Our collective effort to conserve water and power has been so prolific that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a point of it in an Aug. 26 news conference: "Angelenos didn't just meet the challenge, they exceeded it." If watering less and changing our light bulbs can make such a difference, then imagine the impact we'd make if we all unplugged our refrigerators, one of the biggest energy zappers in the home.
That's what John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong of Studio Gorm propose with their Flow2 kitchen concept, currently on display in Portland, Ore., at the Museum of Contemporary Craft as part of the Call and Response exhibition. Dubbed a "living kitchen," Flow2 merges nature and technology to create a kitchen that efficiently tackles waste, water and energy. "It provides a space not only for preparing food but an environment that gives a better understanding of how natural processes work. A kitchen where food is grown, stored, cooked and composted to grow more food," they say in a joint statement.
Some of those features:
- Hanging dish rack: vertical storage saves space while excess water from dishes drips onto herb garden in planter boxes below.
- Evaporative cooling fridge box: used to store vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese and butter. "The space between the double walls is filled with water, which slowly seeps through the outer wall and evaporates, causing the inside temperature to cool," the designers explain.
- Storage boxes: made from unglazed earthenware (porous properties said to extend life of garlic and onions) and beech wood lids, which double as cutting boards and have natural antimicrobial properties
- Cutting board: slides forward, allowing scraps of food to easily fall into composting bin below.
- Vermicomposter: worms break down food and paper scraps, turning waste into fertilizer that can be used in the herb garden.
- Drawers: used to store plates and utensils and made from salvaged oak.
- Gas stove: integrated floral pattern creates a cool spot to rest pot away from heat source.
- Construction: countertop inspired by carpenters' workbench with easy-to-clean stainless steel; structure inspired by timber frame construction and created with Douglas fir, which is in abundance in Oregon where the designers work