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Designing experiences

Product Stories: Chapter 05

It's the experience that counts

The year was 2014. Gen and the rest of the design and engineering teams at BALMUDA had grown more convinced than ever that the design of everyday tools should emphasize the experience of using them.

“The most important aspect of a tool is the pleasure and comfort it can bring you,” Gen says. “Experiences over things. We started looking for ways to help people enjoy even stronger positive experiences from the things they used.”

In order to create joy amid everyday life and create truly moving experiences, the BALMUDA team focused on the act of eating. Specifically, they began development in the field of kitchen appliances with a deep connection to food, which in turn engages all five senses.

The first product they created in this way was BALMUDA The Toaster. Development of this toaster began with photographs of a traditional bakery on a European street corner, as well as shots of bread itself.

Using knowledge gained from reading scientific books on food, the teams began intensive research on how bread is toasted. They ultimately developed BALMUDA’s unique steam technology, which includes heater control to realize a perfectly toasted finish. Unique programs were also explored, covering everything right down to the soothing timer sound.

In this way, under the keywords “Hello Kitchen!”, BALMUDA released its first kitchen appliance. Long years of trial and error in search of answers to questions like “What things are needed by a wide range of people?” and “What products can bring joy?” had converged on the idea of eating, and taken form at last.

Kitchen appliances that produce happiness

“Flavor can’t be measured quantitatively, but it still brings people joy, and even moves them deeply.”

Gen has a unique perspective on flavor and tools for living. “What if you could start each morning with bread so delicious it made breakfast fun? Your whole day would be just a little better. Modern kitchen appliances have a role that older tools did not: to make each and every experience better in just this way.”

The design of BALMUDA The Toaster draws inspiration from the ovens that bakers have used for centuries to evoke the idea of a place delicious bread comes from. Like the company’s other products, this design is the result of a process that saw thousands of different ideas and proposals brought to the table. And, to ensure an even better experience, BALMUDA has come up with some delicious recipes for users to try.

At the age of 17, Gen made the fateful decision to travel the Mediterranean coast. His initial destination was the city of Ronda in southern Spain, and when he arrived there, exhausted, the aroma and flavor of the first bread he tried in a tiny local bakery drew tears from his eyes. This unforgettably moving experience was the birth of BALMUDA The Toaster.

BALMUDA creates kitchen appliances which go beyond mere utility to become tools that bring these moving experiences to daily life. The company’s lineup already includes a toaster, electric kettle, rice cooker, and microwave, and continues to grow.

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