BeanScene Magazine

Smeg kitchen solutions

From the August 2013 issue.
Smeg kitchen solutions

Home appliance manufacturer Smeg was founded by Vittorio Bertazzoni 65 years ago. By combining style and elegance with the latest technology, he developed the brand into one of Italy’s premier appliance manufacturers.

The Bertazzoni family’s history in manufacturing has been traced back to the 17th century. They began working as blacksmiths and soon recognised the opportunity to extend their skills into manufacturing cookers. The first Bertazzoni kitchens were displayed in 1906 at the World Expo in Milan.

Following strong economic growth in Italy and rapid urbanisation, Vittorio opened Smeg in 1948, drawing on his family’s centuries of experience in cooker manufacturing. The name Smeg stands for Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla, which means Guastalla Emilia Enamel Works.

It was a time of great change, with more female professionals entering the workforce, and a distinct change in home life. Smeg used this as inspiration to develop new technologies that would meet the demands of busy families and revolutionise home living – examples of its innovations include Thermoseal controlled cavity ovens, Orbital wash technology for dishwashers and telescopic rangehoods. 

A major milestone came in the late 1950s, when Smeg launched the very first gas cookers with an automatic switch-on function, an oven safety valve and cooking timer.

In 1963, a laundry and dishwasher range was added to the company’s offering.

Then, during the mid 1970s, the very first built-in hobs and ovens were introduced, leading to the establishment of partnerships with several internationally renowned architects and designers. Sinks, range hoods and retro style refrigerators followed during the 1990s.

The successful Dishlex brand of dishwashers sold in Australia was also produced by Smeg, before the company entered the Australian market in its own right in 1986.

Today, Smeg continues to incorporate Italian design, originality, durability and functionality into every product it produces. The company is still based in Guastalla and is still family owned and operated, now run by the third generation of Bertazzoni family members. It is a truly global company with 15 subsidiaries located in Australia, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, South Africa and the United States; and offices in Hong and Saudi Arabia.

Style and attention to detail are the hallmarks of every Smeg product. For Smeg, style is “the way a product communicates with its surroundings and enables users to interact with it”.

At Smeg’s internal design studio, careful research is conducted into the aesthetics of its products and developing trends in home cooking. Smeg regularly collaborates with some of the world’s leading architects and designers, including Guido Canali, Mario Bellini, Renzo Piano and Marc Newson, to create new styles and technology. Smeg believes that combining technology and style is paramount and stringent testing is carried out throughout the entire production process.

To read the full story, pick up your copy of the July/August edition of Italianicious.

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