In 2013, the design team of aroma:id received with his entry "Kitchen of the Future: 2020 - 2035 - 2050" the first place for Siemens's competition Future Living Award 2013. The team competed against over fifty competitors composed of architects and designers.
The motivation: Today's kitchen is the communication center and meeting-place for household community. It is the place of the biggest social interactivity, the small rituals and family traditions. It is the place of enjoyment, refreshment and dining. Kitchen can also be a place of retreat and a get-away from everyday life. Last but not least, the kitchen is also a laboratory, place of creativity and experimentation. Hence, the kitchen is the most multifunctional room in the house and of course still the best place for every party. For us as designers, the microcosm kitchen with all the equipment and variety of devices is an attractive field. It inspires us in many ways. The living room is undergoing constant change. In this process of change the kitchen constantly redefines itself. New technologies and smart devices require new operating concepts. Food preparation and cooking will always remain in the center of the purpose of any kitchen. Our society, architecture and technology is in a constant, continuous change. Each generation has its own relationship with it. The individual trends can be extrapolated into the future. This allows us a prediction about the general trend developments. In this, we benefit from the view of individual characters of a generation with their lifestyles. The scenarios aroma:id developed are inspired by expected cultural, economic, technical and climatic changes and pick out three stations - 2020, 2035 and 2050 - and illuminate the trend highlights regarding to living and kitchen.
Prolog: Trends- How do we see the future? Trends give us an idea of the future. Trends are anthropogenic, because people change themselves and influence their environment. Economy, technology and the society are in a constant change. This is reflected in our history. Recent changes can be extrapolated in their approach and give an outlook on future developments. Strong trends are those which are in full swing and penetrate many walks of life. They are replaced by new trends that may leak in large sections of society. Society, architecture and technology are in a constant continuous change. Each generation has its own relationship with it. When looking into the future and their trend highlights, we benefit from the view of individual characters of a generation with their lifestyles. The scenarios we developed are inspired by expected cultural, economic, technical and climatic changes. What occasionally starts today in households or in the kitchen, will be standard in the near future. Due to the technological limitations and the associated costs, some trends are weakly pronounced. These trends will become more intense in the medium term. In the distant future, we can already identify global factors that develop slowly but foreseeable. Climate change is such one. We currently recognize different movements. We project them into the future and illuminate their strongest characteristics in three stations in this book: the years 2020, 2035 and 2050. Food and drinking are vital. The oldest building block in the history of the people towards a social being is the preparation of food and beverages. The latest took its beginning, in the Paleolithic period about 40,000 years ago, when man began to control and use fire. Things haven´t changed since then. When people come together, food and beverages often play a role. Whether among primitive peoples or the modern urban man- the community and eating are closely intertwined. Today we still see the trend of kitchen as the actual place for food preparation and the social heart of the house. The kitchen is no longer a separate room. It is integrated into the living room up to a fusion of both, which does not allow more separability. Today understood as “modern establishment”, this will be a standard as anywhere in the world. Metamorphosis- This is how the kitchen of the future could develop. People, especially the younger generation, comes together to cook, to eat and to communicate. Kitchen is moved to the center without forming the center. It is simply there, becomes second matter and is valuable due to the multiple benefits. Upon reaching a middle-age life becomes calmer and more relaxed. The “kitchen” is the central part of the living. The subject of nutrition and health gets more important. Quality is as important as simple and individual preparation, is supported by modern technologies. Food is staged and celebrated, without having any effort. In the middle of this century, global influences will shape our lives more than ever. Climate changes and high world population are then current topics that bring clear changes. The nutrition is more aware. With highly efficient technology, food will be self-cultivated, regardless of local and climate conditions. The nature awareness is pronounced. The nature turns in the most modern way into the home. It will effect the architecture as well as the society and the ultimately preparation of food.
The future kitchen: In his design vision, the team of aroma:id shows the evolution of the living room kitchen in three stages: "Lifestyle Tomorrow" in 2020, where the living room and kitchen merges into a social center, "Future Vision Life" in 2035, which includes an intelligent high-tech stage and thereby a simplification of everyday life. In the last step "back to the roots" in 2050, the kitchen is a natural living space with sustainable supply through own cultivation, in which cooking becomes an emotional experience once again. In the following section these stations are described in detail.
2020 Lifestyle tomorrow: Kim studies computer science at the University of Shenzhen, China. In the city of 15- million people a native of London shares an apartment in a student community with three other students from different continents. They don´t have common hobbies, and there is often scarcely time for it. None of the less he enjoys the intercultural exchange with his roommates when they catch up in the living room at the kitchen counter. Kim is almost never alone. Thus he got to know some new recipes in the course of their studies and also has passed on recipes of its own. It is not unusual that extraordinary creations arise when they are having a cooking session. During the rush of everyday life the kitchen barley remains cold. The kitchen is the focal point for best company. Lifestyle tomorrow- rooms are multifunctional. In a booming city space is limited and expensive. The available space must be put to best use and fulfil several functions at once. There is a bed in the office or a desk is in the bedroom. The living room - a place to stay, for relaxation and social interaction- is one with the kitchen, without that this is a contradiction. Living is inseparable from the physical well-being. The Living room is equal with foodstuff that is most likely served at the kitchen table or the coffee table. Shared accommodations of young people in 2020, reflect the character of their location and the rich diversity of its people. In the rooms, diverse regional styles become a friendly, functional ensemble which gives the light-flooded rooms an individual character.
Medialibrary- kitchen counter in the living room. Media opportunities accompany young people in 2020 even more than ever and resolve from fixed locations such as working places. In particular they conquer the area of living and well-being. The kitchen counter in the living room conveys the atmosphere of a bar. Eating, drinking, quickly invite someone else or search on google for a new cocktail recipe- you can do this quite easily at the place where you prefer staying. The kitchen counter from 2020 is a concentrated center of functionalities packed in an object room that offers enough space for multiple possibilities.
2035 – Future Vision Life: Alex is a department manager of a large, global media group. She travels often and tries to spend every free hour with her family. A few years ago the family moved from the inner city to the former suburbs of São Paolo. Alex often invites business partners and colleagues to come to her house. During their business meetings she likes to offer her guests culinary specialties. She follows sporty activities, whenever she finds time. Furthermore she is taking care of a healthy diet- for herself and her family. When it comes to food, she trusts her personal fitness trainer as well as her digital nutrition manager, the central intelligence of her kitchen.
Future Vision Life - Simply through the day. In 2035 technology and networking are key factors in everyday life- amazing possibilities you want others to see. There is no device that does not think, reacts intelligently to the users scheme and is connected to other devices. It presents itself as a companion that makes everything much easier. Technology has a huge impact on the kitchen. The kitchen does not cook autonomously, but is involved, so nothing will proverbially and literally burn. Success is guaranteed for every complex recipe. It gives the user the feeling to have full control of all processes. The kitchen is always able to display warnings, suggestions and other comments, in dependency of the event, on the worktop. It can take a lot of work and concentration off the chef hands, so that he is able to have a conversation.
Stage- The high-tech-stage. For a reason the entire working and dining area is placed on a pedestal. When it comes to food and drinks, the kitchen is a stage for performances. On the central desk, the cooking island, the entire know-how is displayed. No matter what level of difficulty is the recipe, each step can lead to a pleasant experience. What was the factor that has contributed to the success of food? Man or machine? It is practically unimportant.
2050 - Back To The Roots: Mika lives with her husband on the Faroer Islands, where she works as an independent fashion designer. Following stints in New York, Paris and Milan, where she has made a name for herself in the industry, the 55-year-old and her family settled down on a small group of islands in the North Atlantic. A place where she has time and space for extraordinary creations. She is inspired by traditional, scandinavian craftsmanship and even used real sheep wool in her clothes. When she has days off, she enjoys the natural beauty that surrounds her. She does not even have to step outside her the door. She grows much of her own food and can therefore rely on best quality.
Back to the roots - Nature Awareness.In 2050 the world population has increased to more than ten billion people. Foods are no longer available for everyone, as we used to know a few decades ago. Due to the intensive cultivation of plant species, that is used to produce fuel, but also by continually shrinking cultivable areas and dramatic climate changes, people tend to a self-sufficient living. Technical achievements, originally developed for manned space flights and to settle on Mars, are increasingly used in modern households. They enable highly efficient cultivation of different foods in a small space, isolated from external conditions.
„Green Soul“- Garden living room. Due to the strong urbanization with its dense construction of residential and work areas in the vast metropolitan areas of cities, there has been a growing awareness of nature and health. To bring the garden into the house, is not only a means to an end of the cultivation of food. It also promotes balance and well-being of the people, no matter whether it is at home in the inner city, in the countryside or in a place where harsh living conditions for plants prevail. The modern aids in the house are available to a large extent. They occur consciously to the background, which is only possible by the extremely compact and integrated technology.
Indoor-Gardening- sustainable supply through own cultivation.Kitchen and garden become one large room. Flooded with natural light, the boundaries between living space and nature become blurred, indoors and outdoors. The kitchen is becoming a greenhouse that efficiently produces food of any kind and of the highest quality. Bred and genetically optimized seeds, which are commercially available, are simply put into the jelly-like mass of the growing walls. There the seeds receive all the nutrients and fluids that circulate slowly and steadily in the mass. Intensive care of the plants or pollution caused by potting soil in the living room are a thing of the past. Along with the indoor climate, air, moisture, light and temperature are constantly regulated. This ensures perfect growth conditions, which ensures regardless of geographical seasonal conditions the best results.
As designers we aspire to shape the future. In order to do so we like to explore interesting current topics and examine the latest solution approaches to problems in various fields. Our innova¬tion concepts strive to create an avant-garde scenario for future design opportunities.
If you like to learn more about our FutureLAB please do not hesitate to contact us.