THE FUTURE KITCHEN
For this project, kitchen appliances company TEKA contacted us to envision how the future kitchen may look like. In order to do so, we researched many trends to finally focus on home grown food. Teka’s future kitchen is a glimpse of how our kitchens could look like in the near future, presenting a set of five different farming modules that allow the user to grow veggies and herbs, but also algae, mushrooms and even mealworms!
World population is growing fast, especially in cities. At the same time, the global outpost of fresh produce is expected to decline due mainly to climate crisis. There are also other issues, like the carbon footprint of transporting food from field to supermarkets and an increasing interest in health and nutrition. In this context, producing our own, home grown food may become a common scenario in the future.
Homegrown food is not only beneficial for the environment and our global carbon footprint, but also for our health. Homegrown food doesn’t need pesticides and is much more convenient (and cheaper!) to just pick some strawberries from your kitchen countertop than visiting a supermarket. But… how to grow food at home, especially in cities, where flats and apartments without outdoor spaces are the norm?
“Producing our own, home grown food may become a common scenario in the future.”
The concept of this project is to create a full ecosystem inside the kitchen: a set of different speculative appliances to produce food inside everybody’s homes. Their measures are standardised and they are modular and easily combinable to make it easier to integrate into most kitchen spaces, no matter how small.
In order to reduce waste and energy consumption, they create a living ecosystem. This means that you can feed your mealworms with the peels from your homegrown tomatoes or use the heat and humidity of your algae tank to passively warm the mushrooms module.
“All modules are available both in standard size or as a compact unit, perfect for smaller spaces.”
Hydroponic farming is a type of horticulture which grows plants without soil inside an aqueous solvent. It needs a special nutrients solution and a wide range of fruits and veggies can be grown this way, including strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, peas, peppers or chillies.
Some of the advantages of hydroponics include a faster growth rate (up to 30% faster than in soil), an outpost of up to 80% more produce, the possibility to reuse and recycle the water inside the system, as well as a more efficient use of light and resources.
“Every unit has been designed so it fits different spaces in the house, not just the kitchen.”
Aquaponics is a food production system similar to hydroponics, but including aquatic animals like mussels or fish. It consists on a symbiosis between animals and plants, and therefore the waste generated by fish is used to provide plants with nutrients, thus filtering the dirty water so fishes always have a clean environment. Mint, rosemary, coriander, pak choi or lettuce are only some of the foods that you can grow this way.
Herbs grow extremely fast, producing more than enough for an average domestic consumption, it doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides and water is constantly being reused. Fish can be both edible or merely decorative, creating a beautiful marine landscape inside your kitchen.
“Compact modules are perfect for smaller kitchen spaces, which are becoming more and more common lately.”
Besides being tasty and of great gastronomic value, mushrooms are full of proteins and nutrients. They are easy to grow, only needing a mild environment and a dark atmosphere. Maitake, shiitake, oyster, enoki… these are just some of the mushrooms you might grow!
Some of the advantages, besides being a source of proteins and minerals, are the easy and seamless user experience of this particular one. In addition, it can also act as a waste management system: coffee grounds, cardboard and organic waste can be used by mushrooms to grow and thrive.
“Every module is connected through your phone thanks to the TEKA HOME app. This allows you to control the harvest easily, wherever you are.”
Algae are a huge trend right now, and not without a reason. They’re a perfect source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. From microscopic algae like spirulina (or even plankton) to fully grown seaweed like nori or wakame, this module will expand your culinary horizons for good.
Spirulina, for example, has around 200% more proteins than cow, vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, omega 6, betacarotene, and minerals like iron, zinc, folic acid or calcium. They also reproduce fast and are easy to grow and harvest. What’s more, they produce more oxygen than plants and trees so they’re a great addition to your home’s air quality!
“Integration outside the kitchen was really important for us, reason why we decided to go for a minimal design that could perfectly fit in a living room, inadvertently.”
Insects are one of the most nutritious and healthy snacks out there. Despite being regarded as “disgusting” in certain parts of the world, the fact is that they’re not worse than other foodstuffs we’re more used to, neither nutritionally or gastronomically. Besides mealworms, snails or chapulines can be easily grown inside this module.
Among the benefits it is important to point out that 200g of mealworms have around the same amount of proteins than 200g of meat, albeit with a much lower water and energy consumption. In addition, and just like mushrooms, they can help with the regular kitchen waste management by eating scraps, rotten vegetables and so on.
“Thanks to automations and the app TEKA HOME, harvesting and processing your insects becomes a seamless, comfortable process.”
All of the modules are easily integrated throughout the whole house. The two sizes (standard and compact) will integrate perfectly in everybody’s rooms, whether it’s an office space, a living room or, of course, a kitchen!
They’re all connected to Teka Home, a great way to keep track of all your harvest, their needs and expected pickup time! Our aim was to make the growing and harvesting process as easy and seamless as possible, and in the age of the Internet of Things, Teka Home will keep you updated and notified on your new living flatmates!