• The Louisville Table—GE Appliances’ FirstBuild creates its first social appliance, merging artistry, design and technology
  • Artist-In-Corporate- Residence Jakub Szczęsny leverages his experience in architecture and engineering to design The Louisville Table

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—March 16, 2015—(NYSE:GE)—FirstBuild, the GE Appliances’ global co-creation community, today announced availability of its first artist–in-corporate-residence-created product, The Louisville Table, which encourages collaborative cooking experiences for the home. 

Designed to build and maintain strong interpersonal bonds through cooperative cooking, The Louisville Table is named for the place where it was created and built—at the FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville. It represents the collective passions of not only the local maker community, but also the spirit of the restaurateur, in one of the premier ‘foodie’ cities in the country.

The Louisville Table is a social appliance; with overall dimensions of 33 x 66 x 33 inches, the table contains an induction cooktop plus heat-resistant surface to store two hot pans aside from the cooktop. Two stainless steel drawers enable high-or-low temperature storage for up to two hours to keep food cool or warm.

The FirstBuild team interacts with The Louisville Table, FirstBuild’s first artist–in-corporate-residence-created product.

“Most modern kitchens have become social gathering areas, which is why everyone ends up in the kitchen at parties,” says Venkat Venkatakrishnan, director of FirstBuild. “Today, friends and family strive for direct social interaction—moreover, many families have cooking traditions where the dish produced is connected to identity and is a vital element of generational family culture.”

FirstBuild, a physical and online community dedicated to creating the next generation of home appliances, fosters co-creation among engineers, designers, makers and home enthusiasts. Through a partnership with IDEAS 40203, and partially funded through the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, XLerateART, IDEAS, Residency Unlimited,  and artist Jakub Szczęsny, FirstBuild is leading the manufacturing sector by placing artists within corporate settings to innovate in non-traditional ways.

Chosen for his experience as an architect and engineer, artist Jakub Szczęsny is involved in a number of projects including interconnected realms of architecture, art and design. He co-founded Centrala, a platform of urban critique known for a series of projects on modernist architectural heritage in Warsaw and for a number of public art installations in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. In 2014, Jakub’s Keret House was brought into the MoMA New York’s permanent collection.

“The Louisville Table was created to challenge contemporary kitchen layouts, which are perfect solutions for solitary cooking. This appliance, specifically created to embrace collaborative cooking, reflects the emergent nature of contemporary kitchens as gathering and party spaces for friends and family,” says Jakub Szczęsny, FirstBuild’s artist-in-corporate-residence.

The Louisville Table is available now as a limited-edition work of art that will be signed by the artist.

About FirstBuild
FirstBuild is a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a Haier company that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from mind to market and enables customization through small batch production, without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more information about how to get involved, visit FirstBuild.com.

Located in Louisville, Ky., IDEAS is a creative chamber of commerce run by artists and art professionals working at the nexus of cultural production, social investigation and marketplace. The organization promotes artists as agents of change in civic and corporate settings while serving as a creative catalyst to move Louisville forward socially, culturally, and economically. Together with its partners, the IDEAS is a 2014 grantee of The National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace America and The Educational Foundation of America.