Liebherr’s fully integrated appliance range is inspired by nature.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, nature is a huge source of inspiration to me when it comes to home interiors. Over the past two years, my content here has focused increasingly on how we can bring nature, natural light, natural materials, natural textures, and natural colour palettes into the home environment. It’s taken me a few years, but I have discovered that bringing nature into the built environment (biophilic design) is good for my own wellbeing and mental health. I first wrote about biophilic design in 2019 and ever since I have been obsessed.
Liebherr’s Fully Integrated Appliance Range
But nature can be brought into our homes in more ways than simply through the decor, which is what I have mostly covered with my content. What I haven’t yet touched upon is biomimicry. This is the practice of looking to nature for inspiration to solve design problems. Designers can learn from and mimic the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges. By using nature as a mentor, innovators are turning to biomimicry to create unique products that are efficient, effective and regenerative.
This is exactly what the innovators at Liebherr, Europe’s largest privately owned manufacturer of refrigerators and freezers, have done with one of the features of their new range of fully integrated appliances for 2021. When it comes to design, Liebherr is constantly looking at how it can meet its customers’ needs and exploring the intersection of biology and technology is just one way that Liebherr seeks to innovate. This is particularly apparent when you look at the HydroBreeze functionality of Liebherr’s fully integrated appliance range.
Biomimicry in Action
Liebherr’s design team was inspired by the Salinas Valley in California and the way in which the weather system ensures that the crops that grow there are are kept hydrated, succulent and crisp. Due to the proximity of the Salinas Valley to the cool Pacific Ocean, in the summer, a fine humid mist covers the valley and fields. This prevents vegetables and fruit growing there from drying out. Inspired by this, the Liebherr team has created the HydroBreeze functionality which releases a cold mist into the refrigerator compartment, which then covers the fruit and vegetables within like a balm.
Integrated Freshness Technologies
Freshness is a question of technology for Liebherr because they know from nature that storing groceries in ideal climatic conditions ensure extra-long freshness and storage time and helps to avoid food waste. Liebherr’s fully integrated appliance range is packed full of freshness technologies.
Duo cooling is the basic technology that is integrated into all Liebherr fridge-freezers. This means that the fully integrated range benefits from two completely separate refrigeration circuits ensuring that there is no exchange of air between the fridge and freezer compartment, so there is no drying out of food and no odour transfer.
The airtight EasyFresh compartment is ideal for fruit and vegetables. This compartment is kept at the same temperature as the main fridge compartment and keeps lettuce fresh and crisp even after 7 days.
When you need to store your food is a cooler compartment the airtight BioFresh drawer is ideal. Food is stored just above 0c, which is significantly cooler than rest of the appliance. This provides the perfect humidity levels for storing fruit and vegetables or meat and dairy.
The innovative freezer tray is ideal for storing herbs, fruit and other sensitive foods that need to be frozen individually for easy portioning.
A Focus on Customer Needs & Ease of Use
Nature has proven to be a big inspiration for Liebherr’s fully integrated appliance range but the design team has also focused on the needs of their customers and designs products that make their lives easier. They believe that a fridge should support us and be simple to use and as convenient as possible.
All four series in Liebherr’s fully integrated appliance range offer innovations and features that go above and beyond what you would expect from a fridge. Pure, Plus, Prime and Peak get increasingly sophisticated and classy as you work your way up the series, with added functions and features designed to make life easier.
For me, one of the most impressive features of this range after the mist function has to be the OpenStage drawers. Inspired by display cases in fine delicatessens, they showcase all your food items at a glance. This provides maximum clarity regarding the contents of your fridge and is also so much more ergonomic to use. The fully extendable glass shelves make it much easier to access your food items without having to reach deep inside the fridge.
The pull-out drawers also have a self-closing mechanism with soft damping making them glide shut effortlessly once you have retrieved what you need.
Full-surface stainless steel applications on the rear wall and in the inside door as well as a fan with discreet ambient LED lighting means that the user experience is something special every time the refrigerator door is opened as the food and drink take ‘centre stage’.
VarioSafe & VarioBoxes
I don’t know about you but I always find that small items get lost so easily in the fridge, hidden behind larger and often getting overlooked until it’s too late and they have exceeded the use-by date. This is a problem of the past thanks to Liebherr’s fully integrated series.
VarioSafe is perfect for storing small items and making them easy to access. The VarioBoxes are two pullout boxes in the door which provide optimal space for storing smaller items.
Divisible Glass Shelf
Another problem with fridges I find is not having the height on any one shelf for some of the taller items that you don’t necessarily want to store in the door. Liebherr has solved this by integrating a divisible glass shelf which can be retracted to make space for taller containers or carafes and can be operated with one hand.
Other shelves are easily adjustable and can be highered or lowered without removing them entirely from the fridge. Thanks to a clever notch system, the shelves can be easily adjusted even when fully loaded.
MyStyle is a new option for Liebherr customers who are looking to further personalise their appliances by bringing in more of their own individuality, personality and style. An intuitive online configurator allows customers to choose their favourite colour from a rich colour palette or adorn their freestanding appliances with a ‘skin’ that features lettering, patterns or even their own favourite photographic images.
Liebherr understands that preferences in interior design, fashion, and culture are changing and felt the time was right to give customers the power to express their own creativity through their refrigerator. MyStyle allows your appliance to become the focal point of a living space potentially creating a huge wow factor.
MyStyle goes even further than purely aesthetics though and also creates possibilities to change the interior design of each appliance. You can choose different shelving, accessories, lighting solutions and even have a glass door on selected models. Every appliance configured in this way is unique and produced according to each customer’s individual requirements.
Integrated Smart Technology
Liebherr believes that smart functions can enable a fridge to help behind the scenes and so designs their products to think for themselves whenever possible. For example, the appliance can remember drinks that have been forgotten in the freezer thanks to the BottleTimer function so no more exploding bottles.
Holiday mode can be enabled to save energy when you know that you won’t be around for a while and Night mode will dim the internal lighting to a more comfortable level so as not to blind you in the dead of night.
The appliances can come supplied with or retrofitted with a SmartDeviceBox which connects the fridge to your existing smart home environment. This allows it to be operated via Alexa or online services like IFTTT.
The appliance can also send you important status messages sent directly to your mobile phone. For example, DoorAlarm will alert you if your fridge has been left open.
What do you think of Liebherr’s range of fully integrated appliances? Are you as impressed by the way the design team have taken inspiration from nature to create this new range?