At the Designboost exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden, last week, Electrolux unveiled a concept of the kitchen of the future, which it calls 'Heart Of The Home'. The Electrolux Design Lab Web site reports:
Imagine never having to use pans or pots again, never having to worry whether the ingredients are fresh or never having to look up a recipe in a cook book. Heart of the Home is a thought provoking vision of the kitchen of the future – an integrated solution functioning as a kitchen table, cooking surface and bar all in one.
‘Heart of the Home’ is an intelligent, amorphous, interchangeable cooking surface that adapts to user needs. When using the Heart of the Home one simply places one’s ingredients on the surface. The appliance then analyses the ingredients and presents a list of suitable recipes. After deciding on a recipe, the user marks an area with his hand to determine how large the cooking area should be. Then the desired depth of the surface is created by simply pressing the hand against the malleable material. After achieving the required width and depth it’s just a matter of setting temperature and time with a simple touch of a finger.
2008 was the year when, for the first time in history, more people were living in cities than in rural areas. According to the UN, the number of people living in urban areas will increase to a staggering 74 percent in 2050. As a reference, a mere 29 percent lived in cities in 1950. Electrolux has developed the Heart of the Home as an illustration of how we will lead our lives in 2050 based on a number of assumptions:
Social needs are important: Just as today, social activities will be an important part of our lives, especially when it comes to socialising with your family and friends. The increased level of high-tech support in everyday life will also mean that we will want to experience true and real values
We need simplified homes: In the limited available space of future mega cities, homes will need to be flexible and able to adjust according to circumstances. The appliances of the future will need to be integrated and adjustable. We won’t have room for a whole host of products each with their own specific function.
Societies need to be more effective: When 74 percent of 9 billion people live in cities, we have to adapt our way of living to the resources we have. We need new ways of recycling our waste. Energy efficient products and buildings will be more important than ever before.
We won’t make it without technology: Technology is important today, but it will be a matter of survival in 2050. Technological advances are a prerequisite for us being able to have a sustainable development, environmentally as well as socially.
The press release sounds interesting, but what caught my imagination was the video released of their concept in operation. It's a computer-generated image, of course, as the technology Electrolux envisages doesn't exist yet: but it's a very imaginative look at a possible kitchen of tomorrow. Here it is.
I have to admit, the designers of the Electrolux concept have pretty active imaginations! That's both interesting and impressive. I don't know whether I'll be around in 2050 to see whether reality matches their vision, but some of you, my readers, doubtless will.