This is what your kitchen will look like in 2025. Maybe …
What would your essentials be for a kitchen of the future? Smart recycling and water conservation systems? A dining table that heats food before you eat it? Shelves with induction cooling technology to keep food fresh?
If you're Ikea, it's all of the above.
The Scandinavian brand has revamped the most important room in the house. In collaboration with innovation consultants IDEO, design students from the School of Industrial Design at Sweden's Lund University, and the Industrial Design department at Eindhoven University of Technology, Ikea has created the Concept Kitchen 2025. And it took just 18 months to create.
Ikea's kitchen of the future? Pretty. Darn. Cool. The installation features at Expo Milano 2015 and re-imagines what we need in our kitchens, and how to make the most thoughtful decisions around food and waste as our pool of natural resources shrinks.
"More people will move into cities, and our living spaces will become smaller. Natural resources will become more scarce, food more expensive, and waste an increasingly urgent issue," say the creators. "Near-instant grocery delivery will alter how we shop for and store food, and technology will be embedded in every part of our homes."
So let's see what our kitchens will look like, 10 years from now.
The dining table
More than a centre for social gathering and eating, the table of the future works as a prep surface, hob, workbench, play area for kids and a dining space. This is ideal for urban dwellings short on space. Who needs a stove, anyway?
Forget about searching for the right recipe in a cookbook (how outdated!) or even on your tablet (so 2015). The kitchen of the future provides everything you need to know, with information on how to cook and easy recipes popping up on your kitchen table.
How does it work? A camera and projector are positioned above the table, while induction coils rest underneath the table's surface. Working together to recognise objects and their movement, they project a display telling you what the object is and how to cook it.
The open pantry
In the kitchen of the future, there's also no need for a fridge. According to Ikea, since fridges hide our food and use up energy, in 10 years' time a pantry set-up will make more sense: we'll have less food to store (instantaneous food delivery from drones will mean no more need for the weekly shop) and we'll stay mindful by being able to see the food around us.
The open pantry is made from wooden shelves with hidden sensors and smart induction cooling technology to keep perishables fresh.
Inductive food storage containers will ensure all food is maintained at just the right temperature, while clear packaging keeps food visible so we don't buy more than we need. Insets are made of porcelain, wood or slate to keep food fresh for longer and they double as tableware. As soon as you place the base on the dining table, the induction system switches to heating. There's also remote-controlled storage, dictated by the item's food packaging – no more soggy herbs languishing at the back of the fridge.
Reuse and recycling
The kitchen of the future is all about easy ways to recycle and reuse for more sustainable living. While an in-built sink compost system compresses waste into an odourless package, non-organic waste will be separated by material, crushed, checked for contamination and then sealed in a biopolymer tube.
Since water is likely to become a more precious resource, there is a sink with two plugholes to encourage responsible water use. One sends dirty water to the sewers, while the other, for "grey water," can be reused to water plants, or for washing up.