KitchenAid Announces Student Design Competition Winners

In scouting new ideas for bringing innovation and bold design to the kitchen countertop, it turns out that Michigan-based KitchenAid didn't have to look beyond its own backyard. What better place than the industrial hub of Detroit and its nationally renowned College for Creative Studies (CCS), where designers conceptualize gleaming automobiles using many of the same metals and electronics found in the brand's countertop appliances.


This common ground provided the basis for a KitchenAid sponsored competition incorporated into the school's curriculum, in which 14 CCS students were asked to develop small appliances combining the brand's iconic visual aesthetic with innovative functionality.

After several months of development, and three rounds of judging, three winners were selected from the course to attend and display their concepts at the celebrated Food & Wine Classic in Aspen sponsored by KitchenAid. The concepts, were displayed in the event's Grand Tasting Tent in front of thousands of guests, included 26-year-old Chuan-Hao Wen's espresso machine inspired by global environmental trends; 23-year-old Matthew Lisk's avant-garde tabletop griddle and slow cooker; and 21-year-old Brandon Mock's intuitive dual-plated griddle.

Finalists were selected by Kevin Gilboe, senior manager for KitchenAid Brand Studio and Global Consumer Design, Terry Duncan, principal designer of KitchenAid small appliances, and Deborah O'Connor, senior manager of KitchenAid brand experience.

"KitchenAid has been continuously innovating since its introduction of the stand mixer for home cooks in 1919," notes O'Connor. "This competition was a way to encourage the next generation of the students at a school, known for producing the best product designers, to demonstrate their own talents and innovative concepts."

According to Vincenzo Iavicoli, professor of the class at CCS, the design competition was created to help inspire the next wave of students to think outside the box.

"In this project, we fully embraced the spirit of the sponsored project bringing a professional presence into the classroom," Iavicoli said. "It was an honor and a pleasure to work with the KitchenAid team; their presence highly motivated the students and their guidance created the perfect conditions to elevate the students' learning experience. We succeeded in establishing an ideal creative environment and the students didn't miss this opportunity to create extraordinary design solutions."

Gilboe agreed that working with the students was a great experience.

"There was great chemistry between the KitchenAid and CCS teams from day one," Gilboe said. "And the results speak for themselves."

Mock, a native of St. Joseph, Michigan, said designing the intuitive dual-plated griddle for the competition allowed him to immerse himself into the food culture he loves while emphasizing modern materials and intuitive user functionality. It also allowed him to showcase his work to both consumers, and landed him an internship, with KitchenAid.

"I learned so much from my fellow students, and we worked together to push one another to build the most innovative and functional concepts possible," Mock said. "Now having the opportunity to apply some of that thinking during my internship at KitchenAid, I couldn't be more thrilled."

Wen of Taiwan, Taipei, built his concept by pulling elements that celebrated nature to create an espresso machine by bending plywood and raw materials into the shape of a growing tree. Four reusable coffee pods were built into the side of the machine for sustainability.

"As an avid drinker of coffee, I wanted to be sure that my concept was environmentally friendly and beautifully crafted," Wen said.

Lisk of Sutton, Massachusetts, developed an avant-garde tabletop griddle and slow cooker to create a more interactive cooking experience by being more portable and accessible than many products currently available in the countertop appliance market.

"My design was purposefully developed to be smaller and more portable than the standard countertop appliance. The design makes it easier for families to cook at and around the table, encouraging them to share the cooking experience and spend time together - just as we've always done in my family and exactly what KitchenAid appliances help families do," Lisk said.

KitchenAid hopes this year marks the first of many for the design competition with the College for Creative Studies. For a full portfolio of student submissions, visit the "College for Creative Studies" album on the KitchenAid Facebook page, found at or

Since the introduction of its legendary stand mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949,

KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for cooks. Over 90 years later, the KitchenAid brand now offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen with a collection that includes everything from countertop appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars. To learn why chefs choose KitchenAid for their homes more than any other brand*, visit

*Based on a 2010 survey, KitchenAid was found to be the home kitchen appliance brand chosen most often by members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals when asked about refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, ranges, dishwashers, microwave ovens, electric mixers, blenders, food processors, kitchen gadgets and toasters.

NOTE TO PRESS: Please visit the KitchenAid online press room at

to download high resolution product images and view the latest KitchenAid press releases.


The College for Creative Studies, located in Detroit, is a world leader in art and design education and prepares students to enter the new, global economy where creativity shapes better communities and societies. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts degrees in Design and Transportation Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Advertising Design, Art Education, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing Education programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs. For more information visit

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SOURCE: KitchenAid

CONTACT: Kim Roman, +1-212-350-7822,, or Jessica
Randazza, +1-212-610-5268,, both of Digitas; or
Debbie O'Connor, KitchenAid, +1-269-923-3382,