Housewares Design Awards

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2009 Best in Category: Cookware & Bakeware

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World Kitchen LLC

CorningWare SimplyLite Glass Bakeware

Corningware’s Simply Lite ovenware, this year’s Housewares Design Award Winner for Cookware & Bakeware is unique in several ways. While the technology for the lightweight ovenware is not entirely new— it is the same Vitrelleglass technology the company employs for its Corelle tabletop collections— the application of that technology to the unique shapes and performance characteristics needed for bakeware presented its own challenges.

In developing the new collection product designer Robin Levien was taken to Corningware’s Pressware plant in Corning, NY, to get a feel for the manufacturing process.

“I was taken to the hub, which is a huge wheel with many molds around its perimeter onto which a continuous strip of molten laminated glass is poured,” Levien said. “The forms are sucked into the molds and then a ‘cookie cutter’ punches out the external shapes before the items slide onto a conveyor to be carried to a flame polisher where the edges are softened.”

This unique process, which differs significantly from traditional stamping processes that produce more angular shapes, was integral to the development of the design of the Simply Lite line.

“In this case the limitations leading to rounded, easily molded shapes were a benefit as there is an appealing friendliness to rounded shapes and no nooks and crannies that are hard to clean,” Levien explained.

It is this combination of soft rounded shapes coupled with the product’s exceptionally light weight— roughly half that of conventional ceramic bakeware— that gives Simply Lite its unique performance characteristics and helped it capture its Design Award recognition.

The result is a product line with strong visual appeal and a high performance perception. The company conducted in-home testing of the line in 12 geographic locations with women ages 18 to 64. The results showed very high acceptance for the shape with 97% of respondents saying they liked it. When it came to cooking performance, 88% said they liked it well or very well, 84% considered it to be of very good/extremely good quality and 84% expressed purchase interest.

It is the combination of technological execution and consumer supported design that helped make Corningware’s Simply Lite a Housewares Design Award winner.

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