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The Kitchen of the Future

By 2035 the kitchen as we know it will be no more. Instead, finds Stephen Todd, many of the cook zone’s essentials and utilities could well be scattered through the rest of our homes.

I live in a kitchen. Well, a cottage really, that was once a working kitchen – an adjunct to a country homestead; an external structure which housed the wood-burning stoves that kept the farmers nourished and warm. Today, I chop trees myself, for heat. Our electricity is solar, the water is bored, the compost bins on the track to the vegetable patch. (I’ve had zero luck with pumpkins, but a distant neighbour excels at them – so we exchange my chillies for his squash.) The fresh water pond is a swan dive from my back door, the garden predominantly native. Coffee grounds become fertiliser, recycling is systemic, foods kept fresh in a meshed meat safe dating from the middle of last century.

In many ways, my ‘kitchen cottage’ seems to resemble a blueprint for the kitchen of the future.

And yet, no Proustian madeleines are being baked at my place. Moving to an outback ranch was not a retreat to a cabin in the woods, nor a quest for Plato’s cave – more a search for a more integral way of being. Coincidentally, it’s a way of being that is increasingly getting a grip on the culture. If it’s a return to the source, it’s no nostalgic mission: It’s more about a vivid awareness of a new ecology and economy, a desire for authenticity, integrity and responsibility…

To read the full article, pick up a copy of the Kitchen and Bathroom special issue of Habitus magazine.