[Bespoke Home Life] ① Evolving Design From Colours and Culture to Full Customization
When the Bespoke line was first introduced in 2019, Samsung Electronics wanted to reimagine the role home appliances play in a household, both in appearance and in functionality. Bringing that vision to reality meant creating a new line of appliances that could allow consumers to express themselves with inspiring designs, create smarter connected experiences at home, and offer sustainable solutions that better protect the planet.
This 3-part series will introduce the journey Bespoke has taken so far as it evolved to deliver greater value by expanding the capabilities of home appliances.
As Part One of this series, this article will detail the decisions behind the design innovations that evolved the Bespoke design ethos, from colours and cultures to true customizations.
Adding Colour and Texture to “White Goods”
The Flat Style minimalist design philosophy – the theory that simple, clean lines and flush surfaces would be ideal in matching modern home décor – was the driving inspiration behind Bespoke home appliances. Such designs could easily fit into any modern kitchen concept, creating a sense of cohesion with the surrounding space. In addition, customizable façades on the exterior would allow consumers to express themselves through a variety of striking colour options and material finishes.
Refrigerators were the first appliances in the Bespoke journey of elevating home appliance designs. Since then, Bespoke has expanded to the rest of the home to include an entire kitchen package which now includes ovens, dishwashers and cooktops as well as living and laundry appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers.
It became clear very quickly that the Bespoke design concept resonated with users who wanted their appliances to reflect their own diverse tastes, and even the industry took notice. In 2020, the Bespoke refrigerator won NYCxDESIGN Awards in the Kitchen product category and was selected as an honouree at CES 2021, in recognition of Bespoke’s creative use of design in offering users a way to easily personalize their appliances. Bespoke appliances received a silver award and Best-in-Show honours at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in 2021 and gold at the International Forum (iF) Design Award in 2022.
Since its initial launch, the Bespoke product line would expand into more kitchen appliances and then the rest of the home with living and laundry appliances as well as more colour and material options. The team behind Bespoke’s designs decided that a continuous cycle of new colours for Bespoke appliances would make it easier for users to find the design that best reflects their unique lifestyle.
For users who may find deciding on home décor daunting, in 2021, Samsung introduced the Bespoke AI Recommendation service in Korea. This service helped make appliance designing more accessible with the help of AI. Users would upload photos of their homes or designs they liked, and the AI would analyze the images to come up with colour recommendations that best fits that environment.
As bold as these appliances were in a sea of “white goods,” however, Samsung knew the vision could not end with just colour and material options. With Bespoke, true customization is more than choice – it’s also about personalization.
From Colours to Culture
Diving deeper into the Bespoke design vision, Samsung sought to highlight key identifying factors shared by all Bespoke users – a sense of belonging through culture. Collaborating with artists from a wide range of disciplines as well as Bespoke users themselves, Samsung wanted to reflect cultures from around the globe in Bespoke refrigerator panel designs.
This year, Samsung introduced the Union Jack flag as a new design option for Bespoke refrigerators in the U.K., recognizing the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.
In May 2021, Samsung held design contests on social media in collaboration with designers, including award-wining British interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE and London-based designer Yinka Ilori. The contests were themed around two of the most important passions in the kitchen – inspirational designs and inspirational food. In Europe, through the #BespokeDesignedByYou design challenge, Samsung invited users to share their own unique refrigerator designs based on how Bespoke sparks creativity in the kitchen. In the U.S., Samsung launched the #BespokeDinnerParty challenge, where users shared their perfect Bespoke dinner party plans with cocktails, flower arrangements, dinnerware and food inspired by bold Bespoke colours.
Before that, many artists took part in developing Bespoke’s designs. French illustrator Hérem added European architecture into the design, while American artist Rementer added colourful portraits of diverse communities through the lens of pop art. Danish design company HAY experimented with natural food-inspired colours and American artist Alex Proba expressed joy and happiness with colourful patterns and shapes inspired by nature.
These artist and user-involved design experiences would serve as a prologue to the next evolution of Bespoke’s designs.
The Next Level of Bespoke Customization
If using different colours offers users a way to be expressive and identify with cultures through a sense of belonging, the next level in Bespoke design would be true self-expression. As such, Samsung is now offering users a truly self-expressive Bespoke customization experience from start to finish.
Bespoke’s concept of true customization began to take shape with design contests worldwide. The excitement and enthusiasm expressed by the participants from these contests inspired the beginning of the digital printing service called MyBespoke in the U.S.
With MyBespoke, Samsung will arrive at the latest evolution of Bespoke design, shifting from self-expression through preselected options to a truly Bespoke customization experience where users can create their own designs from scratch.
At the start of Bespoke’s design journey, there was a vision to inspire users to personalize their homes with designs that truly reflect who they are. With the MyBespoke launch, Samsung is one step closer to making that vision a reality. Samsung will continue to innovate to expand design, experience and customization options to make life at home more expressive and enjoyable.
Stay tuned for the rest of the installments in this series. To learn more about Bespoke appliances, visit Samsung.com/ca.
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