Visitors entered Alfredo Häberli’s Future Kitchen installation at Living Kitchen 2019 through the vegetable garden, seen here on the right. It is a symbol of the need for a more aware approach to food.
Experience The Future of Kitchen
Green was the prevailing color of Alfredo Häberli’s “Future Kitchen,” which was the main attraction “Living Kitchen” annual trade fair in Cologne this year. While green is the mascot colour for “Living Kitchen”, it also stands for the radical ecological approach Häberli takes. Finally, green also refers to the “Green Boxes” – the method used to project his visionary perspective on the kitchen in the near future.
Häberli conjured a future in which the kitchen is still very much the centre of home life. But in addition to its traditional functions as a place for food preparation and socialising, it is also home to a different culture where a more mindful approach to the use of resources is transformed into an everyday ritual. In his vision, it is not just media that become mobile. Once fixed appliances such as the cooker and oven migrate from one place to another with the users in his Future Kitchen, or they are repositioned to save space.
The kitchen appeared spartan at first sight, but was brimming with futurist technology – albeit only virtually. Häberli’s visions and ideas for the household appliances of tomorrow can be viewed if you first download an app and then scan the QR codes spread round the kitchen. They then pop up in the right place on your smartphone or tablet PC.
The Swiss designer was delighted to receive the invitation from Koelnmesse to design Future Kitchen, “The request from Koelnmesse was naturally an honour for me. As a designer, I’m always working on developing tomorrow’s kitchen. I deliberately want to elevate my design to a certain level of abstraction because the times in which we are living are moving incredibly fast. I therefore decided to base my design for Future Kitchen on a blend of minimalist architecture and virtual reality. As such, the majority of the kitchen can be seen only virtually in augmented reality.”
“As a designer, I’m always working on developing tomorrow’s kitchen. I deliberately want to elevate my design to a certain level of abstraction because the times in which we are living are moving incredibly fast.”
– Alfredo Häberli
Häberli took a very intellectual and bold approach to designing his Future Kitchen. In the context of degrowth and resource shortages, he questioned established standards and consciously gave visitors the mental freedom to envisage their own kitchens of the future in response to the virtual stimuli.
Appliances & Gadgets
The designer created a total of eleven kitchen gadgets and appliances for Future Kitchen. By scanning one of the QR codes positioned on the green surfaces, Future Kitchen visitors could discover the designs on a smart device.
They included a transparent, horizontal refrigerator, designed to ensure that all the food and drink stored inside is always visible, thus avoiding unnecessary opening and searching. The waste heat it generates can be used to warm plates.
Another invention is a trapezoid-shaped, ultra-thin, portable hotplate which cooks and keeps meals warm. The overhead oven can descend from the ceiling when required and is also transparent to reduce heat losses from unnecessary opening of the door. For all inventions, Häberli made resource conservation the key concept.