National Winner: UK/Ireland, Category: Professionals & Enthusiasts
19.02.12 - The Product Tank Kitchen 02 is the second kitchen design concept that I have built. A few months ago I finished my first kitchen design, but I was the first to acknowledge that I didn't push the boundaries as much as I should have. So I decided, based on what I'd learn't, to have a go at designing and making a model of version 2. This is a kitchen I have designed for my Nan, who struggles to walk or lift heavy objects. I used the product design process to generate concepts that will hopefully make the use of kitchens easier for everyone, but more importantly allow the kitchen to adapt to the changing needs of the user as they grow older and find cooking and preparing meals harder - please watch the video below:
As soon as I approached the brief to design a kitchen for someone who could not stand for any period of time, it totally changed my out look on kitchens. We all want to be as independent as possible for as long as possible, so why don't we design homes and the items within them to be future proofed, ready to adapt to our changing needs, rather than having to adapt and replace these objects with all the ugly bolt-ons and additions that currently come with age. My Nan didn't update her kitchen when she should have and now it's too late because she wouldn't be able to cope with the disruption it would cause. This prototype kitchen would hopefully cater for able bodied and disabled people alike and to a greater extent than existing designs be able to change with them. Movable storage drawers or baskets could live under the work surface, but by reducing the need for pots and pans I've cut down on the need to store a lot of bulky items, admittedly I could go a lot further, but it's a start. The kitchen prototype is made from painted MDF on a pine carcass, with plumbing fittings for the fixtures.
Following feedback from product design forums and websites, I put a chamfer all around the top edge, added features to the draining board and inverted the colour so that stains/dirty areas are easier to identify and therefore the design is easier to keep clean.