2050 VR kitchen is finalist in Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition

[From Electrolux Design Lab; a 0:29 minute video is available here]

Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Finalist: Daniel Dobrogorsky

Published 2010-08-24

Daniel Dobrogorsky, a design student studying in Australia, is the creator of the Kitchen Hideaway. Here we provide a synopsis of his submission to the 2010 Electrolux Design Lab final and ask him a few questions about his concept.

Background:

The Kitchen Hideaway is a virtual reality concept that allows the inhabitants of a communal building to imagine being in a kitchen, preparing a particular meal rather than having to actually do this for themselves. The thoughts of the user are then transmitted to robotic chefs within the building who then prepare the visualised meal in a real kitchen and with real ingredients. In effect, the headset replaces the need for kitchen appliances in individual dwellings, saving space through creative thinking.

What was the inspiration for your concept?

  • Theories and opinions of futurists, particularly the Law of Accelerating Returns which states that the growth of technology and science in the next forty years may speed up to a rate far greater than what we might expect.
  • Advancements in understanding the brain; how messages are sent and interpreted and how we might interface with a computer via our thoughts.
  • All the sci-fi films out there based on virtual and alternate realities.
  • The amount of research and development that companies currently have concentrated on virtual reality.
  • The fact that our own realities have become so augmented, for instance we can interact with others face to face, on a cell phone or in cyberspace, these are all alternative realities that we can escape to.
  • The possiblity that in the future immersive virtual spaces may become the ‘new Internet.’

How does your concept fit into the theme of compact living?

It creates a virtual food preparation area that occupies no physical space so already the clutter, energy costs and maintenance of your own physical kitchen don’t exist anymore. My concept is basically a communal kitchen which is used by individuals, but privately within their own virtual space. The communal kitchen would process user’s virtually created meals and deliver it to them.

Why would someone want your concept, what are its main benefits?

The Kitchen Hideaway creates a surreal computer generated space where users can escape to and cook food. Everything inside this space is indistinguishable from reality. It allows the user to fully customize their own virtual kitchen and share it with others. It also gives those with physical disabilities a chance to cook in their Hideaway without restriction.

Describe the consumer research behind your concept?

My research looked at how western cultures use their kitchen. For instance I found that women spend more time in the kitchen than men and that full time workers spent less time than non-working individuals. My research also identified that we spend quite a lot of energy and time shopping for groceries and that many of us spend large monetary amounts on renovation and new product purchases. These findings helped direct my design ideas and identify the problems I needed to address.

What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?

Recycled and bio derived plastics, fairly standard, common materials which many of today’s sustainable products use.

[snip to end]

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Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition [source1, source2] 

Electrolux Design Lab 2010 invites global undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to create home appliances that consider shrinking domestic spaces. Your ideas will shape how people prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes in the homes of 2050 when 74%* of the world’s population are predicted to live in an urban environment.  Growing populations living in concentrated areas dictate a need for greater space efficiency. This year, special consideration will be given to designers that submit a design within the context of a range or suite of solutions/appliances. Your design ideas should address key consumer requirements; being green, adaptive to time and space, and allowing for individualization.

*source: UN as quoted in ‘Thinking Ahead – Electrolux Global Trend Report’ 2009

The Electrolux Design Lab final takes place on Thursday 23rd September, at 100% Design. All of the student concepts will be on display for four days. The first day will see the students present their concepts live in front of an esteemed design jury who will decide this year’s winner.

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