Will the electric knife sharpener hold its own in the kitchen of the future?

KE 500

Every now and then, manufacturers, designers and futurists let their hair down and come up with out-of-the-box ideas for new designs and new technology.

Car manufacturers do it, aircraft companies do it, and so do kitchen appliance companies like Electrolux and LG.

And just as some concept cars make it into reality, and features of top of the range cars become standard features on everyday cars within a few years, the same is often true in the kitchen.

But if you think about it, the fundamental design of the kitchen has not changed that much in hundreds of years. OK, so the cooking equipment has improved and a lot of what were manual jobs have now been automated thanks to various gadgets, but fundamental room design has not really changed.

A Belgian designer has just challenged conventional kitchen thinking with his ‘The Sky is the Limit’ kitchen on the LGHausys stand at the 100% Design show in London this year. Using a new material called HI-MACS, he has designed what can only be described as a ‘pod’ which sits in the middle of the kitchen space.

At the touch of a remote control the ‘island unit’ opens up to reveal a complete kitchen, including a workspace and a hob with an extractor hood, as well as the proverbial kitchen sink (well, two). The designer has recognised that the kitchen is in fact the most used room in many homes, with a table built in to the side of the unit to allow for ‘casual meals and conversational entertaining’. And a cabinet area behind the pod holds other important kitchen items – a fridge, dishwasher, steam oven, a coffee machine and storage units.

If you read our previous article on the knife of the future, you can probably imagine this knife fitting in quite well with this new style kitchen. As a concept at this point there has been no indication of how much it would cost, but given the price of a new kitchen from IKEA, you’d have to be thinking pretty expensive.

We’re not aware of any electric knife sharpeners that are any more advanced than the Nirey range, and, looking at the photos we’re inclined to think that a Nirey sharpener, with its smart design, would not look at all out of place in the new pod kitchen. Maybe the next thing, after you install your pod kitchen, will be teaching your new robot how to use it… and your Nirey!

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