eco-comparisons, and no marks at all publicly on offer for product category/functionality innovation - as such - fun though that might be.

Natho, I've tried to help you.

It only remains to wish you good luck.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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. . . I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

You mean like this? Or something lower on the price/performance scale?

I'm a big fan of Northern Tool also. I've had my meat grinder for several years and never had a single problem with it. I have used it to stuff a lot of sausage and it's a lot easier to use than others I used in the past.

That's the one I'm looking to buy, yes, but I feel like there ought to be something that doesn't plow through 300+ pounds per hour for less than $300+ bucks.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 3 years later...
. . . I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

You mean like this? Or something lower on the price/performance scale?

I'm a big fan of Northern Tool also. I've had my meat grinder for several years and never had a single problem with it. I have used it to stuff a lot of sausage and it's a lot easier to use than others I used in the past.

That's the one I'm looking to buy, yes, but I feel like there ought to be something that doesn't plow through 300+ pounds per hour for less than $300+ bucks.

I just came across this thread... Viking makes a meat grinding attachment for their mixers. I have one and it works well for small batches. KitchenAid also has one but it looks a lot lighter and made of plastic. The Viking is all metal except for the top feed tray.

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For folks who really like to cook, part of the problem with the engines on appliances is they tend to reflect two inadequate options: overpriced ersatz "professional models" that have chrome and sophisticated timing mechanisms but mediocre engines (nearly everything at William Sonoma, for example) and actual professional models that are much more expensive but feature the power you want (or more). I'd sure be happy to have appliances that find that middle ground between power and price more consistently. In particular, if I could find a better immersion blender, stand mixer, and meat grinder along these lines, I'd be a happy man.

Quoted For Truth

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Also agreeing with Chris Amirault.

I'd like a seriously heavy-duty (think Blendtec) food processor, please.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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