Experiencing the Bosch Design Center

I’ve hinted around about my new gig with Bosch, and now I can finally fill you in on my trip last week to their Design and Experience Center in Irvine, California.

It’s cool enough to be working with a brand as amazing as Bosch, and it’s extra super duper cool when their offices are located in California and they invite me out for a visit. Ironically, this is my second trip this year to the O.C. It took me 40 years to get there, and now I’ve gone twice!

A few months ago, I received an email inviting me to participate in a Consumer Test Program with Bosch, along with eight other bloggers. What that means is Bosch has provided each of us with pre-production models from the Bosch 800 Series of dishwashers, and in exchange we have agreed to document our experience and provide feedback over the next two years to help their engineers improve the design for the next generation of Bosch dishwashers.

Part of the program included a trip to the BSH Design and Experience Center where we got a hands-on look at the Bosch brand and the engineering inside their newest line of dishwashers. We flew out last week and stayed for two nights at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. SUCH a lovely location! I was fortunate enough to arrive a few hours before our first scheduled event so I took some time to get a manicure and lay out by the pool.

island-hotel-pool

I know, rough life, right?

But trust me, after those few glorious hours of relaxation, they kept us hopping! On the day I arrived, I started my day at 3:30 in the morning eastern time, and I didn’t put my head on my pillow till 10PM west coast time. Then I got up at 6AM the next morning and went straight till 11:00PM — and I ran eight miles that morning!

I was zonked when I got home, but I had a blast. I enjoy traveling and seeing new places (yes, even when I get stranded in strange cities without my luggage — see my July 4th Healthy Recipes post for details on THAT debacle.) I also value the networking time with other bloggers, and I particularly love getting to peek behind the curtain, so to speak, of iconic brands such as Bosch.

I get to experience some pretty unique opportunities as a blogger, and this one is right up there with some of the coolest. We all wash dishes, right? And if your experience is anything like mine, you’ve probably had some pretty sucktastic dishwashers in your life. I’m here to tell you, my previous one really took the cake.

True confessions: I had been holding out for a Bosch. We have been fussing with our dishwasher for years and had been planning to go Bosch eventually; we just hadn’t made it a priority yet. So needless to say, it took me all of 30 seconds to accept this offer. At first I wasn’t sure about owning a pre-production model. What if it still had some kinks that needed to be ironed out? But so far it’s been a dream. It’s absolutely exhilarating to own a dishwasher that actually does what it is supposed to do — WASH DISHES. I was beginning to wonder if such a novelty exists anymore. You know you’re a mom when you an get this excited about an appliance, right??

It was fascinating to see HOW they do it. How does Bosch make the fastest growing, quietest and most awarded dishwasher brand on the market? We learned all about that, and we also had some fun along the way.

The Experience and Design Center is an amazing showroom with model kitchens that showcase all three of their brands. I was in heaven on our tour. Each one was prettier than the last. I want this one, of course — the biggest and fanciest of them all. I couldn’t even fit it all in a picture.

fancy kitchen

We got to cook a meal in the Bosch test kitchen under the direction of the adorable Chef Kyle.

cooking lunch

Here I am preparing sautéed figs.

cooking with bosch

We were educated on proper dishwasher loading techniques.

loading a dishwasher

We even had a little dishwasher loading contest. Leticia and I won the “most organized” award.

dishwasher loading contest

No, we’re not competitive AT. ALL.

So here’s some of what we learned. This is the Cliff’s Notes version, I swear. Yes, I took notes. I’m geeky like that.

Evidently, Robert Bosch, the brains behind the award-winning brand, was obsessed with the core of the product. From the very beginning, all materials were sustainably sourced and of the highest possible quality. He wasn’t about the bells and whistles; he was about creating a product that does it’s job and does it well. The design is intentionally kept simple and plain so that it will fit in with any kitchen, any decor, and even coordinate with appliances from other brands.

I knew Bosch was a German brand, but I didn’t realize that their designs were still geared to the European marketplace . . . or even think about the fact that the European market would be different than ours. It makes sense, though. Our dishes and glassware are generally larger, as are our kitchens. So when the design team at Bosch set out to create this newest line of dishwashers (the one to which my dishwasher belongs), it was the first time they actually designed them for American style and functionality.

Bosch has long been known for having the quietest dishwashers on the market, and they are the fastest growing brand (I’m not surprised — I think it is the only brand of dishwashers that I do not hear people complain about!) but they’ve taken it a step further with this redesign, and now they also offer the most flexibility of any dishwasher brand. With the addition of a 3rd rack, and an added depth of 3 inches, AND innumerable possible configurations with the tines inside being movable, it really does seem like there’s a Bosch dishwasher for everyone. I’m still learning some of the nifty tricks it can do.

bosch 900 series dishwasher 3rd rack

I’m planning to do a video to show you all the options for flexibility so I’ll spare you the details for now, but I have to share one more thing that I found really cool. The Industrial Designer for Bosch dishwashers and cooktops in the US is a woman. Meet Lindsay Eng, the brains and beauty behind the new line of Bosch dishwashers!

bosch dishwasher design engineer

Girl power! YAY!

For those who are wondering, their entry level dishwasher retails for $549 and the 3rd rack is available starting at $899. So it’s definitely competitive with other mid-priced brands even though they do have more expensive models if you have room in the budget and want more bells and whistles.

It’s hard to believe that when I was growing up, dishwashers weren’t even on our radar! I can’t imagine living without one now.