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Design | Dornbracht

The electronic kitchen

Pilot study for optimising kitchen processes with electronic technologies

The bathroom and kitchen are the key rooms in a home around which all other spaces are arranged with increasing openness. sieger design and Dornbracht have recognised the opportunities for linking these spaces by integrating the innovative development and logic from one area into the other. Following ATT for the shower area, the companies presented a study in January 2011 at the Living Kitchen trade fair that integrates electronic technologies into the work areas of the kitchen.

It is an inescapable fact that technology shapes every area of our society, and it is also an integral part of our kitchens and households. However, as Dornbracht and sieger design have shown in their product study, the full potential of technology is not yet being tapped. Together, the two companies developed two configurations based on electronic technology and operated via a central control panel. This first step concerned the Preparing and Cleaning zones, which were developed as part of the Water Zones concept. The pilot study was based on components from the Ambiance Tuning Technique (ATT) fittings system, which has revolutionised the shower experience since 2010 with the option of preprogrammed settings. The study addresses the issue of whether practical, process-supporting aspects can be achieved with this technology.

“Technology shouldn’t be an end in itself – we must focus on generating added value for kitchen processes,” says designer Michael Sieger. Considerations focussed on the question of which processes were likely candidates for reduced complexity and increased comfort and functionality. The new concept means that the basic functions such as flow rate and water temperature can be controlled centrally via the wall-mounted eTool control panel. The same applies to secondary functions such as the drain valve, the washing-up liquid dispenser and the water filter. Because water quality is particularly important when it comes to food, this filter has been specially integrated into the Preparing zone. The eTool control panel signals the best conditions with a green light and indicates when it is time to change the filter cartridge with a yellow light. In the Cleaning application, it is also possible to integrate the fully automatic, convenient system for filling the sink. With just one touch, the valve plug closes and the sink is filled with the specified amount of water at the defined temperature and the ideal minimum amount of washing-up liquid is added, meaning you no longer have to keep an eye on the process.

A particular highlight in both applications is the hands-free operation of the tap. This is enabled by a sensor at the base of the unit, which can be activated with the foot. This innovative project is being developed by ­Dornbracht and sieger design. The formal design is, as usual, based on the analysis of the processes involved. As for other products that play a role in our everyday lives – such as phones or TV screens – development in this area depends on the drivers and added value represented by convenience, functionality and process optimisation.

Picture Copyright: Dornbracht
Photography: stills CHBP
Communication Concept, Creation and Architecture for Dornbracht: Meiré und Meiré