Whirlpool Corporation: Culture, Connectivity and Convenience Shaping the Future of Home Appliance Design

Global Consumer Design Centers study behavior to deliver relevant, impactful home appliance design

Dec 15, 2014, 09:00 ET from Whirlpool Corporation

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Dec. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading manufacturer of major home appliances says the changing landscape of global societal cultures is opening the door to a new kind of home appliance design. Home appliances have already advanced technologically, with connected appliances on the floor in appliance showrooms. But at its core, design is emotional and personal – as unique to a consumer as songs on their favorite playlist. Today, as more consumers look for products that provide purposeful technology to fit their daily lives and reflect a sense of individuality, home appliance design demands both passion and a unique perspective.

Whirlpool Corporation's (NYSE: WHR) Global Consumer Design centers, operating in locations throughout the world have cultivated a unique design process, studying the cultures, behaviors and needs of diverse consumers in the passionate pursuit of bringing those unique emotional and personal connections to life through design. Designers examine not only how we connect with appliances – but how we connect with each other. These connections – how we entertain our friends and take care of our families – combined with the socio-economic factors that impact our lives every day lead to design with a purpose.

Usability labs create realistic settings, allowing consumers to interact with newly designed home appliances, providing insight into uses and individual preferences. The company's Global Consumer Design team combines real world study with virtual technology for a unique perspective, conducting in-home analyses to monitor patterns of usage and cultural influences and through usability labs and digital studios to create realistic settings.

"Exceptional design is the result of endless curiosity and careful study," said Patrick Schiavone, vice president, Global Consumer Design. "Our Global Consumer Design team is passionate about creating intuitive products that represent the lifestyle and the culture of our consumers today. Our products are in eight of every 10 homes in the U.S. and available in 130 countries. Each home has its own unique sense of beauty. It's our job to capture that beauty in form and function."

This year alone, Whirlpool Corporation has delighted the market with several home appliance introductions that reflect a new trend in home appliance design: individuality.

  • As a result of Whirlpool Corporation's joint venture with Proctor & Gamble, with the Swash ™ is a revolutionary new product that speaks to an increase in rewear of clothing. The Swash ™ system refreshes, restores and dewrinkles clothes in just 10 minutes. Designers worked to create an appliance that suited how consumers would use it, creating an aesthetic that goes beyond the laundry room and fit for the bedroom, where it served consumers best.
  • The company's Jenn-Air brand introduced Obsidian refrigerator interior design that takes a fresh look at color innovation – from the inside out – with a black interior accentuated by LED lighting.
  • The company's iconic KitchenAid brand, continues to see fresh new colors of its stand mixers on countless countertops and wedding gift registries. This year the brand introduced specialty small appliances, including a pour over coffee maker and multi-cooker, designed to look right at home on countertops everywhere.

Whirlpool Corporation designs have resulted in a portfolio of accolades, including close to a dozen awards by USAToday's Reviewed.com this year alone, as well as Best Laundry Innovation for the Swash system, Best Four-Door French Door Refrigerator for KitchenAid brand and Best Smart Appliance Platform for Whirlpool® 6th Sense Live ™ technology. The company has also received recognition from the Consumer Electronics Association and Whirlpool Corporation will feature new design concepts and current, award winning designs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 6th

About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees, and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names. We earn the trust of consumers in nearly every country by focusing on what matters most. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com

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SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation