Sublimely utilitarian: Kitchenaid stand mixer

The objective:

This is the fifth in a series of posts showcasing the sublimely utilitarian. To qualify, a product must understand and address its purpose perfectly, must comprise nothing that isn’t essential. But it must also go beyond the expected - it must suprise, pleasure and delight. It must respond to this great saying: “Only do something if it is necessary, but if it is necessary, do it beautifully.”

The product:

Kitchenaid stand mixer.

Its qualifications:

  1. The mixer has extraordinary durability, lasting decades without servicing.
  2. There is only one switch to control both power and speed – simplicity at its most elegant.
  3. The tilt-up head is neatly synchronised with the shape of the bowl, when down poised precisely millimetres over its base, when up providing access to its contents while ensuring no drips beyond its rim.
  4. Like any modern classic, its design has retained its integrity through the years. Our unit is exactly the same as our parents’.

Our verdict:

The form of the Kitchenaid mixer maintains a perfect balance between simplicity – each part is precisely shaped for its purpose – and sculptural expression – the unique silhouette is instantly recognisable, much copied but never equalled. It is solid, close to indestructible, and a pleasure to use.

About Warwick Mihaly

Warwick Mihaly is a principal architect of Mihaly Slocombe, teaches design and construction, and writes.
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One Response to Sublimely utilitarian: Kitchenaid stand mixer

  1. melmannphoto says:

    The sleek profile remains futuristic looking, even after decades of not changing. Hobart perfected the utility of this through lots of industrial applications (check any small or large bakery and you’ll find this device’s big brother) and the final form of the household version reflects the minimalist efforts of ruthlessly driving costs out and performance in. Had mine for over 20 years and still marvel at how well it does the one thing it is designed to do.

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