Electrolux explores the future of food with design students, Madhavi Tumkur reports.
January 14th, 2010
The kitchen, which once housed an open fire and was at the heart of every household was revolutionised by a cooking stove. But what will its future evolve into?
Ask any brand about where the future of design lies and they will say – with today’s youth.
Though here is the twist: observing the demographics, a number of countries in Asia, Europe and the USA are faced with an unprecedented ageing population.
Thus, if the youth are to model the future, their designs must apply to the aged. This poses a new dynamic to the design field.
Home appliances company Electrolux, embarked on a collaborative course with 39 students from Singapore’s leading design schools to create kitchen concepts for the silver generation.
“Singapore, among other developed nations, has a large and growing silver generation of those over 60. In 2050, one in five Singaporeans will belong to this group,” says Pernilla Johansson, Design Director Asia Pacific, Electrolux.
“Aside from having a high spending power, the brand conscious, tech savvy generation will want products and gadgets that are attractive and trendy. At the same time, being >60 means certain physical limitations pertaining to sight, mobility, hearing, handling; even memorising and remembering,” she states.
The >60 kitchen concept program connected the two generations via a visionary approach to bring some futuristic concepts to the fore.
“Quism” enables people to interact and cook with others through an online social group network via a water screen while “Flashback” uses camera and recording functions to record how a user prepares a meal and guide users through the entire process in playback mode.
The authentic and traditional ways of cooking on the other hand were preserved by the “Back to Basic” kitchen concept that consists of an automatic ‘sniffer’ to gauge the freshness of spices and a pounder arm that can crush herbs and spices.
As we look into the future it exhibits a delightful mix of old traditions and new technology and the hearth is at the heart of the interaction between baby boomers and Gen X.
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Rosemary Kirkby has been described by an industry commentator as “a fearless, well-organised dynamo of a campaigner for better workplace design.” Kirkby has created internationally acclaimed and award-winning workplaces, which have revolutionised the thinking about work and workplaces and set completely new benchmarks.