Futuristic Kitchen Needs No Pots and Pans

A future kitchen concept by Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux is a compact, shape-shifting, all-in-one cooking station that aims to do away with pots and pans forever.

The company unveiled its "Heart of the Home" kitchen recently at DesignBoost, a gathering of international designers in Stockholm. Heart of the Home works as a kitchen table, cooking surface and bar all in one. Its design calls for an "intelligent, amorphous, interchangeable cooking surface that adapts to users needs."

concept video on the Electrolux website shows how Heart of the Home would work: Placing an ingredient on the Heart of the Home's surface brings up a list of suitable recipes. After deciding on a recipe, users mark an area with their hands to determine how large the cooking area should be. Pressing down on the table's surface creates an indentation that serves as a pot or pan. The temperature and cooking time is selected with a few finger swipes.

If all of this sounds far out, that's because it is: No material in existence today combines the malleability and heating properties to create the Heart of the Home, but Electrolux says its concept kitchen is based on extrapolations of current technology such as smart object recognition and touch screen interfaces.

Electrolux says its concept kitchen was designed for a not-too-distant world in which most people will live in cities.

In dense conditions, living space will be at a premium. No more spacious kitchens with separate breakfast nooks and formal dining rooms. Floor space for people will have to take precedence over single purpose appliances, regardless of how well engineered they may be.

"The appliances of the future will need to be integrated and adjustable,” Henrik Otto, Senior Vice President of Design at Elextrolux, said in a statement. “We won’t have room for a whole host of products each with their own specific function."

Leslie Meredith
Leslie Meredith is a contributor to Live Science. She has a bachelor's degree from UCLA in psychology and has directed tourism and ski publications for the Salt Lake Visitor & Convention Bureau and managed promotions and events for Sunset Magazine.