Big Apps Micro-Kitchen Challenge

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Challenge Brief
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New York City—it offers everything at your fingertips. But like many metropolitan areas across the globe, those opportunities are also making our world smaller. Increasing urbanization and population growth are bringing us closer together—literally. The home size is decreasing while rent and mortgages are increasing. Even so, that modest space shouldn’t equate to a reduction in functionality, living standards or a reflection of personal style.

Welcome to the “BigApps” Micro-Kitchen Challenge, presented by the NYC Economic Development Council and General Electric's FirstBuild Community. This is your opportunity to impact the way people live, by being part of the design and engineering of this breakthrough appliance. How do you incorporate function and design into a fully functioning 7 linear foot kitchen that fits a metropolitan lifestyle?

Your idea is only the beginning—and this competition isn’t the end. For winners, we want your help further developing your concept—to build a prototype of your design with us, get it into the hands of consumers, and potentially produce it for the tens of thousands of homes across the globe. Winners will receive not just a cash prize, but if the product is successful, your design will be solving the space and functionality battle that challenge urban dwellers across the globe.

The Micro-Kitchen: Big Ideas for Small Spaces

Your Kitchen Mission: Design a functional micro-kitchen. Assume you are given a 7ft x 25in space. What would your design look like? What features? What clever and creative solutions can you come up with?

The Impact: Making the best of a small space isn’t a problem unique to NYC. A micro-kitchen gives urban dwellers an opportunity to optimize space in a savvy way. In partnership, we want to take your designs from mind to market—meaning your design could end up in homes across the globe!

Top 4 Winners will be announced:  July 14th, 2014

Go check out the requirements for additional information.

Ignition Kit File Downloads


  • Must be no wider than 7 ft
  • Must be no deeper than 25 in
  • A consumer must be able to refrigerate, cook, and clean with this design.  Must include the following items:
    • Cooking surface
    • Microwave or an Oven (can include both individually or combined)
    • Sink
    • Fridge
  • Must be all electric
  • 1 view minimum required (more encouraged to better explain your design to the judges)


  • Standard countertop height is 36 inches
  • Standard appliances in many kitchens:  Refrigerator with Freezer, Cooktop, Oven, Microwave, Dishwasher, Sink, Garbage Disposal
  • Think compact--ideally, a micro-kitchen that could fit in a NYC elevator, stairwell, or through a window
  • Should include electrical and water hookups, located at your discretion
  • All appliances should have an intuitive user interface
  • The design should be able to fit with any kitchen appearance
  • Designs should use technologies readily available within the next 3-5 years
Additional Deliverables

Written Description:  

  • Explanation of each element/appliance in your Micro-Kitchen concept and its features (need specifications)--how you're solving for an engineering and design challenge

Optional 3D files (.igs, .step/.stp, or .skp) submitted in 1 assembly with all parts included

Optional Video

Challenge Terms and Conditions

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