Published on : Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Together with Häcker Kitchens and the A30 Küchenmeile marketing syndicate, the ‘Kitchen Miles and More’ research project launched its quest for the ‘Küche der Zukunft’ (Kitchen of the Future) at the end of 2012. The project was open to interior design students at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. At the LivingKitchen 2013, the five-person jury headed by project manager Professor of Design Martin Beeh had to ultimately decide on one of the 25 designs submitted: their choice was the ‘Lüttchen’ design by student Judith Bauhuis.
Judith Bauhuis approached the task by initially defining the word ‘future’: “For me, the future is the current generation of children and adolescents.” She then decided to design a kitchen for the place at which children are, among other places, prepared for their futures – kindergarten. “Consciously preparing and eating together and the necessary clearing up is what I believe future-oriented food culture is all about”, explains the aspiring interior designer.
The jury was convinced by the practical relevance of the design that is based on flexible modules in various working heights for children. Furthermore, the numerous creative ideas with which kids can help prepare food more easily, and hence more willingly, were decisive: inlaid, and therefore non-slip, chopping boards provide greater safety, while child-appropriate icons on drawers allow little ones to understand without having to read.
And the naming of her design also showed the jury that she had thought out everything down to the very last detail. In Low German, ‘lütt’ means ‘small’ – which together with the ‘chen’ from the English word ‘kitchen’ makes up the name ‘Lüttchen’. From this, Bauhuis created the logo as a convincing word and figurative trademark.
Häcker Kitchens has now brought the ‘Lüttchen’ design to life on a 1:1 scale. The conceptual design was implemented by Anna Schmidt who is currently completing a dual course of study to become a wood technology engineer focussing on product and design management. Honest and robust materials, such as solid oak and smoked oak were used for the true-to-scale model. The sink is made from resistant, low-maintenance stoneware. This means that the kitchen is able to cope even with the huge impact of countless small hands.
In the case of the project, the commitment on the part of Häcker began with an intensive product training seminar for the participants focussing on the topic of the kitchen, which included a tour of the manufacturing facilities. “Following this, it was very interesting for us to see how the students approached the design task”, comments Michael Dittberner, Head of Product Development & Product Management at Häcker. “In the case of ‘Lüttchen’, we were positively surprised by – and simultaneously thrilled with – the revolutionary ‘childlike’, and hence very exceptional, view of a kitchen.”