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 function. 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 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 in this series, this article will detail the decisions behind the design innovations that evolved the Bespoke design ethos, from colours and cultures to true customisations.
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, while customisable 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 the home appliance designs. Since then, Bespoke has expanded to the rest of the home to include an entire kitchen package, including ovens, dishwashers and cooktops, as well as living and laundry appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers.
▲ Bespoke product line up in EU
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 honoree at CES 2021 in recognition of Bespoke’s creative use of design in offering users a way to easily personalise their appliances. Bespoke appliances received a silver award and Best-in-Show honors at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in 2021 and gold at the International Forum (iF) Design Award in 2022.
Later, Bespoke would expand into more kitchen appliances and then the rest of the home with living appliances, introducing 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 reflected 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 analyse the images to come up with colour recommendations that fit best in 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 customisation is more than choice – it’s also about personalisation.
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 onto Bespoke refrigerator panel designs.
This year, Samsung introduced the Union Jack flag as a new design option for Bespoke refrigerators in the U.K., recognising the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession.
In May last year, 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 at home 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.
▲ Limited-Edition Bespoke Jubilee Fridge Freezer in the UK
The Next Level of Bespoke Customization
If using colours offers users a way to be expressive and identify with cultures through a sense of belonging, the next level in Bespoke designs would be true self-expression. As such, Samsung is now offering users a truly self-expressive Bespoke customisation experience from start to finish.
Bespoke’s concept of true customisation 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 customisation experience where users can create their own designs from scratch.
At the start of Bespoke’s design journey was the vision to inspire users to personalise 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 customisation 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.