I honestly don’t remember the first time I set eyes on AEG’s MultiSpace fridge. Like most refrigerators, when closed, you wouldn’t really give it a second glance. I remember looking past it to check out the free smoothie counter, and it wasn’t until perhaps the fourth or fifth glance that I remember seeing AEG’s MultiSpace Fridge. The fridge, this time, was wide open, and to the designer in me, it showcased sheer innovation that set it miles apart from the refrigerators I’d seen in middle-class homes all my life.
The first thing you notice when you open the refrigerator is its door. Unlike most refrigerator doors that feature dedicated, standardized spots for bottles, jars, eggs, etc., but not the MultiSpace. The door of the MultiSpace features an endlessly customizable grid of modular containers that you could use to categorize your foodstuff, either by cuisine/recipe, or by freshness/date-of-purchase, or by arranging it to indicate who it belongs to. The modular containers come in various shapes and sizes (even with their own lids), and fit onto the door, sliding side to side, and with the ability to be placed on the top or bottom, to cater to your needs. Each individual container is detachable too, and can be easily carried to your prep-area for mise en place, if you will. Want to take an entire set of stuff to your kitchen table? Shift your eyes from the door and you’ll notice the fridge has its own detachable tray that you can easily lift off, and carry around with you.
However, right above the detachable tray lay the MultiSpace’s piece de resistance. The 360° Swivel Tray. Grabbing eyes and hands alike, the tray could, in a rectangular space, turn a full 360 degrees to reveal items kept at the back. The idea was to make sure you never forget about stuff at the back of your refrigerator. The swiveling tray would give you access to anything kept on it, just by rotating a full 360… and while that idea is an admirable one, its execution is far more worthy of appreciation, because it’s a glorious marriage of design and engineering.
The Swivel Tray, a rectangle with two curved edges, uses a beautifully complex rotating mechanism that allows it to rotate in a fixed rectangular space. The tray doesn’t rotate on a single point, but rather moves forward while rotating, making sure none of the tray’s edges touch or collide with the walls of the refrigerator. Observing the rotating action from the top is a serious pleasure, as the tray does a very calculated swirl, pirouetting forward to avoid making contact with the back wall of the fridge. The Swivel Tray is optionally available with the AEG MultiSpace Fridge, and while having it in your refrigerator is definitely a USP, the tray is awesome enough to stand completely on its own!