Designing the kitchen of the future
The kitchen; the energy hub of the home and a space ripe for innovation as we move rapidly into the age of the Internet of Things.
As part of my Masters in Design, our cohort was tasked with re-designing the kitchen experience. A brief that was inspired by a collaborative project between IDEO & Lund University and responded to major trends impacting the way we live and cook.
Four trends changing the way we cook
Waste, specifically the spoiling of fresh produce challenges how much we buy and opens the potential to harvest energy.
Materiality, including the need to design products using natural and sustainable alternatives will put major pressure on cooking.
Space is an increasingly precious commodity. In the future most of us will most likely cook and live in communal environments.
Digital will turn our kitchens into connected eco-systems which will sync and suggest meals and make cooking more inclusive.
Our cohort proposed three design solutions to in response to the opportunities and constraints presented by these trends.
Honey, I've synced the fridge
The modular, stackable design of our fridge surfaces food, prompting the cook to use foodstuffs available rather than hiding contents behind an opaque metal box. Its hexagonal shape also affords stacking so additional units can be added potentially via 3D printing.
Connected cooking made easy
Our induction top addresses waste by syncing with the fridge to suggest recipes, prioritising perishable foods first.
Using finger print technology the induction top personalises recommendations for each family member and walks them through the cooking process all the way from locating ingredients to collecting compost during clean up.
Harvest the heat, reduce the bill
Our dual purpose vertical garden and compost unit saves space by and adds ambiance to the kitchen while also harvesting the heat collected from scraps storing the energy beneath the floor boards in a Tesla battery pack.
Kinetic energy created by footsteps in the kitchen are also stored and transformed into energy via the Tesla battery and used to power the kitchen appliances including the fridge and induction top.
The Kitchen of the Future project achieved a High Distinction from The University of New South Wales as it addressed the four trends with innovative and sustainable product design solutions.
Personally, this was a great project enabling me to explore the intersection of design research, industrial and interaction design.
It also gave me the opportunity develop my sketching, prototyping and rendering skills which are all crucial to the design process.
*All videos have the permission of participants or feature actors.