The what? The 'social' kitchen.



This photo combines two things I love - kitchens and shipping containers. Both are pretty trendy right now.

F&P recently did a pop-up temporary space in Aukland, NZ titled "The Social Kitchen" where they demonstrated how the appliances are the backdrop to the kitchen, but they really need not be the old fuddy-duddy monster. And they made a video about it. Aside from wanting to eat everything in this video, it is really pretty to watch (and now I want some beet ice cream...)

“The Social Kitchen is about exploring and challenging our traditional ideas about the kitchen, and the new take on the humble cup of tea is a fun extension of that idea,” says Roger Bridge, NZ Marketing Manager for Fisher & Paykel.

Trends and traditions may to come and go over time, but the alternate new kitchen design movement is all about the social kitchen (the other is bespoke kitchens from leaders like Johnny Grey, but that's not for here.) It seems to be a bit difficult to define, but it can be summed up as a shift from the previous private, utility, workrooms annexed to the back of the home (much like the Scullery), and now more focused as a very public space for entertaining, cooking, lounging, exercise and more. Come to think of it, it's really not all that new of an idea because we've been integrating countertop eating areas, pretty appliances, and, more recently, technology to kitchens for a couple of years now. Yet, what's changed?

Yes, the kitchen is an ephemeral experience.

Yes, it's a place where we commune.

Yes, we try new (sometimes naughty) things in it.

Yes, we may hire a pro-chef to cook that special Valentines dinner.

Yes, yes, yes and more!

We've changed. We demand more of our kitchens, so much so that this little expensive room has to be everything to everyone at all hours of the day and night (it should be because it's where we feed) and we want them to clean themselves too. So, the kitchen renovation revolution seems to have its bug in everyone's ear, yet some of us are still tied to the mindset that the kitchen has to be shuttled off to the corner with the dunce cap on blah blah blah. BORING! If this is your idea of how a kitchen should function in your planned renovation, then I think you need to adjust your set because that remodel will be a dreadful mistake.

Planning your new kitchen as a social space that is integrated into the moment by moment function of your home is absolutely key its future success. I'm not saying that you should take out your sledgehammer and knock out that wall to the dining/living room, I am saying that you should think about it before you start, think big picture, 10-15 years down the road, because we all love to network and it's going to be happening from you kitchen sink instead of your den.