‘Kitchen Concept 2010’ Provides a Look Ahead

by WOHe

‘Kitchen Concept 2010’ Provides a Look
Ahead


ALPHARETTA, GA With the new millennium fully underway, the future
may be now for many kitchen space planners but at least one major
manufacturer is looking 10 years ahead and discovering many
innovative possibilities for kitchen design and function.

“Kitchen Concept 2010,” a visionary new project developed by
Hettich America LP, “showcases what’s possible in the kitchen of
the future,” says the company, a leading supplier of cabinet and
furniture hardware headquartered here.

The project, unveiled recently to the trade press, is aimed at
showcasing a series of thought-provoking ideas that kitchen
designers can use in providing convenience and innovative function
for their clients. The project is also focused on providing new
directions for cabinet and appliance manufacturers, particularly
through the extensive use of high-performance drawer runner systems
and other hardware throughout the kitchen.


“In Concept 2010, the kitchen assumes the role of a logistically
functional unit,” Hettich explains. “It abandons the ‘norm’ of
built-in elements arranged side-by-side, yet it can be integrated
into any home environment.

“Kitchen Concept 2010 combines ideas that are apt to burst the
much-claimed limits of growth,” the company adds. “It demonstrates
that functions can offer significant potential for innovation.”

According to Hettich officials who developed the Concept 2010
project, the prototype kitchen is designed to address four critical
areas of concern to kitchen users: conservation, convenience,
ergonomics and changeable living space.

Conservation
The conservation of natural resources “is an issue of growing
importance,” according to Hettich, which points out that kitchen
designers and product manufacturers have “more than a duty” to
focus on conservation-related issues in the future.

In the Concept 2010 kitchen project developed by Hettich,
residual heat from ovens and ventilating systems is recaptured into
a supplementary energy dispenser. Dish- washers wash the dishes in
separate compartments to spare natural resources. Refrigerators and
freezers are each divided into levels that can be opened
separately, conserving the cold air from the remaining unopened
compartments.

In addition, the kitchen sink features variable bowl sizes to
accommodate different user requirements, and household waste is
handled by intelligent systems that automatically separate the
various wastes. Water heating and storage are
computer-controlled.

Convenience
“An essential guideline for innovation,” says Hettich, “is the
growing demand for convenience and time savings. Household chores
have to be carried out quickly and efficiently.”

Hettich’s Concept 2010 kitchen contains a series of solutions
for added convenience, including baking ovens that have tilt-proof
pullout racks, which allow food to be raised and lowered on baking
trolleys to counter level. True to the principle of physics, the
hot air stays inside the oven. Since the air cannot escape, the
core temperature for cooking remains constant.

In addition, separate dishwasher drawers make loading and
unloading easier. In refrigerators, rotating sections ensure that
desired foods are available through small openings that respond to
voice recognition. Bar code labeling makes automatic replacement
shopping a reality; it also recommends recipes to homeowners, and
keeps track of “best before” dates. An inter-face linking to the
Internet even automates the dialogue with the grocery
store/supermarket, which takes the order and potentially delivers
it, too.

In the Concept 2010 kitchen, cooktops are mounted on mobile
containers that can be rolled into the desired location. The
cooktop can be lowered out of sight, has a mobile splash guard and
is self-cleaning. Quiet but powerful cooktop extraction hoods are
controlled by sensor technology that checks the air quality
continuously. The hoods feature a ball-bearing mechanism that
permits them to be retracted and extended, resulting in more head
room and safer room for maneuvering when cleaning the kitchen.

The sink has everything essential for making manual washing
easier, including adjustable bowl sizes. Household waste that can
be separated and disposed of via the appropriate chute is
automatically compacted and sealed behind an odor trap. All
electrical appliance modules are powered via power strips, which
make installation easier, without the usual jumble of cables.

Ergonomics
Hettich points to the vital role played by ergonomics in kitchen
design, especially in view of growing consumer health
consciousness, and an aging population. In the Concept 2010 kitchen
baking oven, the work levels even the upper cabinets can be raised
and lowered, so that everything is always at the optimum handling
level, even in the dishwasher. Containers that swing outward, and
countertops that increase in size for individual situations, can be
adapted to the mobile side table. Air extraction in the corner of
the space leaves more room for maneuvering.

The potential of “intelligent electronics” is also in the cards
for the future, Hettich officials said. In the kitchen of the
future, the refrigerator, for example, responds to voice
recognition to make items available conveniently, and timed
lighting sequences are organized according to personal preference,
requirements and life situation.

Changeable space
The Concept 2010 kitchen
“is not tied to the traditional floor plan that prescribes a fixed
area for the kitchen,” according to Hettich. “Depending on
requirements or personal furnishing style, it can even be
integrated into the living room area,” the company observes.

“Households in the future will consist of only one to three
people,” Hettich notes. “Many of these people will have a home
office. Living areas of versatile utility will abandon the former
traditional space and functional confines home furnishings were
designed for. In this context, nobody needs to worry about less
storage space being available. There still will be a need for
cabinets, even if they ‘only’ provide the environment for the new
functions.”

The Concept 2010 kitchen, ultimately, is aimed at “encouraging
dialogue and intensifying cooperation between (cabinet)
manufacturers and component suppliers,” Hettich points out.

“With the creative potential of all involved, and everyone’s
sights firmly set on the wishes of the kitchen user, solutions can
be designed to redefine the experience value and function value of
the kitchen under the perspective of a changing habitat and work
environment,” the company concludes.

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