Micro Apartment Kitchen
Industrial Design and User Experience, 2014
During my junior year of college, I entered a competition to design a modern micro-kitchen for urban millennials. This concept won Grand Prize and was featured in the New York Times, Seattle Times, Good Morning America and more. I was flown to New York City to present the concept at the 2015 Big Apps Conference, where it was awarded $2,500. The concept was taken further when Firstbuild, a daughter company of General Electric Appliances, asked to work with me to deliver the first 100 functioning prototypes for their micro kitchen.
In metropolitan areas, young single professionals are opting for smaller floor plans in exchange for greater financial freedom. Cooking one or two nights a week, these tenants enjoy entertaining guests but lack the floor plan required to do so.
Less is More
Most 200 square foot apartments feature a single bathroom and one combined living/dining/sleeping area. The room must transition between these tasks with ease.
Through sketching, various methods of combining living space and kitchen space were explored. Focusing on unique hinges and sliding panels helped shape the direction of the concept.
The A-Ha Moment
Taking cues from modern RVs, a concept was developed that hid the kitchen while not in use. This allowed a narrower floor plan than typical micro apartments and centralized plumbing. By using durable sliding panels and flexible plumbing, the entire kitchen could shift out of sight.
An adaptable bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen unit makes 200 square feet feel like 400. The kitchen unit slides cleanly out of the living room area, leaving an open floor plan for entertaining and relaxing.
A magnetic drying rack and modular sliding shelving help organize the compact work surface area. A full sized sink, four burner stove, and compact oven fit seamlessly into the seven foot space, while flexible temperature drawers provide refrigerator and freezer space.
Presenting at NYC Big Apps
I was flown to New York to participate in the 2015 Big Apps Conference. The experience was amazing... I got wonderful feedback from the judges and community. I was very nervous to present to the concept; I had been told that there were only judges, but when I arrived, I found the room full of spectators. Yikes! Luckily the time flew by.
Creating Prototypes at Firstbuild
After the competition ended I was invited to work with Firstbuild, a daughter company of General Electric, to help produce their first line of mircokitchens. We collaborated over the course of six months to make a manufacturing-ready, shippable product.