Ikea's kitchen of the future: 3D food printing, mood lighting, virtual Gordon Ramsay

The kids at Ikea would like to float a couple "kitchen of the future" concepts at us. Apparently the Swedish furniture chain commissioned a report from The Future Laboratory (a London-based think tank previously seen in this space warning us of the dangers of "visual pollution" caused by all those pesky pico projectors that everybody has and which work really, really well). The skinny? By 2040, we'll have "mood kitchens" that read our "vibes, man" and adjust lighting and music in the process. Not only that, but you can expect such niceties as dining recommendations, self-cleaning appliances, integrated "sixth generation" iPads, celebrity chefs "hologrammed into" your home, and 3D food printing. These guys are certainly optimistic! Hell, we'll be happy if thirty years hence the typical kitchen isn't a leaking tent in a robot-run internment camp. PR after the break.

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IKEA predicts that by 2040, your kitchen will be ALIVE

According to an independent Future Kitchen report* by The Future Laboratory, commissioned by home furnishing specialists IKEA, by 2040 your kitchen will be your personal trainer, dietician, psychologist and lifestyle coach. It will respond to your energy levels, nutritional needs and mood, even with a high use of technology, it will also be sustainable and eco-friendly.

It's a case of Big Mother meets Mother Nature.

In thirty years time, the kitchen will be so technologically advanced that it will almost be alive, responding actively to our needs like only a mother could. To reflect this IKEA has created an image of the future kitchen – INTUITIV.

As you walk into the INTUITIV kitchen of the future, LED light projections adjust to your mood - it will know if you have a hangover via sensors that will read your brainwaves. Aromatherapy infused walls will be synced to your calendar, calming you before a big meeting or energising you before a gym session. The fridge will have selected some breakfast options, identifying the essential vitamins for your day via sensors. When you get home, a hologrammed chef will be on hand for recipe inspiration.

"The INTUITIV kitchen is a possible kitchen of the future with over one third of the UK population (41%) expecting that by 2040 we won't even have to cook for ourselves," says Carole Reddish, Deputy Managing Director of IKEA UK & Ireland. "Two more possible future kitchen scenarios are the ELEMENTARA, a kitchen which sees a return to nature, and SKARP, with seamless smart technology."

ELEMENTARA – The Back to Nature Kitchen

Nearly half of us (44%) think that the most important feature in our future kitchen will be energy saving

The ELEMENTARA kitchen will encourage you to grow your own food and be self-sufficient with a garden or mini allotment as a standard extension of the room. Food will be kept cool through cold larders and recycling facilities will be seamlessly incorporated into the kitchen.

Over two thirds of UK consumers (67%) try to buy energy efficient appliances suggesting that 'green awareness' is on the rise. IKEA already has products such as the RINGSKAR taps with a flow control function to avoid water waste and the RATIONELL recycling bins which help make household recycling easier.

The ELEMENTARA kitchen suggests that we will be going back to basics, making the most of natural physics rather than technology and avoiding energy consumption where possible. This is a core design principle at IKEA with products such as the oven hood extractor fans which can go in the dishwasher (a clean fan is much more energy efficient than a dirty one), the PS RESKEN bench which is composed of just three pieces of wood with no nails or screws (your weight simply locks the construction when you sit on it) and the PS BRUSE coffee table that looks solid but actually has hollow legs (to reduce the amount of wood used.) All IKEA appliances are also Energy class A rated.

SKARP - The Smart Kitchen

Over half of us (57%) think that technology will boost our kitchen experience

This kitchen will be intelligent, predicting its inhabitants' needs with smart technology. Synchronized appliances will make everything happen at the touch of a button, communicating through iPad style devices which will act as the brain of the kitchen, making our lives easier.

For the one third of Brits (41%) who expect that by 2040 they will no longer need to clean, their dreams are set to come true with smart surfaces creating self-cleaning kitchens. We will also never feel guilty for forgetting the recycling because your kitchen will have done it for you.

SKARP will also encourage energy efficient behaviour with devices like phone-apps which control our carbon emissions and thermostats which respond to our voices and fingerprints.

"With the majority of us spending the total of nearly a month in the kitchen over one year, it is the heart of the home" explains Carole Reddish. "IKEA is constantly innovating behind the scenes to respond to changes and challenges to life at home so we can offer solutions that best meet peoples' needs. We think that the economy, social changes, concerns for our health and especially the environment will greatly influence kitchen design in the future. Both today, and in 2040 we will be able to help people live a more sustainable life at home in their kitchens, help them organise and personalise their living space to suit their needs and always at the best value for money. Excellent design and quality will never be compromised. In fact all IKEA kitchens already today come with a 25 year guarantee so they are built to last!"

For immediate kitchen inspiration go to which offers advice on everything you need to know about kitchen, from planning and organising to inspirational design tips.


For more information, please contact the IKEA press office at Cake Media
on 020 7307 3169 or

About the project

This project is part of IKEA's ongoing focus on how best to provide for consumers' lifestyle needs in their homes both now and in the future.

*The Future Laboratory and the Future Kitchen report

This research was commissioned by IKEA and carried out by The Future Laboratory in June 2010. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis underpins the report, spanning extensive desk and visual research, a consumer survey and expert interviews to expand on key themes. The survey polled the opinion of 1,895 respondents aged from 18 to 65+ years old living in the United Kingdom, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Future Laboratory is one of Europe's foremost brand strategy, consumer insight and trends research consultancies. Its consumer survey and data research division, Future:Poll works with household panels globally to discover what's new, next and profitable in consumer thinking.