Is this the kitchen of the future? IKEA imagines high-tech changes to the heart of our homes

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  • Traditional kitchens get a high-tech update in this futuristic installation

    Ikea has imagined what the heart of our homes will look like in the future – and it’s pretty swanky stuff.

    The iconic Swedish superstore asked a group of students from Lund and Eindhoven universities to explore the social, technological and demographic forces that will impact how we behave around food in 2025 – creating The Concept Kitchen 2025, which is on display at EXPO Milan this year.

    Unsurprisingly, technology is a big player for the ‘kitchen of the future’, but the project also looked at our personal relationship with food preparation and consumtion.

    While some of the ideas in the installation might seem a little bit out there, IKEA says it’s not so much a functional room design but a ‘a tangible communication of what the behaviors of the future will be.’

    However, IKEA’s kitchen and dining range manager, Gerry Dufresne, does say the findings will be carried forward into future product development – so watch this space.

    Here are the key highlights from the installation – would you welcome any of them in your kitchen?

    The Modern Pantry

    This encourages us the get closer to the food we eat by storing it in transparent containers and displaying it on open selves rather at the back of cupboards.

    The design makes it easy to be inspired by what’s on-hand rather than going out to buy more, and it also saves energy. Induction-cooling technology embedded into the shelves responds to RFID stickers on the food’s packaging in order to keep the containers at just the right temperature.

    The Table For Living

    This one is super clever – and is designed to inspire people to be more creative with food and throw away less.
    So if you’re one of those cooks who loves food but doesn’t quite know what to do with certain ingredients, this is one for you. Place your ingredient on the techy-table and a camera recognises what it is and projects recipes, cooking instructions and a timer directly onto the surface. Set the timer for the amount of time you can spend preparing the meal and the table suggests recipes that can be completed in the window you have available.

    The Mindful Water System

    This swanky number pushes us to be more conscious of our water consumption with a basin that pivots left and right. It must be tipped to one side to drain toxic or ‘black’ water, and the other for safe ‘grey’ water, which can be filtered and used in a dishwasher or as nourishment for the cooking herbs that grow above the sink. Clever, huh?

    The Thoughtful Disposal System

    A response to the overuse of landfills, this system reminds us of exactly what we’re throwing away. Users manually sort recycling from rubbish, and recyclables are then crushed, vacuum-packed, and labeled for pick-up, earning credits for the conscientious.

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