This is a letter I wrote to my colleague Nancy Hugo, who runs the website http://designerscirclehq.com. I wrote in response to a link she sent, showing a series of design ideas: http://www.designbuzz.com/contemporary-kitchen-design-ideas.html
Hey Nancy - To me, these are like concept cars at an automobile show…some interesting ideas, but nothing that jumps out as really innovative in the realm of function. Mostly designed by people who have another agenda – appliances, for instance. Or some sort of “Transformers, the Muddling of Kitchen Design” approach. Also, if we’re going to innovate, we want LOW TECH solutions – there’s no reason to introduce electronics, for instance, unless there is a FUNCTIONAL reason to do so… The Blum electronics are a good example – the Aventos system which moves the closure (not exactly doors…) of upper cabinetry vertically as opposed to swinging it laterally. It then solves the problem of how to close the system when it has swung upward and out of reach: NOW we introduce an electronic closureand there’s a reason to do it. Their drawer system, capable of opening and closing drawers with a touch, seems to me superfluous with one brilliant exception: the trash pull-out. When your hands are full of whatever you want to throw out, or covered with something or other, the idea of being able to have the trash become available without using your hands is good. On the other hand, there are uses for everything, and Blum as a company is to be commended for their continuing dedication to great design and innovation, especially because the innovation layers onto previously developed systems. This means they are minimizing the obsolescence of their existing systems for the small manufacturer; therefore the entire user chain benefits as a direct result. See http://www.blum.com/us/en/01/index.php and look at the menu on the left. All the best,
I hate to pound the drum, but I’ve been saying this my whole life: DESIGN is what makes this (the kitchen) business run.
It is a service without which money, time and other resources are wasted. I don’t know how anyone can contemplate executing a kitchen without the help of a designer.