Uniting Form and Function – Fisher & Paykel’s Minimal Range
Designed around the twin ideals of ‘kitchen perfection’ and ‘design freedom’, Fisher & Paykel’s latest Minimal Range of cooking and companion appliances is a marriage of form and function. Uniting the two, the Minimal Range offers products that enrich the design of a kitchen whilst remaining an understated presence and which provide sophisticated performance with the flexibility to respond to the myriad demands of contemporary life.
The design and development of the Minimal Range were informed by the Future Design Workshops Fisher & Paykel has held regularly, explains Mike Jensen, Fisher & Paykel GM Industrial Design. The Future Design Workshops bring together the Fisher & Paykel senior design team with architects and interior designers to discuss the future of residential design and new products on the horizon, as well as providing a direct channel from the architecture and design community to Fisher & Paykel. As such, the workshops “are a great opportunity to share our future thinking and involve architects and designers in our decision making and design process,” says Mike. “We learned that there was a desire for the products to be more concealed within the kitchen space, therefore, materials and colours should be chosen that blend in with the surrounding environment. Our material palette should be reduced allowing a freedom of options for the designers to choose the materials they desire within the kitchen design.”
The Future Design Workshops bring together the Fisher & Paykel senior design team with architects and interior designers to discuss the future of residential design and new products on the horizon, as well as providing a direct channel from the architecture and design community to Fisher & Paykel.
The Minimal Range ensures appliances such as ovens, cooktops, and warming drawers, which are typically visible in a kitchen, are kept highly discrete, with the all-black aesthetic ensuring the product is recessive within the overall design of the kitchen. Yet the materiality of black glass and steel ensure that all touchpoints are highly considered, with a sense of quality in keeping with even the most high-end of kitchens. “Although we are designing products that blend into the kitchen seamlessly with a singular aesthetic, we are using subtle textural and tonal contrasts for a sense of refinement and design quality,” Mike says.
Meanwhile, other products such as the Column Refrigeration, rangehood and DishDrawers are integrated so as to be all but invisible, with minimal gaps and considered proportions contributing to the minimal aesthetic. With the Minimal Range offering design freedom by blending seamlessly into a contemporary kitchen and enabling designers to create innovative layouts of appliances according to a clients’ needs, unencumbered by restrictions around the placement or integration of products, the perfect kitchen is made possible, Mike explains.
This highlights how design freedom is closely tied to the company’s core tenet of ‘kitchen perfection’, which seeks to offer customers the perfect solution to all their needs – both aesthetic and functional. Stemming from an approach that emphasises a commitment to creating products that are as beautiful to use as they are to look at, “at every step through the user’s experience with the product, we aim for the product to speak to quality,” says Mike. A key example is the new dial on the Minimal oven that has “an amazing tactile response when using it and further refined feedback through illumination,” he continues. “The new user interfaces allow different ways of cooking whether it be by function, by food type or by recipe. We are trying to cater for different ways in which our customers feel comfortable using the product.”
The Minimal Range ensures appliances such as ovens, cooktops, and warming drawers, which are typically visible in a kitchen, are kept highly discrete, with the all-black aesthetic ensuring the product is recessive within the overall design of the kitchen.
When it comes to the performance of the appliances, users gain the benefits of highly sensitive and responsive products. Ovens do not simply cook according to a pre-programmed recipe (although these are available when required). “We’ve developed a touchscreen oven that gives you flexibility in the way you cook, that focuses on the perfect result rather than simply utilising a set of pre-set functions,” he says. “It can deliver the perfect slow-cooked roast lamb – cooked evenly throughout so that the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Or lamb cooked medium rare – with the perfect deep brown crust on the outside while blushing pink inside.” Similarly, the integrated Column Refrigeration products offer a host of flexible options, such as variable temperature zones that allow users to adjust the temperate of regions within the fridge according to the requirements of the food they are storing.
Above all, the Minimal Range exemplifies a holistic approach to the design and development of products. Not only do the concepts of design freedom and kitchen perfection that informed the range go hand in hand – the entire range is conceived as a suite of products that work seamlessly together to offer “the ultimate kitchen solution,” Mike says.