IKEA explores the role of the future kitchen

How will growing environmental concerns influence the design of the future kitchen? Will technological advancements and gadgets work with us or against us in an attempt to live a healthy lifestyle? Which society trends will shape the way we interact within the kitchen?

These were just some of the questions discussed at the IKEA panel debate at the Barbican Centre in London on Thursday 12th August. The panel of experts included Naomi Cleaver (designer and author), Oliver Heath (Eco interior architecture designer, writer and TV presenter), Jasmine Birtles (founder of Moneymagpie.com), Charlie Luxton (Architectural designer specialising in sustainable housing and energy) Donna Dawson (Psychologist specialising in social trends and issues), David Fisher (Innovation expert from Seymour Powell), Martin Raymond (Founder of the Future Laboratory) and kitchen strategist Gerry Dufresne from IKEA Sweden. Tiffany Arnston from the Future Laboratory hosted the debate.

The panel discussed the findings of an independent Future Kitchen report by The Future Laboratory, commissioned by IKEA. The report found that by 2040 your kitchen will adapt to suit your lifestyle and take care of your every need. Three potential future kitchen scenarios that arose from the report are as follows:

INTUITIV kitchen


The emotionally intelligent kitchen will be your personal trainer, dietician, psychologist and lifestyle coach. It will respond to your energy levels, nutritional needs and mood, even with a high use of technology, it will also be sustainable and eco-friendly.
Elementara Kitchen


The back to nature kitchen will encourage you to grow your own food and be self-sufficient with a garden or mini allotment as a standard extension of the room. Food will be kept cool through cold larders and recycling facilities will be seamlessly incorporated into the kitchen.
Skarp Kitchen


The smart kitchen will be intelligent, predicting its inhabitants’ needs with smart technology. Synchronized appliances will make everything happen at the touch of a button, communicating through iPad style devices that will act as the brain of the kitchen, making our lives easier.