Smart aesthetics – Until recently, technology could hardly have been considered aesthetically pleasing. Devices and appliances bristled with functionality and capability within square shapes and unnerving bristles. Form was evaded in favour of functionality. The white goods and cooking accessories as bland in style as they were rich with innovation. Today, however, design is as vital to the success of an appliance as its features. The ability to slip seamlessly into an environment, adding aesthetic value rather than taking it away, is as important a box to tick as power, functionality and warranty.

For the consumer, this trend has opened up an entirely new world of kitchen and home design. The dream kitchen doesn’t have to hide the hob or the fridge, it can showcase it. The flair of personality and style can be found in the tiles and countertops, and in the appliances that surround them. This is no new trend, of course, the shift from functional apparatus to home accessory started as early as the 1950s, when designers were engaged by manufacturers to help them reimagine tedious blocky shapes. Well-known names such as Gino Valle, Pietro Geranzani and Makio Hasuike added softness, style and ingenuity, igniting a trend that continues to this day. One upheld by designers such as Gerhard Nussler, Siemens’ Chief Designer who believes that design is as much a part of the language of progress as technology.

Manufacturers such as Siemens, a market leader in Europe for design and style, are now recognised internationally through awards such as the IDA Awards, Siemens Home Appliances Design Awards and the iF Design Awards. Siemens has snared its fair share of awards thanks to design that blends the art of engineering with inspiration, environment and potential. One of these was the coveted Red Dot award in 2016 for the built-in iQ 700 appliance series. The jury found the design to be distinctive and homogenous, seamlessly blending into the environment while adding distinctive elements that stand out and engage.

To achieve this level of design excellence, the company asks the question – what happens when technology meets everyday life and how can it transform its potential? The answer is that design is the language of modern urban living. It also lies in the evolution of two very specific consumer trends – work from home and open spaces. The change from the commuting employee to the anywhere-anytime employee who can choose their workspace dependent on mood and relevance has further pushed design into the eye of the beholder – the consumer wants solutions that they can admire and appreciate. They need the aesthetic of design to enhance the home and the spaces they live in. The same desire is driven by open plan living, a lifestyle choice in design and home that shows no sign of abating.

However, design is only one part of the whole. The technology and functionality that sit behind the façade are as important to the success of a solution, a fact that Siemens hasn’t ignored. The company’s awards don’t just sit in design, they sit across engineering, innovation and technology. This has seen the company create interesting hybrids that take the old and make it new, like the new gas cooker range that blends gas with electricity to create something unique. Some users prefer gas, some electricity, most want clean and green – why not have it all in one? Simple question, answered.

In addition to interesting twists on common themes, Siemens has introduced smart features that tie into the rise of the smart home. Connected capability that can be used to enhance the home experience. The Siemens Home Connect App lets the app choose the best washing programme, lets the user look inside the fridge from the highway, the office or the shops, and even preheat the oven before leaving the office. All Siemens home appliances can be connected using the app and any mobile device, transforming not only what the consumer can do, but how they do it. Many of the appliances include automatic programmes that can be activated at the tap of a button – like the automatic cooking programmes that will deliver perfect results with minimal hassle.

The kitchen of tomorrow is today. It’s elegant, refined and artfully designed. It’s also functional and capable. It’s cookers, microwaves, hobs, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, fridges, coolers and dryers. It’s aesthetic genius.

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