When we think of food, feelings of comfort or joyful gatherings with family and friends typically come to mind. We’ve grown accustomed to our modern kitchens and how we cook, prepare and store our food. Well – hold on to your seat as we show you how IKEA sees kitchens of the future. You will be intrigued.
In collaboration with IDEO (an international design and consulting firm), along with design students from Sweden and the Netherlands, an 18-month long study resulted in Concept Kitchen 2025 – an exhibition at IKEA Temporary in Milan, Italy. The exhibition is a look into the future of how people’s relationship with food is changing. It serves as a tangible display of how we might be growing, cooking and storing our food in 2025, as well as eating, living and working in the kitchen.
Taking center stage is an incredible piece of furniture, the perfectly named “A Table for Living.” As part of Concept Kitchen 2025, this futuristic piece of furniture has the ability to bring inanimate objects to life. It can be used as a cooking device and preparation table (complete with built-in scales) and comes with the ability to make meal suggestions based on the food you place on it. It also can act as a work bench, a hub and even a play area for kids. All of the features are too amazing to describe. You have to see it to believe it. You can view this amazing piece of technology here. It is currently on display at Milan’s IKEA Temporary through the fall. It is not scheduled to be mass produced as of yet.
This smart countertop concept is but one initiative in the growing trend of “smart home” technology.
After analyzing the data and integrating the students’ findings, researchers outlined a series of 12 assumptions about what kind of world they will be designing for in 2015.
- Urban Living – It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s population will live in urban settings.
- Water and Energy – It’s a common assumption that water and energy have infinite resources, but the truth is that conservation will need to become an everyday behavior necessary to keep up with consumption.
- Food Costs – As developing countries continue to consume more meat and the world population continues to grow, it is estimated that the price of food could increase by 40%.
- Think Protein, not Meat – It is not realistic to believe that the current red meat supply could sustain the entire world. Alternate protein sources and developments in food processing could offer meat substitutes.
- Smaller Homes – With the aging population and the younger generation choosing to have less children, it’s forecasted that cities will require denser living in smaller spaces.
- Social Kitchens – It’s believed that the trend toward individualism is here to stay, as families co-exist in the same household, living separate lives. The kitchen, however, remains the heart of the house and will continue to be a gathering place to eat, drink and where everyone will catch up on each other’s lives.
- Working from Home – As technology in the developed world continues to advance and job responsibilities become more flexible, working from home is expected to be the standard for many. Adjusting the spaces in our homes, organizing our days, and even how we prepare and eat our meals will change drastically.
- Computers and Technology Galore – It’s forecasted that everyday devices will be equipped with sensors, CPUs and transmitting devices, creating self-regulating systems to enable communication with the user and between each other.
- Home Delivery – As futuristic as it may sound, shopping may be done digitally with robots delivering our purchases within minutes. The physical act of going to a store will be replaced with searching for what we need instead of purchasing it in person.
- Global Commerce – Our need for global mega-systems (like Google, Amazon and IKEA) will continue to increase as the world will need these industries to provide efficiency and to keep costs down.
- Western Culture Meets Eastern Values – As the Asian population (especially China) continues to grow rapidly in size and economic power, the Western culture may begin to feel the effect of its influence and start to adapt to new ideas from the East.
- Taste Preferences and Rituals Converge – It’s believed that ideas and cultures will spread across the world more easily, allowing for more diversity but less specialization. Kitchen designs may need to be reconsidered to meet these universal needs.