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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Here's what your kitchen could look like in 10 years

According to Ikea, that is.

A workspace in Ikea's Concept Kitchen 2025
A workspace in Ikea's Concept Kitchen 2025
Image: Ikea

A SMART TABLE that suggests recipes for leftover food and a “mindful” water system to make amateur chefs more aware of how they use the resource - this is the kitchen of the future as imagined by Ikea.

The Swedish flat-pack furniture chain asked London-based design company IDEO, together with students from two universities, to build a 2025 concept kitchen for a pop-up exhibit for the Milan expo.

The students spent months researching people’s attitudes and ideas about cooking and eating, and IDEO designers guided them as they built concept kitchen products,” the company said.

The designers based their concepts on the idea that kitchens would evolve to suit people’s changed living situations in the future, when it was predicted there would be more city-dwellers in smaller homes with near-instant food delivery shifting the way people shopped for and kept their groceries.

Concept-Kitchen-2025-at-IKEA-Temporary-2 Source: Ikea

Here are a few highlights from the concept, which is heavy with Internet of Things gadgetry:

A “table for living” to get people to waste less food. Home cooks can place a food item on the work surface and, using a camera, it will identify what the ingredient is before recommending dishes, complete with cooking instructions. Irish-run startup Drop has already been selling similar technology with its smart kitchen scales.

Concept-Kitchen-2025-at-IKEA-Temporary-Table-in-situ Source: Ikea

A “thoughtful disposal system” to remind people what they’re throwing away by making them manually sort through material for recycling, which is then crushed, vacuum packed and labelled for collection.

Concept-Kitchen-2025-at-IKEA-Temporary-Disposing-Thoughtfully Source: Ikea

A “mindful water system” to help people be more aware of their water usage. It has to be tipped from side-to-side to differentiate between toxic “black” water and “grey” water, which can be reused in a dishwasher or garden.

Concept-Kitchen-2025-at-IKEA-Temporary-Mindful-Water-Use Source: Ikea

A “modern pantry” in which food is all on display, rather than hidden in the back of a cupboard, to get people to be more “inspired” to cook with what is on hand.

Concept-Kitchen-2025-at-IKEA-Temporary-Storing-Visually-2 Source: Ikea

Ikea’s Gerry Dufrense told ZDNet the future kitchen would have computers and technology “everywhere”, but a key element would be “preserving the tactile creative pleasure” of the space.

Technology could easily make the space feel robotic and sterile, but this project was guided by the need to keep tech in the background.”

READ: Ikea is bringing flat-pack furniture (and meatballs) to the high street >

READ: Is this the hoverboard we’ve all been waiting for? >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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