The Modern Space Saving kitchen solution
Feng Shui has been designed to accommodate the needs of the first time property buyer in the UK. As homes are becoming smaller, home owners are beginning to open up their space by creating open plan living.
The purpose of this project was to fashion a suitable & user friendly system that incorporated all the requirements of a kitchen.
Pullout Oven & Multi-Storage compartments
The oven can be used when the extension is pulled towards the user or when offline. Compartments are revealed with push-to-open press motion technology.
The two compartments on the side of the oven consist of a two shelved pullout cupboard, and a pan drawer with dividers allowing for plate storage.
Eco Friendly Extraction & Cooking
Situated within the open living space, cooking food can produce strong odours. The down draft extractor allows for cleaner cooking.
3-in-1 Purpose Sink Feature
Incorporating three key needs of the kitchen, the sink area features a cover with straining holes for preparing messy food. The cover can be removed and become a chopping board, and work as a cover over the sink when not in use.
The glass wall storage unit is transparent enabling home owners to visually see their storage & not overload their unit. All kitchen foods and items can neatly be accessed & placed onto the drop down shelf that can be operated from the side.
Underneath the shelf are a series of rails for storing wine glasses & other objects such as kitchen towels.
Glass Wall Storage
Fold Out Dining Table
Positioned on the end of the unit is a fold out dining Table. With its exposed handle, the dining table can be extended out fully to 1.5m.
Featured underneath is an extendable leg to stabilise the table when in use. This also services as additional surface area space for food preparation and socialising.
The primary & secondary research findings helped to identify the needs of the end user. The UK housing market is recorded to have some of the smallest homes in Europe; reasons concerned are relative to the house crisis, forcing the price of homes to increase as demand increases alongside. It has been recorded by the Royal Institute of British Architecture, (RIBA) the following statistics below supporting this claim:
Average UK new home is 76 sq m
Ireland homes are 87.7 sq m
Netherland homes are 115.5 sq m
Denmark homes are 137 sq m
Britain has reduced its property proportion size by a 1/3 since the 1960’s. The kitchen space is an important environment for food preparation, social interaction, dining and eating; these being the essential needs of life according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; (McLeod 2007) shelter and food are essential for the human to live and function and therefore should be preserved. Future generations are forced to live in smaller conditions; this can cause damaging implications on a user’s lifestyle such as depression and expense.
The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE) are a building firm that have surveyed property to outline issues found in the home. The organisation helps decision-makers and working professionals to create and achieve great buildings. The organisation questioned 2,500 owners of private new homes and found that:
57% said there wasn’t enough storage space.
47% said there wasn’t enough space for furniture.
35% said there wasn’t enough kitchen space for appliances.
44% said there isn’t enough space for small children to play in the kitchen while meals were being prepared.
37% said they don’t have enough space to entertain friends.
72% said they did not have enough space for three small recycling bins.
The following word cloud captured key terms suggested by the public during questionnaires and interviews for research. Space, multi functional & storage are the most common issues lacking in smaller properties today. Smaller homes feature small kitchen stations that service the home owners needs, but aren't the most practically designed. The product would perform as a system by combining multiple working points such as a sink, oven, preparation area and storage. Through collected research, initial concept generation could begin.
Initial Concept Development
The following designs look at existing solutions on the market whilst combining new ideas of what kitchen storage could be. Below are a sample selection of initial concepts.
Further Conceptual Development
Further concept generation enabled for finer details to be identified such as ergonomics and functionality. A sample selection of these concepts are shown below.
During the project, a client was selected. This provided an insight into the need for space saving living. The client had a fully furnished home with an open plan kitchen, comprising of five storage cupboards, a cooking appliance and a sink. The entire area measured at 1.5m width (wall to wall) x 1m depth (laminate floor to wall). The clients concerns were limited storage and space. Below are further findings collected from the interview with the client.
The entire property measured 20 feet x 14 feet. The client lived in an urbanised location and found that the size of the home suited their needs. As research has shown, home owners in urban areas do not feel the need for large kitchen spaces. The current solution was not fit for purpose and the need for a better, more functional kitchen was required.
Location of clients kitchen station
Worktop space fully occupied by sink & appliance. Worktop needs to be clear to allow for food prep.
Limited space causes over cramped storage; accessibility to stored goods needs improvement.
Additional wall space used for storage of hand towels; area could be integrated into design.
Prototypes were developed of the most popular concepts design so far.The following designs were also selected by the client as an initial starting point.
Initial CAD development
The following designs were inspired from conceptual development and prototyping. The best features collected at this stage of the project were considered and applied to the following CAD designs.
Detailed Conceptual Development
The client liked the use of mechanisms and features that could be introduced into the kitchen space, but wanted to see further developments of the CAD designs presented. To develop the solution further detailed concept generation took place.
To understand the ergonomics of the kitchen, a scaled replica model of the clients home was made using cardboard and foam. Home props such as furniture were also designed into the model to show how the kitchen would interact will all parts of the home. The following prototypes would be located in the existing area of the kitchen.
Location of kitchen station / prototype
Prototype model 1
Model 1 features a fridge, washer, corner storage baskets, drawers, oven, sliding chopping board, hob, down draft extractor and sink. The client liked the design but felt the design opened up too much into the living space. The design had to be shorter in depth.
Prototype model 2
Model 2 features a fridge, waste management system, top drawer, sliding chopping board, sink, oven, pullout storage systems, hob, down draft extractor. This design suited the clients needs more as the oven was in the preferred location closer to the window area. The client still needed a wall unit for additional storage and felt the top drawer above the fridge could be better used for another pullout such as a table.
Prototype model 3
Model 3 features a pullout fridge, waste management system, dishwasher, pop up storage, power sockets, sliding chopping board, sink, oven, pullout storage systems, hob, down draft extractor. The pullout fridge wasn't favoured, however the additional table and chairs was a useful feature. The client felt these could be integrated into the design.
Prototype model 4
Model 4 features a fold out table, fridge, pop up storage, dishwasher, waste management system, power sockets, sink, oven, pullout storage systems, hob, down draft extractor. The dishwasher wasn't necessary as this unit would store limited utensils. The pop up socket and pullout oven feature was favoured for the final design.
Detailed CAD development
The following designs are what the client selected. In addition to meeting the needs of the client this solution fulfilled the criteria of the project brief to overcome limited space, perform as a multi functional system and provide suitable storage.
A new wall unit was introduced to replace the current one featured in the clients home, however this model shows a glass design.
Visible storage enables home owners to see what possessions are currently in stock opposed to over shopping and filling the unit.
A new fold out table has been introduced as per the requirements of the client for dining and more surface area.
When the kitchen station isn't in use, the station had to be compacted and presentable in its offline state.
The fold out table and extensive oven can be pushed back into the unit via runner systems.
The chopping board / sink cover would return over the sink providing a large surface area for general use.
Completely versatile and ergonomically designed, this kitchen design provides all-round neat storage areas whilst taking up a small portion of the home.
The hob area has been designed with the client in mind with the Eco Friendly extractor converting odours into clean air, whilst positioned close to the window of the property for additional air flow.
The entire design is just 1.5m wide x 1m deep.
Detailed Prototyping of the final design helped to show the client a replica model of what the kitchen would look like. Below are a selection of prototype images of the model being built and painted.
Feng Shui is the multi functional space saving kitchen solution for the first time buyer, combining the key requirements of kitchen use and food preparation, with clever food and utensil storage. Below are the final concepts demonstrating the features & benefits, research findings, an exploded view with a list of components, & an In Situ.
Space Saving System
Clever storage and features integrated into a simple ergonomic design to fit in every home. Features include sink, table, fridge, freezer, waste management, oven, storage, power source and a wall unit.
Feng Shui features many smart features such as the 3-in-1 sink area. The sink cover performs to provide a cover with staining holes. The cover can also be removed and become a manoeuvrable chopping board with a clever 'push down' block that catches the side of the worktop. When not in use the cover can be positioned over the sink when not in use.
"The final solution is perfect for my needs, it works well in the space and performs great as a multi purpose kitchen unit" - Client, 2014.