The kitchen has always been a hot bed of innovation—the gizmos and gadgets available to cut, cook, bake, and store is mind-boggling in scope. Which got us thinking, if things are this advanced now, we can only imagine what the next few decades might bring. Fortunately, thanks to Caesarstone — the leading developer and manufacturer of premium quartz surfaces — and some very crafty design students from the Pratt Institute in NYC, we don’t have to. They put their heads together to devise what cooking might look like in the year 2050, aka The Future Kitchen. So come aboard our time travel machine to see how you’ll be feeding yourself and your family in the not-so-distant future.
The centerpiece of the Future Kitchen actually harkens back to the most ancient form of cooking — fire. Using the idea of the hearth as a gathering space, the students built their circular kitchen around an elevated fire pit that can be used for grilling. It allows for interactive cooking and brings an element of community and a little bit of fun to the space. An induction stovetop and oven were also added to the counter level for everyday tasks like baking, boiling, sautéing, and reheating.
For the classic-yet-modern aesthetic of the kitchen, the students chose to work with a palette of Caesarstone quartz, blending Raven, Sleek Concrete and Statuario Nuvo throughout and accenting them with stainless steel and glass features. The overall effect was one of stately elegance with sleek and streamlined details.
Just over half of the countertop space is devoted to food prep space. The students purposefully added this large swath to encourage a collaborative cooking experience. The thought was that some family members could be working on prep, others could be utilizing the cooking system, and still others could be cleaning up simultaneously. It’s a holistic method of encouraging productivity while involving the entire household in the process.
One of the challenges the students were assigned was a focus on environmental conservation. Every aspect of the kitchen needed to have an earth-friendly, ethical, minimal-waste function. For this, the sink played an integral part. All of the water used there drains to a water filtration system that is then used for other key tasks around the unit. One nifty feature is a steam-powered dishwasher. It contains slats for dishes to be inserted that are then magically cleaned with the power of steam, giving you squeaky clean dinnerware without the huge water wastage.
That same sink runoff is also used to cultivate your very own garden. The filtered water feeds a hydroponic system that allows you to grow and harvest farm-fresh produce directly on your countertop.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, the runoff is also used in the cooling system for the fridge located on the very bottom of the unit. Water flows into soil that surrounds the fridge, cooling it as the water evaporates. This keeps produce fresher for a longer period of time, maximizing the time it can be used prior to going bad.
Speaking of going bad, the Future Kitchen also includes a waste disposal system that uses eco-friendly composting. Located just under the fire pit is a circular bin where food waste can be disposed of quickly and neatly. These scraps become compost that feeds the indoor farming area, creating a kitchen version of the circle of life.
Of course, any kitchen worth its salt needs to have a place to store all of the needed supplies and accouterments. The Future Kitchen provides ample storage space throughout, including a large area for appliances and a nifty tubing system to house dried goods and spices.
The finishing touch to the Future Kitchen actually creates a modern spin on another food-related activity: eating. Playing into the compact and functional theme, the design includes a retractable table that unites the family to dine as well as spend some quality time together. And isn’t that what a nice meal is really about?