The future of kitchen design will ‘return to purpose’

During a presentation at this year’s InstallerSHOW, KBB experts discussed the trends that could affect kitchens of the future.

Pioneer of kitchen design, Johnny Grey, and business and brand development director of luxury appliance company Novy, Owain Harrison, presented future proof kitchen solutions to attendees to the Installer Kitchens and Bathrooms section of the show.

Grey began with the concept of ‘soft geometry’ and the notion of no sharp corners in the kitchen space. “Your actual location is pinpointed by your peripheral vision, not by your eyes looking forward but by what is happening to the side of your eyes,” he said. “If you can avoid sharp corners, you do not trigger off your fight or flight response mechanism. So, you relax as you walk around and it gives your body a sense there’s more space than there really is.”

This could have an impact in future kitchens because of the accessible aspects of the design concept, as Grey explained: “Soft geometry is partly based on that principle of no sharp corners, particularly in the middle of the room.

“And the great thing is when you’re talking about multigenerational design, is that people in wheelchairs do not move around in rectangles. And, by the way, nor do non-wheelchair users.”

Harrison agreed that the concept returns the space to its true purpose. He commented: “Making the process of using the space unconscious means you can focus on what’s supposed to be doing in the kitchen, not worrying about sharp edges. I love that.”

Harrison offered his own ideas of the future kitchen, commenting on how trends are affecting the appliances in the home. “We’re seeing a return to cooking happening, so using appliances for the purpose they’ve been created is an emerging trend.

“There’s a distinct move away from ultra processed food as people are thinking about what they put in their bodies and creating the best outcome for the family. It used to be that the microwave meal became de rigueur in the 70s and 80s, and I think that there is a distinct move away from that now.”

Harrison talked about how appliances that had all automatic functions were in danger of confusing people. “It was a case of ‘do it for me’ and this became the fuzzy logic with appliances. I think that it’s now all about ‘do it with me’, so designers are thinking about how the space is being used and appliance manufacturers are thinking about how they can make it easier for the consumer to use their product. So, instead of ‘do it for me’, we’ve moved to ‘do it with me’.”

The discussion featured in the programme of events during this year’s InstallerSHOW. As part of the new Kitchen of the Future attraction, in partnership with BiKBBi, the series of talks and presentations provided content specifically curated for kitchen installers.

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