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July 17 2013
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Sarita

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Kitchen Futures: Digital Chef

Kitchen Futures is a series of posts over the past few weeks, taking a glimpse into the future of home cooking through five trends spanning from short term to long term. In the fifth and final post of the series we fast-forward in time, taking a look at how technology will shape the way people cook and interact in the home kitchen.

From smart surfaces that come alive with information to ambient digital conversations, we explore the possibilities of the connected home as it starts to extend into the kitchen environment.

Technology is changing the way we act and interact within the home environment. The kitchen will continue to be the heart of the home, but new forms of interaction and engagement within the space will set to redefine how we cook in the future.
Initially a technology driver, the idea of the ‘Connected Home’ has been around for some time, but the true relevance and opportunities it holds for consumers is slowly becoming reality as the adoption of the ‘Internet of Things’ grows.
Smartphones, tablet devices and apps are already widely used in the kitchen by consumers for step-by-step instructions and visual references as a normal part of everyday cooking. While symbolic of progression, they in themselves hold drawbacks in usability and lack of seamless experience.

As we progress further into the future ‘digital’ will no longer be something consumers take into the kitchen with them. Instead cooking related systems, services, software and technology will become embedded into the very fabric of the future kitchen.

Featured and above image credits: PDD

Future of the digital kitchen will need to harmonise not hinder…
Think…
Connected kitchen – ambient conversations – consumer talking to the smartphone, which talks to the fridge, which talks the oven, which talks to the dishwasher, which talks to supermarket.
Gesture control – utilising advances in gesture and sensing technology to improve and optimise the cooking experience. Small, intuitive, real-world gestures controlling appliances and equipment.
3D printed food – the idea of ‘convenience’ will no longer mean pre-packed ready meals, instead it will mean pre-load and automated. Design, programme, sit back and print dinner – intricate food designs defying conventions elevating home cooking to new levels.

Smart surfaces – adaptable surfaces enabled by nanotechnology become ‘fit-for-purpose’ responding to real-time needs and shaping new kitchen configurations.


Image credit:

01 > X-Series 2 – outdoor grill by Porsche Design, image source: Grand Hall 
02 > Prisma smart kitchen by Toncelli
03 > Aluminium Tube – cigar case by Porsche Design 
04 > OneEighty packaging, student design project – by Kruskopf, Kuisma and Kerimov from the Institute of Design Finland, image source: Lost at E Minor   
05 > Thin Black Vase by Nendo for David Design 
06 > Mesh Matryoshka, 3D printed necklace by Michiel Cornelissen, image source: Soon Salon
Directions to consider when translating this trend:
  • Surface extension as screen technology becomes integrated
  • Cooking areas in transition – hand drawn areas defined by the user
  • Technical textures derived from manufacturing processes
  • Deep rich blacks inspired from the consumer electronics industry
  • Super-high gloss and satin contrast
  • Celebration of material breaks and transitions – natural materials cross section through with precision
  • Lighting and GUI colours extending across surfaces
  • Surfaces come alive – from seamless neutral to explosion of information and colour

As the act of food preparation in the home continues to grow and evolve, so do the opportunities to create new forms of interaction, improve on old ones, inspire and create delight. How will your Kitchen Future take shape?

Read more from this series:

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Posted by Sarita
Principal – Design Insight

Languages spoken: English.
The last thing that inspired me: Chinese teacups from a small café in Camden Town, London - the most amazing collection of colours and textures.
My dream project: Something multi-sensorial.
My obsession: Stationery - retro inspired, Asian influenced, graphically intriguing, sensorially indulgent and the 'unique'!

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