The Social Kitchen

The Social Kitchen is an approach to design, cooking and the kitchen. It is an ongoing experience to connect people with food and design and start rethinking the kitchen.

The Social Kitchen underpins our design philosophy in developing flexible appliances that can be distributed throughout your kitchen and tailored to your individual lifestyle and needs. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where we cook, where we prepare and cook food for our families, help kids with their homework and entertain friends.

The kitchen has moved from the back of the house where cooking was a chore, to the centre of the home where cooking is about creativity and sociability. It has become a makeshift office, a place we perch when a friend arrives, where parties inevitably seem to congregate and where we create culinary feasts. Our kitchens now communicate how we live as much as how we cook.

Our lives aren't regulated by the same routines as in the 1950s when appliances started setting the layout of kitchens. We live complicated, busy, varied and passionate lives. So why don't we design the kitchen around the way that we create? We all work differently and often alongside other people.

Adding flexibility by creating appliances that can start breaking up the traditional working triangle has been essential in creating products that work with people. Fisher & Paykel's innovative technology has allowed us to create appliances that can be distributed throughout the kitchen, responding to individual kitchen tasks, habits or functions instead of being constricted to the outdated idea of the working triangle. As kitchens evolve to be more like lounge spaces, the technology is becoming more embedded and Fisher & Paykel has worked to design appliances that integrate seamlessly allowing flexibility and functionality.

The Social Kitchen is more than a single event. The Social Kitchen is an approach to design, cooking and the kitchen. By interacting with people who eat and cook and clean up every day, Fisher & Paykel are rethinking assumptions about kitchen design and creating appliances that will allow kitchens to be truly social.

The Social Kitchen is an ongoing experience to connect people with food and design and start rethinking the kitchen.

'The Social Kitchen' sums up Fisher & Paykel's design philosophy. The kitchen is about people. And when you think about people - their habits, the ways they live and interact - you get a richness of experience that traditional kitchen planning and appliances often ignore. The Social Kitchen is where food meets design to create clever, whimsical and instinctual food experiences that flip preconceived assumptions and start new conversations.

These conversations are key to Fisher & Paykel creating The Social Kitchen as an Experience at which people come together and think in new ways about food, cooking and how they use a kitchen.

The Social Kitchen Experience evolves and changes each year, and in each location. Launching in 2011, The Social Kitchen brought furniture designers together with chefs to create a social space filled with bespoke tables where guests could relax and sample classic dishes reinvented to surprise, perplex and delight.

The following year, The Social Kitchen invited their guests to become the cooks. Fisher & Paykel designers and engineers reimagined the kitchen as a series of sculptural interactive experiences over 65m. Guests 'hunted' for oysters, 'gathered' mushrooms, and seared Angus beef over stainless steel gas cooktops. A deconstructed refrigerator introduced a cone of ice shaved from two large blocks, which was then topped with a fruit syrup. The final taste was a biscuit spoon, used to dip into a square of chocolate held perfectly between solid and liquid by a wooden induction cooktop.

At every step guests interacted with Fisher & Paykel designers and engineers who wore t-shirts with questions about the experience to prompt conversations about memories of food, cooking and the life lived around the product they designed. This allowed the gathering of insights that will have an impact on future generations of appliance design.