Discovering the Serious About Food Kitchen

9 international designers’ projects are on a roadshow touring around Europe

A new concept of space, a new interpretation of the kitchen and of the interaction between man and the tools and products which make it up and animate it, whether that be electric appliances, materials, accessories, or user experience. There are no limits to this vision or to our imagination. This is the Serious About Food Kitchen Lab project, an adventure in design launched by KitchenAid and ready to grab the attention of anybody who is passionate about cooking and all things innovative and unconventional across Europe. 

Nine designers, nine projects taking the concept of a ‘kitchen which is not there’; capable of being the catalyst for and developing the key values of the KitchenAid brand and of the personal vision of the designers who are involved. Of course, not everyone is a specialist in kitchen design. And, indeed, this is the added value in this case: a (creative!) call to arms. Designers with a wide variety of experience between them and all with different ages, different training and from different locations. 

The result? A varied exploration of a range of experimental cooking ideas and places, all sewn up with a bit of personal interpretation. So, what does it mean to be Serious About Food People? A phrase which for KitchenAid is not just a slogan, but also the company philosophy, a hub of passion, creativity, technological innovation, love of craftsmanship and for that spot where beauty meets functionality. 

“The challenge which led to this project is the same challenge that KitchenAid accepted nearly a century ago, i.e. responding to the current needs of a changing society with our products. Hence the fact that there are 9 designers involved: to interpret the kitchen concept, drawing up spaces but also reflecting the social and cultural changes that go on in this place”. Marco Merolla, KitchenAid Emea director explains.

‘The sky is the limit’ therefore, apart from the fact that from bottom to top, before looking to the sky you have to look to the horizon, solutions and materials are brought to the project by international figures such as Kensaku Oshiro, Bernhardt & Vella, Sergio Castiglia, Marc Sadler, Victor Vasilev, Rachel Laxer, lo studio Tor Interiors, Matali Crasset, Massimo Marzorati.

“Having got rid of the limits imposed on the project, we have been able to free ourselves of many of the constrictions that we usually have to deal with and to come up with more ideas”, explain Sergio Castiglia and Marinella Santarelli, from the Castiglia and Associati design studio, with thirty years’ experience in kitchen design and amongst the first to be involved in the Serious About Food Kitchen project “A freedom to be able to enjoy getting away from the typical cooking methods with defined limits. In our concept kitchen, we use materials like steel, lacquered wood and glass. We have opted for cabinets to hold large kitchen appliances, enhancing the built-in feel with a sort of steel “framework”, which adds value to the furnishings”.

 

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These four key elements of the project have been refined all around. “Each space can be combined and open 360 degrees, with the frame and the steel which connect the side of the oven with the opposite side of the cabinet, it is deeper than normal and therefore able to offer up more space, for example, on a shelf, and can be furnished according to your taste”. 

Space, therefore in between the premium large appliances, an unmistakeable brand style and very much customisable. “We live in a time of growth in the knowledge of food culture, which is obviously a good thing. This is why we create ideal spaces to make it easier for the style and the distinctive character of a brand to meet for every person”.

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Over the coming weeks, here at Serious About Food Magazine we will delve further into the details of the projects created by Castiglia and the other designers. This first test of Castiglia's “LiberaMente” project will, in the meantime, reveal the plan and philosophy of the entire project. 

Officially, the adventure will begin in April 2017, during the hot days of “Design Week” in Milan, when the projects come together in a show at the prestigious “Triennale di Milano”. This international press event for the Serious About Food Kitchen Lab is planned for the 3rd April, and the next day will be the vernissage for the exhibition at the Triennale, which will be open to the public until 9th April and will take place in the 150m2 area of the “Gae Aulenti Gallery”.

And, at the end of the Milan design week? It will only be the end of the first chapter of a complex and wide ranging project. The show will in fact be a European roadshow and will be going towards the “D’ Days” in Paris in May, while in September it will be heading to London and Berlin, again the days will be dedicated to design.

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When a roadshow that comes to an end, a contest begins. In September, a competition will be launched which will include architects, emerging designers and students from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The participants will be called upon to explain their own vision and their interpretation of the Serious About Food Kitchen concept. The winners of the contest will be awarded their prize in April 2018 in Milan during Eurocucina, one of the most important international fairs in this sector.

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