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Smart kitchen of the future could slash food waste

07 June 2018

A futuristic new smart kitchen design could radically reduce the amount of food that is thrown away, according to the designers behind the concept.

In a bid to tackle the global food waste problem, London strategic design consultancy Precipice has taken the modern-day kitchen and turned it on its head. 

One third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.

Between 2004 and 2014, household food waste in the EU doubled to an estimated 30 million tonnes per year.

Addressing the chronic lack of freezer capacity in today’s kitchens, the EcoModule concept provides a fresh twist on conventional kitchen appliances.

The system consists of modules that can be installed into existing kitchen units to transform any drawer or cupboard into a food chilling space, ensuring goods stay fresher for longer. 

Each module provides an environment tailored specifically to the type of food stored within it, with fruit and vegetables and meat and poultry chilled in a way that maximises freshness. Each Smart Module can be programmed depending on the kind of food it contains.

Using standardised power module docks, individual chilled modules can be arranged to create a unique system that meets the user’s individual needs. 

Each module can be used to chill or freeze goods, ensuring that the user can find a balance that suits them. 

While before food and drink items might have been destined for the bin due to a lack of freezer space, Precipice’s EcoModule system ensures that food can be stored for months on end. Many modern fridges are 30 percent frozen – 70 percent chilled. The EcoModule allows the user to address the imbalance, presenting a way of storing food in tune to the realities of how we cook and eat today. 

The EcoModule will be fully integrated into existing smart systems in the home, with appliances advising users on recipe ideas and use-by dates.

Precipice Design is the consultancy responsible for leading the transformational Meaning-Centred Design technique. 

Meaning-Centred Design provides a new way for companies to make sense of markets and cultures and create products that people will value more.

Precipice Chief Design Officer Miles Hawley said: “Today’s kitchens have been optimised around one word: convenience. But our kitchen appliances are currently designed to encourage waste, rather than reduce it.

“How we store and keep our food fresh has not really changed since the introduction of domestic refrigeration appliances in the early twentieth century. 

“So we thought what if we looked at the problem in a different way and could turn any usable cupboard, drawer or shelf into a functional and convenient food storage space?

“The EcoModule system could revolutionise the way we store our perishable foods, consume our meals and ultimately help us to create less food waste.”

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