Tucked away in a mysterious darkened room in the bustling Zona Tortona district of Milan was a vision of the future kitchen from appliance brand Miele.
Called The Invisible Kitchen, the concept is an interconnected cooking system designed to allow the user the flexibility to be in control of the process but also provides assistance when needed. Suspended in the air, the installation appeared to float above guests who were given a first-hand experience on how simple a three-course menu could be, from the preparation to serving as well as clearing up. Dishes created included a classic vegetable broth, as well as sweet potato ice cream.
The kitchen features touch screen surfaces and different zones. When preparing, the kitchen provides information about the selected ingredients, including where it has been sourced. It can suggest recipes when ingredients are placed on the correct area, as well as showing how to create delicious dishes from what might be considered as leftovers. It will also let users know when they are running low on an ingredient or, if they were to buy a certain item, what different dishes could be made.
When cooking, the surface senses when a pan or dish is held above it and automatically switches the hob or oven on to the correct temperature and programme for the dish being created. But just as important as the cooking is the service. Once the table is laid, the kitchen will create warm spots for keeping plates at the ideal serving and eating temperature, as well as a chilled area for glasses. This future kitchen will even interact with the user about the evening ahead, providing options and setting the music and lighting for a great dining experience with the right ambience.
Visitors to the installation were invited to watch from below as the various functions of the kitchen above were demonstrated with clever use of graphics and lighting. “Primarily, the purpose of The Invisible Kitchen was to promote creativity and animate users to experiment and tread new ground, even going as far as taking account of a budding chef’s individual expertise and preferences,” says Miele’s Chief Designer Andreas Enslin.
“The requisite technology resulted from various blue-sky development projects at Miele’s in-house design centre, but also steps discreetly back and remains deliberately low-key. The system is tantamount to being a cooking adviser. It provides the assistance needed if the user is unsure, before things start to go wrong.”
The installation was the work of the Whitevoid agency, a specialist in theatrical productions which made a name for itself with the Berlin Border Lights installation to mark 25 years of the breaching of the Berlin wall.
Miele Invisible Kitchen / theinvisiblekitchen.miele.com