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In the Year 3000: Kitchens Shape Shift, Frying Pans Materialize From Walls

A futuristic concept lets you grow your own faucets and bowls with the touch of a finger.

In the Year 3000: Kitchens Shape Shift, Frying Pans Materialize From Walls

The Living Kitchen, by Parisian designer Michaël Harboun, is a lofty idea for a kitchen that literally comes alive at your touch. Using your fingers, you can grow faucets and sinks from the walls. You can draw circles on countertops to whip up bowls and vegetable choppers. Think of it a giant touchphone — that shapeshifts.

We’ve told you about gee-whiz kitchen concepts like cooking robots and solar-powered refrigerators you hang outdoors. But The Living Kitchen is damn near science fiction. Watch:

The key is claytronics, materials made up of nano-scale computers or “catoms” that can be controlled remotely to change form and function. Extensive research is underway at Carnegie Mellon and Intel Labs, though the tech’s still pretty far-flung. As one expert said, per ExtremeTech: “On a scale of 1 to 100, where 100 is making catoms a reality, they’re at 0.1.?

Which is probably just as well. As cool as it’d be to have an onion-chopping countertop and as much as we, in our pint-sized New York apartments, like the idea of a kitchen that disappears when it’s not being used, Harboun’s concept has one glaring drawback: It’s not especially sanitary. You don’t want to have to draw lines on the walls to get your faucet to pop up after you’ve been handling raw chicken. That’s just begging for salmonella.

Our vote is for some sort of gesture-controlled kitchen, where you wave your hand around, wand-like, to make all your cooking supplies magically appear. We have no clue if it’s possible, but we’re just sayin?: It’d be clean and you’d still never have to chop onions again.

[Via Designboom]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.