In a recent study, commissioned by luxury kitchen appliances brand Scholtès, results show men have replaced the garden shed with the kitchen as a place to experiment and tinker.
The concept of the “workshop kitchen” – a slightly cluttered but functional and authentic working environment – is taking over from the status-symbol aesthetic of the minimalist look. The focus is no longer on monolithic forms and vast expanses of plain surfacing materials but is instead on the food itself, and its preparation.
Style elements for the Kitchen Workshop include kitchen utensils and tableware kept out in open sight on shelving or open cabinets.
The Bulthap B2 Kitchen is a great example of the Kitchen Workshop concept with their layout made up of three “workshop” elements.
There is a “workbench” housing the sink and cooker,a “tool cabinet” for utensils, crockery and food, and an appliance cabinet for the oven, dishwasher and fridge.
The Fuoko Contemporary Aluminium Kitchen designed by Antonia Astori for Driade is also a good example of the Kitchen Workshop. The ribbed aluminum doors and stainless steel countertops seem most fitting for a man hard at work in the kitchen.
Kitchen Workshop implements and tools appear to have been gathered over time instead of bought just for the new kitchen. Rudimentary kitchen implements are mixed with the latest technology in food preparation and composting.
The Eco Cleaner, an Electrolux Design Lab Finalist, shows some innovative thinking by conceptualizing a portable dishwashers that uses ultrasonic waves to ionise food and turn it into compost material for plants. While not on the market yet, kitchens of the future will incorporate more sustainable appliances.
I expect the Kitchen Workshop to overlap with the Ethical Kitchen as people increasingly grow concerned about the provenance of their food. Potted herbs and small vegetables will be added to open shelves or built into a wall as a “vertical garden” which was made trendy by French botanist Patrick Blanc.
Tinkering Chefs may also experiment with food storage. This year in Milan, Design Academy Eindhoven student Jihyun Ryou presented his thesis kitchen which stored vegetables in containers or damp sand without refrigeration. Besides being an energy-free storage method, he claims this technique also allows vegetables to retain their flavour better and for longer than under the often brutal conditions of the refrigerator.
The Kitchen Workshop appears to be the next evolution of Mies en plas that was popular 5 years ago. The difference is that the KitchenWorkshop is not as tidy and is meant for an experimental (male) chef wanting to be sustainable while using the newest gadgets.