living kitchen interactive

Nanoscience is proceeding at an unnerving pace, revealing nanomaterials and nanoscience discoveries thought to be futuristic, far-fetched or even science fiction-worthy mere decades ago – but what about daily-life applications, turning these incredible innovations to the needs of an everyday home?

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Michael Harboun has conceived of a “Living Kitchen” that animates unlike even the most forward-thinking sci-fi film, using nanobots that can shape themselves along programmed paths to become dynamic kitchen fixtures that flex out and fold right back into the wall as needed.

living kitchen
high tech responsive kitchen

First a faucet appears, followed by a sink with a basin that stretches as the water hits the surface, and completed by a drain that emerges below to return waste to the hidden recesses of this amazing nanowall.

living kitchen shelf
living kitchen olive oil

It is a bit like a real-life touchscreen in three dimensions – perhaps the iPad and other computer technologies are merely the 2D precursors to this kind of interactive 3D design, which might become the single greatest space-saving gadgetry since the hide-a-bed.

living kitchen responsive surfaces
living kitchen transforming

“In Pittsburg, a group of computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University are developing what they coined ‘claytronics’. It is a programmable matter that holds the potential of revolutionizing our relationship with objects and architecture. Tiny intelligent robots, the size of a human hair, use electrostatics to stick together, communicate, and change their position in space. By introducing programming into these robots, or ‘catoms’ — short for claytronic atoms — they’re able to form new shapes by reacting to external stimuli, like a blob of Play-Doh with a soul.”

“If any object can transform into any other object, this establishes a radically new status quo on how we manipulate the world around us. Objects would no longer dictate a function by the way they’re shaped. Instead, their shapes would adapt depending on what we need. This will bring a whole new set of opportunities for a hybrid generation of industrial/interaction designers, who will have to consider an object’s constant dynamicity and relationship to context.”

“With Living Kitchen I wanted to explore how people would interact within this environment. The matter being reactive to external stimuli, people could make faucets, sinks, or cutting-boards appear just by tapping the surface. The volumes could be stretched, twisted, and bend by users to match their needs. Users could even download shapes from crowdsourced libraries.”