GE Appliances Industrial Design Director Lou Lenzi was part of a live webinar with the Washington Post's Home Front on Nov. 14, 2013.
Lenzi opened the Q&A by telling attendees about the rapid pace of technology/design development in kitchen appliances. He went on to answer questions from consumers about appliance trends.
Several consumers asked about appliance finishes. Lenzi said that stainless steel accounts for about 35% of the major appliance market in the United States and will remain strong as an appliance finish. He noted, however, that some consumers have stainless steel "fatigue." That's led GE to introduce an alternative finish called Slate Gray.
He said white is also "trending up" as an appliance finish.
In terms of cooking technology, Lenzi said steam cooking was hot, and he considers convection an overlooked technology. "A lot of real consumer benefits with convection," he said.
Induction, he said, continues to grow. Despite the need for ferrous metal-containing (magnetic) cookware, consumers who use the technology are "...amazed by the level of control. Equal or better than gas!"
Another topic of interest to consumers was the trend to smaller appliances to fit into smaller living spaces. One webinar attendee mentioned that they had found just one "boring" appliance line that would fit into their studio apartment, and asked if GE was developing small appliances for micro- and small apartments. Lenzi said this was a trend that GE was hearing about increasingly. "This is an opportunity I'm exploring with the design team here in Louisville!"
He said that the current major trend to installing integrated appliances was a way of reducing appliances' kitchen footprint.
A second major trend: increased connectivity, allowing appliances to be controlled and monitored remotely.
The complete Q&A can be accessed at:
to Daily News