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Mobile Smart Kitchen Workstation

A Thesis submitted
in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
MASTER OF DESIGN

By

Vishal Thakur

DESIGN PROGRAMME
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY KANPUR
May 2007
ii

Dedicated
To
My Parents
iii

Certificate

It is certified that the work contained in this thesis entitled, “ Mobile Smart Kitchen
Workstation ” by Vishal Thakur ( Roll No. Y5119011 ) has been carried out under my
supervision and that this work has not been submitted elsewhere for degree.

Dr. Sanjay G. Dhande


Professor, Design Programme
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
iv

Acknowledgements
This thesis has aided me in building up a thought process based on theoretical study
and practical implementation. At this juncture I would like to offer my gratitude to all the
people who have helped to shape my personality directly or indirectly

Dr. Sanjay G. Dhande


Dr. Amit Ray
Dr. Satyaki Roy
Dr. Bishakh Bhattacharya
Prof Kuomodi Patil

I would also like to express my gratitude for all my friends and juniors at Design
Programme, technical staff for the immense support and guidance whenever in need.

Thanks to all people who participated in user survey, and to all ladies who allowed study
of their kitchens during the user survey.

Special thanks to fabricator Mr Manoj, Contractor, Mr Saini, carpenters and technicians


who assisted in shaping my designs.

At the end my special thanks to my versatile Guide, S.G Dhande Sir, for all the
motivation and support during the entire period

Vishal Thakur
v

Abstract

Kitchens are the heart of activity in any home. Today, a modern urban lifestyle,
changing habits, communication technology etc has been transforming the face of
present day Indian kitchens. This thesis aims at creating not just an interactive kitchen
concept but takes an interactive design approach where in the users participate in
defining and dictating the final product features.

A section of skilled urban population leads a highly migratory lifestyle. They transit
places during education and career; following a trend continuing well into initial marital
periods. A survey of this segment bought out the need for furniture which can move
along with them and is reconfigurable i.e. modular furniture. Although the kitchen market
is growing there are no products in market which can meet the specific demands of this
significant urban migratory segment. Most of the kitchens today are fixed rigid structures
rather than furniture. Majority of them being non-ergonomic, lack in organized storage
and aesthetic compliment when compared to modern kitchen appliances.

The thesis starts with sensitizes itself to the basic concepts like kitchen planning,
furniture design and interactive systems before defining proposal of concepts. It travels
further to discover the users in terms of identifying his primary needs, dependence on
technology during cooking etc. The final thesis output can be categorized into two
segments. First segment creates a novel physical prototype for a modular mobile
kitchen while the second segment explores concepts for an information centered
kitchen environment for near future.
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CONTENTS

Certificate ............................................... ii
Acknowledgements ....................................... iii
Abstract ................................................ iv
Contents ............................................... v
List of Visuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

1. From Chulhas to Microwave 1


1.1 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2. Changing Habits. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.3. Defining The Kitchen . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.4 A Chronology of Indian Cooking Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.5 The Furniture Business in India – A Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.5.1 Indian Furniture Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.5.2 Real Estate Overview of India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.5.3 Social Indicator. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.5.4 Various market sizes and per capita expenditure . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.5.5 Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.5.6 Age Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.5.7 Buying Power And Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

2. Kitchen Planning And Furniture Design 14


1. 2.1. General kitchen Planning Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
.
2.2..Work Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.3..Basic Kitchen layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.4..Work Zones in Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.5 Minimum Area for kitchen Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.6 Modular Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.7 Standard Guidelines for kitchen Furniture Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
vii

3. Human Factors and Kitchen Ergonomics. 23


3.1. An Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 24
3.2. Need For Indian Anthropometric Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
3.2.1. Ergonomics Reference Table 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
3.2.2. Ergonomics Reference Table 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
3.3. Kitchen Ergonomics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
..
3.3.1 Frankfurt kitchen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
3.4. Kitchen Work Triangle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
3.5. General Ergonomic Guidelines For kitchen Space Planning. . . . . . . . . . . 30

4. User Survey And Research…. 31


4.1. Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
.
4.2.. Qualitative and Quantitative Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..33
4.2.1 Qualitative Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
.
4.2.2 Quantitative Survey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
.
4.3 Contextual Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.4 Classification of Observed Kitchens . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
4.5 Analysis of Surveyed users. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
4.5.1 User 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
4.5.2 User 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
4.5.3 User 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
4.6 Online Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
4.7 Survey Results and Statistics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
4.7.1 General User characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
4.7.2 Product Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
4.7.3 Information and Communication Activities During Cooking . . . . . . .44
4.7.4 Furniture Design Preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
4.7.5 User Inputs and Suggestions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.8 Key Deductions From User Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
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5. Interactive Kitchens 53
5.1 Intelligent kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
..
5.2. Designing The Man Machine Interface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
5.2.1. Choice of Channel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
5.3 Proposed Functions for Smart Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
5.4 RFID Application In Kitchen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
5.5 The Future kitchen – Future Scope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
5.6 Closure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

6. Design Process 63
6.1. Product Life Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
.
6.2. Design Brief. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
.
6.3. Need statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
6.4. Specifications For Product Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
6.4.1 Qualitative Feature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
6.4.2 Quantitative Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
6.5 Proposed Appliance Specifications In Kitchen Workstation . . . . . . . . . 66
6.5.1 Refrigerator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
6.5.2 Hobs and Burners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6.6. Benchmarking Existing Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. 68
6.7. Concept Generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
6.8. Final concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.9. Concept Illustration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6.10. Salient Features Of Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
6.11 Applying “ The Divine Section “ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
6.11.1 Concept Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
6.11.2 Smart Kitchen Interface Module. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
.
6.11.3 Basic Kitchen Layout. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
6.11.4 Centralized Control Interface For Smart Kitchen. . . . . . . . . . . . 79
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6.12 Scaled Prototype Testing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80


.
6.13 Product Prototyping Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6.13.1 Fabrication work in Sheet Metal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6.13.2 Accessory Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
6.13.3 Drawer Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
6.13.4 Carpentry Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
6.13.5 Final Prototype in Assembly. ......................... 85
6.14 Prototype Development Cost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

7. Conclusions ______________________________________________________ 89

References _______________________________________________________ 90

Appendix _________________________________________________________ 91
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List of Visuals

List of Plates

Plate 1.0 Rural lady serving husband food in kitchen 4


Plate 1.1 family having food on dinning 4
Plate 1.2 Modern kitchen at a residence in Kanpur 6
Plate 1.3 Modern kitchen at a residence in Kanpur 6
Plate 1.4 Modern kitchen at a residence in Kanpur 6
Plate 1.5 Chulah 7
Plate 1.6 housewife cooking 7
Plate 1.7 Konkani housewife cooking 7
Plate 1.8 South Indian housewife 8
Plate 1.9 Lady in her kitchen 8
Plate 2.0 Single Line kitchen plan 17
Plate 2.1 L kitchen Plan 17
Plate 2.2 Gallery Kitchen plan 18
Plate 2.3 U kitchen Plan 18
Plate 2.4 Work zones in kitchen 19
Plate 2.5 Recommended dimensions for design of Compact Kitchen 21
Plate 2.6 Recommended dimensions for kitchen 22
Plate 3.0 Frankfurt Kitchen 28
Plate 3.1 kitchen Work Triangle 29
Plate 3.2 Kitchen Space Planning 30
Plate 4.0 Kitchen of surveyed users 34
Plate 4.1 User under observation 35
Plate 4.2 Users home 35
Plate 4.3 user 2 Kitchen 39
Plate 4.4 User2 in her kitchen 39
Plate 4.5 User3 kitchen 40
xi

Plate 4.6 User 3 in her kitchen 40


40
Plate 4.7 Problem in kitchen of surveyed users 40
40
Plate 4.8 kitchen concept sketch for survey 46
46
Plate 5.0 Humanoid robot ARMAR 54
54
Plate 5.1 Interfaces in Kitchen 55
55
Plate 5.2 Virtual Keyboard 56
56
Plate 5.3 Concept of compact Interactive Kitchen 57
57
Plate 5.4 Concept for Compact interactive kitchen 2 58
58
Plate 5.5 Scenes from film design for Dreaming 1 59
59
Plate 5.6 Scenes from film design for Dreaming 2 59
59
Plate 5.7 Marketing ad of futuristic home by General Electric 60
60
Plate 5.8 General Electric 2006 concept future kitchen 60
60
Plate 5.9 Concept future kitchen 1 61
61
Plate 5.10 Concept future kitchen 2 62
62
Plate 6.0 Bench marked product 68
68
Plate 6.1 Library of Benchmarked products 69
69
Plate 6.2 Golden section 75
75
Plate 6.3 Mock prototype configuration 80
80
Plate 6.4 Sheet measurement 81
81
Plate 6.5 Sheet cutting 81
81
Plate 6.6 Sheet Bending 81
81
Plate 6.7 Sheet cutting 81
81
Plate 6.8 Sheet welding 81
81
Plate 6.10 Compatibility of handles with laminates 82
82
Plate 6.11 Accessories used 82
82
Plate 6.12 Utensil tray used 83
83
Plate 6.13 Telescopic channel 83
83
Plate 6.14 Plate trays closed 83
83
Plate 6.15 Plate trays drawn out 83
83
Plate 6.16 Assembly with wooden panels 84
84
Plate 6.17 Final Prototype – straight kitchen 85
85
xii

Plate 6.18 Final Prototype with accessories 86


Plate 6.19 island kitchen configuration 86
xiii

List of Tables and Figures


Fig. 1.0 Indian Furniture report 10
Fig. 1.2 Population Classification 12
Fig. 1.3 Population Growth 12
Fig. 1.4 Aging population 13
Fig. 2.0 kitchen function Relation 15
Fig. 2.1 Use of Kitchen area 16
Fig. 2.2 Work Sequence 16
Fig. 2.3 One sided kitchen 17
Fig. 2.4 L kitchen 17
Fig. 2.5 Gallery Kitchen 18
Fig. 2.6 U kitchen 18
Fig. 2.7 Minimum Area for Kitchen planning 20
Fig. 3.0 Interaction between man, Environment, machine in a ergo system 24
Fig. 3.1Ergonomics reference table 1 26
Fig. 3.1Ergonomics reference table 2 27
Fig. 4.0 Survey statistics 1 42
Fig. 4.1 Survey statistics 2 42
Fig. 4.2 Survey statistics 3 42
Fig. 4.3 Survey statistics 4 43
Fig. 4.4 Survey statistics 5 43
Fig. 4.5 Survey statistics 6 43
Fig. 4.6 Survey statistics 7 44
Fig. 4.7 Survey statistics 8 44
Fig. 4.8 Survey statistics 9 45
Fig. 4.9 Survey statistics 10 46
Fig. 4.10 Survey statistics 11 46
Fig. 4.11 Survey statistics12 47
Fig. 6.0 Product life cycle 64
Fig. 6.1 Concept sketch 1 70
xiv

Fig. 6.2 Concept sketch 2 71


Fig. 6.3 Concept sketch 3 72
Fig. 6.4 Concept illustration 73
Fig. 6.5 Golden section 75
Fig. 6.6 Concept Details 76
Fig. 6.7 Smart kitchen Interface Module 77
Fig. 6.8 Basic kitchen layout 1 78
Fig. 6.9 Basic kitchen layout 2 79
Fig 6.10 Product costing table 87
Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave/ 1

Chapter 1
From Chulah to Microwave
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.1 Introduction

Today the urban Indian homes today are modern in architecture, stocked with latest
appliances and well attuned to change. In urban areas double-income nuclear families
are becoming norm with considerable dispensable income flowing towards modern day
furniture. As both male and female members are working it is hard to spend adequate
time on elaborate cooking process. To save time and boot efficiency Indian kitchens are
becoming organized and modern in outlook. Today, a wide range of food processing
and cooking appliances are being brought by consumers who want to save on cooking
time. Technology is changing the way we buy food, cook, and eat. We are witnessing a
transition phase in face of Indian kitchens as they move from “Gas chulhas“ to
microwave ovens.

Growth of service sector has created a large pool of skilled professionals in areas like
IT, ITES, financial and other high growth areas. The current demography segment is
highly migratory in lifestyle. This segment consists of educated, computer savvy
professional users who are moving on a wave of economic growth. The users are
cosmopolitan in outlook, aware of trends and have growing disposable incomes. Users
in age group of 20 – 35 migrate across cities in search of better education and job
opportunities. Married couples and professional bachelors although buy modular home
furniture which they can move along when they shift are unable to furnish kitchens due
to unavailability compact kitchen furniture’s offering mobility.

The author tries to address the above needs by proposing not just a product but a
product category. The product category being a “smart mobile kitchen furniture” for
urban India. While the proposed concept is for a “ mobile smart kitchen workstation “.
A novel concept is developed and taken to physical prototyping level. The product may
also find applications amongst other areas and segments.
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

The Design process started with a broad user survey using contextual interviews,
observation of kitchens and cooking habits to understand user preferences, and
requirements. Also studied was the impact of information and communication devices,
technology inside cooking environment. Analysis and observations from survey led to
drafting the design brief and specifications for guiding further creative exploration.

A number of concepts were generated during the process. Existing products in market
were benchmarked for design. The final concept was chosen and detailed. A scaled
prototype was developed and demonstrated in a design exhibition for review. Final
iterations in design were carried before detailing final prototype. The thesis prototype
aims at meeting primary and secondary goals. Primary goals were developing a mobile
unit serving basic cooking activities with organized storage, a concept that offered
flexibility in layout, elegance in design while being economical to user. Secondary goals
were exploration of concept of smart kitchen and partial demonstration.
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.2 Changing Habits

Plate 1.0 Rural lady serving husband food in kitchen Plate 1.1 family having food on dining table
Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm

Kitchens in India are as varied in as Indian food and culture. Each kitchen is fine tuned
towards meeting the needs of the local food preparation. A vast section of population is
vegetarian. Cooking style depends on regional food type, community taste preference,
weather, geography etc. Most of the Indian foods require elaborate pre processing. The
food is spicy and concentration is on making food tastier and spicy. With modern food
processing appliances in hand the task has become simpler for most of the urban ladies
in kitchen. The Indian kitchens are reshaping today as cosmopolitan population
embraces a modern consumption fueled lifestyle. The type of food that is consumed has
also changed. Signs can be found in the popularity of packaged food like “Maggie
noodles“ , or cornflakes being served to children for breakfast . Since urban life faces
time crunch there is emphasis on food that can be cooked faster and needs least
processing time.

In the past it was usual to see a wife serving food to family members inside the kitchen.
The Dining space co exited inside kitchen space. A housewife would usually serve
breakfast to husband before he left for work. Men and women rarely ate together in
traditional households of India. Over the years with rise in standard of Indian living , has
witnessed changing social habits and behaviors.
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

Urbanization and migration to cities for better opportunities has today led to breaking up
of joint family structure creating nuclei family setups in urban areas. Today the family
eats on a dining table instead of floor. For Couples working in ITES or call centers with
conflicting work times most of the couples end up preparing and eating food alone.
Today small urban families with both husband and wife working prefer not to waste
much time on cooking and reserve maximum daily time for personal entertainment.
Availability of pre processed packed food is becoming acceptable into daily diet in a
time-crunched urban life. Children also prefer to eat fast food for breakfast or lunch,
influenced by the media. Daily cooking can be a mundane daily activity for individuals.
Hence a majority of them prefer to watch TV ,sms or use phone while cooking to get
over the mundane. It was observed that some users had also changed the orientation of
TV for better visibility from kitchens. ! Individual or family dining time today is
unimaginable for some without entertainment through TV, Radio or music. Most of the
ladies today try to schedule their daily cooking work so that they could catch up with
their favorite shows
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.3 Defining the kitchen


A kitchen is a space used for food storage, preparation and cooking.

A modern kitchen is typically equipped with a gas fired stove or microwave oven for
cooking. Refrigerator for food preservation and storage. Sink with water supply and
draining for cleaning purpose of raw food and dishwashing. Organized storage in form
of cupboards for food, utensils and any other aid resourceful during cooking.

Although the main function of a kitchen is cooking, it can be the center of other activities
as well, especially within homes, depending on its size, furnishing, and equipment. If a
washing machine is present, washing and drying laundry is also done in the kitchen.
The kitchen may also be the place where the family eats, provided it is large enough.
Sometimes, it is the most comforting room in a house, where family and visitors tend to
congregate.

Plate1.2,1.3,1.4, – A modern kitchen at a residence in Kanpur, India. Source - Author


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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.4 A Chronology of Indian Cooking Scenes

1950s A primitive kitchen of a Santhal tribe family, West Bengal. Rural kitchens of
earthen coal or wood fired “chulhas” are still a common sight in rural areas.
Plate 1.5 - chulah , Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm

1966 An Indian housewife cooking on the floor with a kerosene stove


Plate 1.6 – Indian housewife cooking Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm

1976 A Konkani woman making pan cakes on wooden oven


Plate 1.7 – konkani housewife cooking Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1995 A lady in south India using LPG based cooking


Plate 1.8 – South Indian housewife cooking Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm

2007 A lady in her kitchen complete with microwave


Plate 1.9 – lady in her kitchen Source - http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/food/indian_kitchen.htm
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Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.5 The Furniture Business in India - A Case Study

Kitchen furniture is in great demand across all cities and towns. A survey in local market
in Kanpur found modular kitchens were in demand across all segments. However a
majority of kitchen manufacturers only cater to a very niche segment. Complete kitchen
furniture available at starting average price of Rs 50000 and available till Rs 2.5 - 3
lakhs was being brought by consumers! Before moving ahead with defining new line of
products it was necessary to understand the market as a whole .The following facts and
figures are to give an overview of the furniture business in India. The case studies here
have strongly reflected the need to push furniture design centered to address Indian
needs to cope up with the surging demands.

In the area of decorative residential furniture, India has a heritage of exquisite


handcrafted furniture, made out of teak, rosewood and walnut wood, which has strong
colonial roots. The range of indigenous furniture available in India includes both
residential and contract system furniture, with an increased concentration these days in
office and kitchen furniture.

1.5.1 Indian Furniture Market :


Today the Indian furniture market1 is pegged at a value of INR 135 billion dollars of
which 85% falls in the unorganized sector. The total addressable Market for Retail (All
India Urban) for Furniture and Furnishing is INR 5,266 Crore. According to a market
survey on spending of disposable incomes among Indian consumers it was found that
38% were willing to invest in home improvements, furniture and 37 % in leisure
holidays. Globalization has seen imported furniture make serious inroads into the Indian
markets. This has been awake up call for the manufacturing industry.

In furniture imports India ranked first from 1-1-04 to 15-7-05 importing 17 per cent of the
total imports in furniture worldwide.
10
Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

Furniture Import Value Growth


03-04

Wooden Kitchen Furniture INR 66 million 93%

Wooden Residential Furniture INR 56 million 40%

Fig 1.0. Indian Furniture Imports Source - http://www.ud.camcom.it/

The Indian furniture market is estimated to be worth Rs 350,000 million. Within this, the
Wooden furniture accounts for Rs 60,000 million. Of this the imported furniture market is
currently worth Rs 6000 million and is growing at 50 - 60% each year. The furniture
sector in India only makes a marginal contribution to the GDP, representing about 0.5
percent of the total GDP.
2002004
1.5.2 Real Estate Overview of India
The real potential of furniture market can be assessed by reviewing the real estate
growth. The growth of real estate and commercial properties is based on the overall
growth of economy. The economy of the country since past few years has been bullish
and will continue to be the same in the coming years. There has been the roundabout
growth in all the sectors, be it manufacturing or service. The growth of the service sector
which now constitutes more than the 50% of the GDP ( characteristic of a developed
nation), is providing push to the realty sector in India. Constituent of the service sector
are IT, ITeS, BPO’s, KPO’s, Hospitality industry, Retail, entertainment, Banking,
Financial service providers, etc. Other important factor to be taken into account is the
rising disposable incomes and increased consumer spending in India; which is again
shaping the property markets in India. Average household income in urban areas has
grown at a 5% Compounded Annual Growth Rate over the last decade. By 2010 the
higher income earning group (>USD 2000) is expected to constitute 48% of the total
earning population.
11
Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.5.3 Social Indicator

India today boasts of 547 million strong populations that is below 25 years of age. The
size of the market at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is estimated around US$ 1.5 trillion
It also produces a large pool of educated professionals as under
• Over 3 million scientific & technical manpower
• Over 1 million graduate engineers and 0.4 million doctors and 0.8 million post
graduates in science.
• 0.3 million graduates in agriculture and veterinary sciences.
• In addition 50,000 computer professionals and 360,000 engineering graduates
each year.

1.5.4 Various Market Sizes based on the per capita expenditure


The average monthly per capita expenditure of urban Delhi in 2003 was INR 1,606.
Tamil Nadu comes a second at INR 1,131, followed by Andhra Pradesh at INR 1,102.
Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana are not very far behind, at INR 1,092, INR 1,059 and INR
1,050 respectively. At the bottom of the list is Uttar Pradesh at INR 827, Madhya
Pradesh at INR 793 and Bihar at INR 784.

1.5.5 Population
Population evolution India’s population estimated at 1,055 million (2003) is expected to
grow by 1.7% this year. Growing urbanization is a key trend in the country, with rural
population growth averaging to 17.9% and urban growth at 30.7% for the period 1991 to
2001. Key statistics with regard to population growth and the urban and rural split are
set out below.
12
Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

Population Classification

Fig 1.2. Population classification Source - http://www.ud.camcom.it/

Over 70% of the urban population is estimated to reside in Class I cities (population of
over one million). This is largely as a result of increased employment opportunities in
cities as well as a preference among the younger generation to move away from
agriculture.

Fig 1.3. Population growth Source - http://www.ud.camcom.it/3


13
Chapter 1 / From Chulah to Microwave

1.5.6 Age Group

One of the important demographic trends in recent times is the changing age profile.
India is increasingly being acknowledged as a “young” nation, with about 35% of its
population less than 14 years of age. The median age of India’s population is 24 years.
Youth are generally early adopters of most modern products and concepts. Given the
higher aspirations and “willingness to change” of the younger age group, India’s age
profile offers high market potential for consumer goods.

Fig 1.4. Ageing population Source - http://www.ud.camcom.it/3

1.5.7 Buying Power and Consumption.

The per capita income has been witnessing steady growth in the last few years .This
trend is likely to continue in the near future as the economy continues to grow. As seen
from the mapping of India’s income classes above, the consuming class and climbers’
class segments offer tremendous opportunity to the retailers. The number of
households in these categories combined is expected to grow by 38.8% over the period
2005-2006. The lower income categories are projected to decline by 10.7%, while the
very rich category is projected to double. Retailers will now focus on the consumption
patterns of the middle class to map their future strategies, as this upward push will lead
to greatly increased purchasing power. The trend in aggregate consumer spending also
corroborates the consumption boom in the economy. The rate of growth of spending on
discretionary items (unlike basic necessities like food) has been growing at an average
of 9 per cent per year over the past five years. Significantly, the rate of growth has been
recording a sharp spurt during the past two years.
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

Chapter 2
Kitchen Planning
& Furniture Design
15
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

2.1 General kitchen Space Planning Guidelines

2
Kitchens should face North East or North West .Kitchens should be well located
internally with respect to pantry, dining room and living. Although kitchens are small
places there planning requires outmost attention to details. The kitchen are also places
of meeting and have social significance .They occupy large amount of users time and
peak attention periods. In residences Kitchens should be placed strategically for easy
accessibility to all major work areas and rooms.

Fig 2.0. Kitchen function relation Source : Architects’ Data

2.2 Work Sequence

“ A place for everything, everything in place 3“ should be motto for a dream kitchen. In
order to cut down walking distance between work centers, utensils should be stored
where they need to be first. A well planned kitchen should not only look good but make
the cook using it feel content with his place for work .Work centers and storage facilities
to be laid out in order before freezing on the kitchen plan

When kitchen units are fitted they should follow a sequence which complements the
work and reduces efforts. The structure should be spacious and allow room for free
movement. The furniture should minimize standing work and any such posture which
will be strenuous for the household person.
16
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

Fig 2.1. Use of Kitchen Area Source : Architects’ Data

Ideal sequence of work in kitchen should be arranged in this order for a normal right
handed person.
Storage - Cooking area - Preparation area – Draining area 2

For a left handed person sequence of operations is opposite.

Fig 2.2. Work Sequence Source : Architects’ Data


17
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

2.3 Basic Kitchen Layouts


No one layout is more ideal than another. The room and interior character should itself
dictate the design of an efficient kitchen layout. 3

Single Line kitchen


A very basic layout that should be kept as compact as possible. The cooker and sink
must be kept closer in this layout

Fig 2.3. One sided kitchen Source : Architects’ Data :


Plate 2.0 - Single line Kitchen plan Source : kitchen remodeling handbook

L Shaped kitchen
A work sequence runs around two walls, keeping work triangle reasonable compact. In
a very small room it may be difficult to avoid placing refrigerator close to cooker, so not
an ideal arrangement as refrigerator looses efficiency in cooling.

Fig 2.4 L kitchen Source : Architects’ Data :


Plate 2.1 L Kitchen plan Source : kitchen remodeling handbook
18
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

Gallery Layout
Gallery kitchen have a compact work triangle than any of the arrangements so are less
tiring in usage. Sink and cooker can be placed in opposite sides. This plan possesses
least safety hazards.

Fig 2.5 Galley Kitchen Source : Architects’ Data :


Plate 2.2 - Galley Kitchen plan Source : kitchen remodeling handbook

U shaped layout
This adaptable layout is wrapped around three walls in an unbroken sequence .This
layout provides lots of work surface but the two corners would give some wasted space.

Fig 2.6 U Kitchen Source : Architects’ Data :


Plate 2.3 - U Kitchen plan Source : kitchen remodeling handbook
19
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

Island kitchen
This should be used in places where space is plentiful, if cooking activity involves lots of
walking then work triangles are inconvenient in this case.

2.4 Work Zones in Kitchen

Plate 2.4 – Workzones in Kitchen Source : kitchen remodeling handbook


20
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

2.5 Minimum Area for kitchen planning


Cooking recess 5 - 6 m2
Normal kitchens 8 - 10 m2
kitchens with dinning 12 - 14 m2
Fig 2.7 –minimum area for kitchen planning Source : Architects handbook
Each work center in a kitchen should have three components. 2

1. Adequate work area on counter space

2. Adequate storage areas and volume

3. Sufficient access to facilities like ventilation, lighting ,drainage etc

2.6 Modular Furniture

Furniture definition: 5
The movable articles that are used to make a room or building suitable for living or
working in, such as tables, chairs, or desks.

The cost difference between building a fixed furniture and movable furniture today is
marginally and in some cases equivalent. A standard build up kitchen furniture has to be
secured on to walls and flooring. The granite or marble counter is grouted on top of the
furniture. On removal of furniture it results in damage to walls, floors that have to be
repaired and painted. Since furniture is custom designed for space around it may not
find significant usage later, overall a costly affair.

Movable furniture offer advantages, critical dimensions like height can be adjusted to
suit user needs .They also offer flexibility in terms of easy assembly and disassembly
before and after usage. Most of the movable furniture today use aluminum or
magnesium alloy tubing that offer strength and are lightweight.

Mobile computer tables with wheels are quite popular today. These units offer flexibility
of creating individual workstations for personal work/surfing or computer labs when
clubbed together with similar units.
21
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

2.7 Standard Guidelines for kitchen Furniture Design

2
Materials used in kitchen furniture include wood, plywood, chipboard, plastic, mild
steel or stainless steel. Exposed wood surfaces are varnished or laminated with plastic.
Shelves are of wood or plastic coated chipboard; metal shelves are best for pans and
pots. Sliding or folding doors are useful if space is restricted requiring no additional
space for opening. Special equipments like universal cutting board, pull out drawers,
pull out towel rails, hinged compartments etc save time and effort. Sink and draining
boards should be fitted into floor units which may include a waste bin, dishwasher and
disposal units. Dishwashers to be fitted on the left or right side of sink

Different types of furniture in kitchen can be classified as

1. Base units or under counter units - These units are used for storing large, heavy
or seldom used kitchen equipment.
2. Wall mounted units - Wall mounted have small depth so worktops beneath them
can be used without hindrance. They allow crockery to be reached without
bending
3. Tall units - Full height cupboards are suitable for storing cleaning materials,
brooms etc. they can also house refrigerator or microwave

Plate 2.5 – Recommended dimensions for designing a compact kitchen Source : Architects Data

.
22
Chapter 2 / Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design

Plate 2.5– Recommended dimensions for kitchen Furniture design Source : Architects, Data
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

Chapter 3
Human Factors &
Kitchen Ergonomics
24
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.1 Overview
Ergonomics - The word finds it roots from Greek, “ Ergo “ means work and “ nomos”
which means law.
Ergonomics (or human factors) is the application of scientific information concerning
humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use
(Definition adopted by the International Ergonomics Association in 2007).

6
Ergonomics is concerned with design of systems in which people carry out work .All
work systems consist of a human component and a machine component. Ergonomics
aims to ensure the human needs for safe and efficient working are met in the design of
work systems Ergonomics deals with design of efficient system. Basic Components of
any systems are Man, Machine and Environment. A system could be simple or
complex. A man and a machine is a simple ergo-system. A kitchen is a complex
system, wherein man interacts with many machines in parallel in environment that is
dynamic.

Man

Interaction

Machine Environment

Fig 3.0 Interaction relation between man, environment and machines in an Ergo -
system
25
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.2 Need for Indian Anthropometric Data

Today7 a majority of products in market follow standards which are referred from
American or European ergonomics standards. In case of furniture the case become of
serious concern since we are talking about work efficiency, personal health over the
usage cycle. Wrongly designed systems induce improper postures leading to
operational uneasiness. Design of systems without due considerations to body
dimensional requirements for intended users causes operational uneasiness, musculo-
skeletal and sometimes physiological disorders.

Age, sex race and geographical regions7, even different occupations influence human
body dimensions. From time to time, anthropometric data are generated amongst
various populations in different countries and are used as ready references by
designers. Experts suggest that anthropometric data to be used for specific groups
should be based on same population groups.

Mass production has brought in standardization of products across various ranges.


Factory made global products today are designed for global audience and offer very
less flexibility, customization to users across. A bulk of furniture in Indian market fails to
address the issue of designs confining to Indian anthropometric data. In the absence of
indigenous design development in furniture and to stay competitive manufacturers often
copy existing furniture designs and flood them in local market. Lately the trend of
imported furniture has caught up in India. Again it must be asked how many of these
products suit the Indian anthropometric dimensional requirement. Furniture designs
without consideration for proper body dimensional requirement of intended users do not
serve purpose and have less acceptance value.

Humans come in various shapes, sizes and so do they differ in habits, practices. Indian
behavior also differs from western behavior; e.g. some Indians prefer sitting on floor for
certain activities and perform a range of activities there. Design should be based on
factors like user’s age, sex and postural considerations.
26
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.4 Applied Indian Anthropometric Data


Table underneath shows key ergonomic parameters used in deciding critical
dimensions of designed prototype
3.2.1. Ergonomics Reference Table 1

Fig 3.1 – Ergonomics Reference Table 1 Source : Indian Anthropometric Dimensions


27
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.2.2. Ergonomics Reference Table 2

Fig 3.2 – Ergonomics Reference Table 2 Source : Indian Anthropometric Dimensions


28
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.3 Kitchen Ergonomics

New Era kitchen design8 is a relatively recent discipline. The Initial concept to the work
in the kitchen trace back to Catherine Beecher's A Treatise on Domestic Economy
(1843) . The design included regular shelves on the walls, ample work space, and
dedicated storage areas for various food items. Beecher's "model kitchen" propagated
for the first time a systematic design based on early ergonomics. Beecher separated the
functions of cooking and food preparation. He repositioned the stove into a
compartment adjacent to the kitchen.

3.3.1 Frankfurt kitchen

Plate 3.0 – Frankfurt Kitchen 1 Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchen

The idea of efficient kitchen’s evolved from the much celebrated Frankfurt kitchen.
Architect Christine Fredrick in 1927- 28 created the kitchen in a social housing project.
The kitchen was analyzed following Taylorist principles using detailed time and motion
studies which were published from 1913 in a series of articles on "New Household
Management"
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Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.4 Kitchen Work Triangle

The idea of “ kitchen work triangle ”8 was formulated at the School of Architecture of the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, founded in 1944 with aims at reducing cost
through standardization.

Work triangle is simply an efficient arrangement of three major work points i.e cooking,
refrigeration and sink. It is necessary to design arrangement which cuts down travelling
distances of the user.

1 - Fridge 2 - Sink 3 - Cook top 4 – Oven 5 - Dishwasher 6 - Overhead cabin

Plate 3.1 – Kitchen work triangle Source : The small House


30
Chapter 3 / Human Factors & Kitchen Ergonomics

3.5 General Ergonomic Guidelines For kitchen Space Planning

Plate 3.2 – Kitchen Space Planning: Source : Architect’s data


Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

Chapter 4
User survey
and Research
32
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.1 Overview
User survey and research is necessary and one of the most important steps in product
development cycle. Assessing the consumers’ behavior helps in finding the category
where the need exists for products or services. Proper consumer research with
supporting survey data as background is a norm of standard design activity these days.
A proper survey helps in crisply defining a problem and henceforth generating relevant
concepts for improvements .Understanding user requirements is the starting step of any
design activity and is critical to the success of the end product. It is now widely
understood that successful systems and products begin with an understanding of the
needs and requirements of the users.

Consumer research helps in identifying the target user, his tastes his preference, his
habit, culture, style etc. A designer should understand the user and his priorities in order
to design products that hold meaning for the directed consumers. A consumer research
tells about which ideas or concepts evolved by management are worth pursuing till final
stages by paying attention to consumer choices.

The Author’s user research was carried in following parts


• In-depth personal interviews and contextual enquiry
• Visit to kitchens and observing users perform functions
• Online surveys to targeted respondents.

Aims an objectives of User survey


• To gather quantitative and qualitative data

• Gain insight into user’s priorities, work flow in kitchen, there requirements.

• Identify the need for a smart kitchen

• Understand role of interactivity between users, communication - entertainment


devices, inside the modern kitchen space.
33
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.2 Qualitative and Quantitative survey


4.2.1 Qualitative Research survey
9
Qualitative research is used for a small number of respondent group to get an insight
into users psychology, behavior, needs, problems etc. A technique of in-depth interview
is carried out with users in their work environment. The observations and interview is
usually carried out in a relaxed mood so that users are comfortable talking and sharing
experiences on subject area.

4.2.2 Quantitative Research Survey


A Quantitative marketing research is used to get information on questions which cannot
be answered in yes or no. It is used to draw conclusions, tests a specific hypothesis -
uses random sampling techniques so as to infer from the sample to the population -
involves a large number of respondents through survey and questionnaire.

4.3 Contextual Interview


A contextual interview, involves watching and observing subjects closely as they
perform their intended tasks .Questions are asked only to clarify doubts whenever they
arise and are required to get deeper insights. Users are encouraged to work in a natural
way and not be influence by the interviewer’s presence or questions. The results are
usually qualitative rather than quantitative

The study started with visit to homes of consumers in the selected consumer segment .
A total of 15 homes of audience varied in income, education and location were studied
in around Kanpur city, SBRA hostels of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur campus.
The campus provided a large set of target population that was migratory in nature The
process involved selecting the users, getting prior appointments, visiting them and
interviewing them. The author tries to get a deep insight into understanding the
subjects, their problems, their needs by a creating casual atmosphere
34
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.3 Classification of Observed kitchens

Observed kitchens in the survey was classified into three segments

Non furnished kitchens Semi furnished kitchen Fully furnished kitchens

1.Utilitarian 1.Basic and serving purpose 1.Lavish and efficient


2.Oragnization for only 2.Organization for all
2.Unorganized and cluttered important items elements
3.Lacks aesthetic appeal 3.Offers limited flexibility 3.Partialy flexible
4. Flexibility in terms of 4. Aesthetic appeal
undefined storage – user 5. Difficulty to map location
can store anywhere she is of storage items.
comfortable.

Plates 4.0 Kitchens of surveyed users :Source : Author


35
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.5 Analysis of User Survey


4.5.1 Sample User 1.

Name of user – Mohua Mohanty


Age - 25
Gender - Female
Education - Engineer
Regional origin – Bengali
Status- Married

Plate 4.1 User under observation: Source: Author


Plate 4.2: User’s Home Source: Author

The users are a newly married educated and professional couple living in a rented one
room house. Husband and wife are both working in academic areas. Wife cooks food
daily once in morning which is served in morning breakfast, packed for lunch. Dinner
prepared after returning from work without any assistance. Note that in photo it is visible
that TV placed so that it is visible from kitchen all the time.

Problems – Ventilation, organization of food and other stuff , accessibility to sink.


Insects in kitchens were threat to prepared food kept for consumption later.

Needs – Portable kitchen , Convenience to make payments in installments for


furniture.
36
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

Survey Questionnaire Sheet


Note :
Ticks denote preferred choice from options.
Answers on surrey entered in italics

A. Household characteristic:
1. Number of family members ? - 2

2. Number of people who manage full time in your kitchen ? 1

3. Family type ?
• single
• family,
9 married couple or pair,

4. Type of home ?
9 single family house, - rented
• multi-family house,
• terraced house,
• apartment

5. Servant present ? yes


her functions , what all activities are delegated to her
No cooking , utensil cleaning , housekeeping

B. Physical characteristics of kitchen

1. kitchen dimensions
location of kitchen within dwelling ?
2. kitchen type ?
9 non furnished
• furnished
• semi furnished

3. Furnishing
• Custom made (carpenter made )
• Ready made units (modular units )
9 unfurished

4. Important appliances with the acquisition in kitchen?


• fridge
9 microwave/ LPG burner/ electric heater
• mixer grinder
• tea/ coffee machine
• others
plans to buy fridge
37
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

5. Is it aligned to users cultural cooking styles or it is modern in approach.


Vastu sensitivity
None
6. What do u like in your kitchen ?
Compactness
7. Feature which you would immediately change?
Sink add a sink in kitchen which is now present in balcony
8. Which is you most importantly in your kitchen?
Organization of items, groceries, utensils

C. Activity

1. Activities done in the kitchen ?


Washing / tending to children / gossip with friends / party / iron clothes / entertainment / eat / Just
cook

2. what are areas of inconvenience you face while cooking ?


ventilation was major issue
3. Average daily time spent in kitchen?
2-3.5 hrs
4. Physical posture during preparation/cooking/eating ?

Does user have siting aid inside kitchen ?


Would they like to have any aid for standing / sitting?
Mostly standing, no sitting aid
Feels need of sitting aid

5. Usual daily activity pattern of cooking .Sequence of activities


User plans cooking activity meticulously to save time. Cuts vegetables as 1st item is being cooked
on stove .
6. Activities done parallel with cooking.( e.g watching tv , monitoring washing machine, music, tv,
tending to children, talking on phone ) which is most frequently done.
Listens to music
Watches TV
7. Are any activities done sitting on the floor. No
8. Do u wish to have a system with height adjustable
Yes ,
user wants a height adjustable system
9. Do u wish to have a mobile unit which u can carry along to other rooms ,
What all cooking related activites do u carry to other rooms

D. Interactivity and communication

1. Do u wish to have a interface inside kitchen /dining area. Do u think it would aid your functions
and quality of life ?
likes the idea if its economical
concerns of maintenance of display system

2. Do u wish to control activities of home/appliances/communication during cooking from kitchen


Yes , user feels need of checking who is at door
3. what types of gadgets / features / products you think would be of maximum help to you
small refrigerator
4. Do u watch tv ,check sms, listen to radio/songs or do any other information centered activity
while eating. How frequently ?
38
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

5. Method of trying new recipes while watching


Experiment / tv / reading cook book / from people / other modes
User has once used internet for getting recipes and applies it to cooking by downloading and
taking print of recipe.
Other sources included local language newspaper

Dinning style
1. Is dinning attached ?
yes

2. what is dinning style


• eat during cooking
• eat while cooking
9 cook store eat

3. would u like to have a mobile compact kitchen workstation


yes

Price
1. Price of the kitchen equipment (rough estimate )
Under 10000
2. Overall price you are willing to spend on your kitchen
10000-15000
3. What is the price you are willing to spend on a mobile kitchen workstation furniture .
7000-8000
Wants features available on EMI
4. How long do u think a furniture or kitchen furniture should last ?
10 years
5. What is more important to you
Aesthetics / function / Economy
Willingness to spend more if it delivers extra features

Additional notes
Would like a module based system
A modular system were furniture could create partitioning walls
User tries to arrange kitchen when there is a guest to give a clean look
Interface would be useull but concerns of cost

User defied features for kit workstations


Burner should be placed at a lower height
Arrangement for drying utensils

Ideas from users


furniture should have adjustable height adjustment in racks to accommodate different sized utensils
( similar to fridge )

Sometimes on TV recipe mentioned ingredients in English names which led to confusion. Software which
is able to search ingredients or recipes and translate into local language or in terms of visuals.
39
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.5.2 Sample User 2


Mrs Beena Singh ,Housewife, Panki Power plant colony, Kanpur

Plates 4.3 User 2 Kitchen: Source: Author


Plates 4.4: User 2 in her kitchen: Source: Author
The family relocated its position every 4-5 years as husband is in a transferrable
government job. Now that the job is fixed and family big they face problems in kitchen
but are reluctant to spend money in the government provided housing.
• The housewife mentioned to the author that all though they wanted to shift in a
house of their own in 3 years time and would like to have a kitchen furniture that
would serve basic cooking purpose here and could be accommodated in the new
home also.

• Wanted variable height drawers to accommodate wide range of utensils.

• Likes to listen to radio/songs on TV while cooking, wanted to control washing


machine from kitchen and visually check identity of newcomers at door.
40
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.5.3 Sample User 3


Mrs Bose , Housewife, Kakadeo , Kanpur

Plate 4.5 User 3 Kitchen: Source: Author

Plate 4.6: User 3 in her kitchen: Source: Author Plate 4.7: Problem in kitchen: Source: Author
User invested Rs. 30,000 in carpenter to made kitchen furniture. Slab height turned out
to be too high for this short stature lady and she is forced to use additional aids (shown
above) to get comfortable height when she cooks.
• Expresses need for height adjustable furniture.
• User likes to read newspaper , magazines and chat on phone while cooking and
would not mind having a system that provides entertainment and communication.
41
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.6 Online user survey


Overview
The aim of this survey was to get quantitative data about important facts that would be
the foundation for further design work. The author’s survey sample was aimed at
computer savvy professional and students in urban and semi urban areas. A total of 96
people responded to the online survey out of 300 request sent.

The questionnaire was prepared divided into 4 broad categories.


1 General user information
2 Product need identification
3 Information and communication activities during cooking
4 Furniture design preference

The questionnaire was hosted on to free market research website


www.freesurveys.com. The free portal allowed users to answer the survey, assimilated
information and displayed statistical data to the author.

Respondents could easily reach the online link; answer the survey in 5 minutes time.
Request for participation in survey was emailed, posted on community websites,
internet blog websites. Surveyed people visiting the website were also given access to
poll and opinion results after they had finished the survey. The survey opened up a
discussion and gave people opportunity to share their experiences, recommend
problems and address key issues to be considered in the kitchen design. All though the
surveyed sample was small it gave the author a brief idea about the importance and
significance of such survey.
42
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.7 Survey Results and Statistics


4.7.1 General User Characteristic
Question 1 - Do you cook?

Fig 4.0: Survey Statistics 1

Question 2 - Do you know how to cook?

Fig 4.1: Survey Statistics 2


Question 3 - how is your existing kitchen area?

Fig 4.2: Survey Statistics 3


43
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.7.2. Product Need Identification


Question 4 - Do you find counter height a problem in your existing kitchen?

Fig 4.3: Survey Statistics 4


Question 5 - Do you feel need for basic kitchen furniture serving basic functions of
kitchen ( i.e. cooking, organized storage, cleaning and refrigeration) that you can carry
along while relocating from one city to other ?

Fig 4.4: Survey Statistics 5


Question 6 - If yes what would you prefer?
A – kitchen with factory fit appliances, B kitchen with no appliances, C - choice to configure appliances of
your choice.

Fig 4.5: Survey Statistics 6


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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.7.3. Information and Communication Activities During Cooking


Question 7 - Leisure activities done along with cooking

Fig 4.6: Survey Statistics 7

Question 8 - Have you used internet for any purpose related to cooking like searching
for recipe, shopping, looking information related to food /health

Fig 4.7: Survey Statistics 8


45
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

Question 9 - Modes of finding about new recipes

Fig 4.8: Survey Statistics 9


46
Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.7.4. Furniture Design Preference


Question 10 : Choose your preferred furniture layout

Plate 4.8 : kitchen Concept sketch for survey : Source - Author

Fig 4.9: Survey Statistics 10


Question 11: How much value will above product mean to you?

Question 12:
How much would you be ready to invest in
above product / furniture with appliances?
• Average price – Rs 41, 237

Fig 4.10 : Survey Statistics 11


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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

User profile - Sex

Fig 4.11 : Survey Statistics 12

4.7.5 User inputs and suggestions


Documented are the inputs entered by users on online survey form.

a) Product Features and Cooking Experience

- It would be of value if you can make it light to carry away parts to be useful for
transferable people
- A sketching board
- Where I can tag daily menu
- The whole feature may be able to rotate.
- A bed with an attached make up table
- Dish washer, garbage dryer (it dries your all type of garbage once u put them in that
machine)
- Color changing refrigerator
- All in one type’s equipments...make it one...Toaster, griller, micro wave, gas, blender
chopper etc rather make portable equipment that serves as a kitchen. Keep it
anywhere.
- Free delivery
- Auto pilot, no need to be in kitchen may be remote controlled, from me on sofa in front
of TV in leaving room.
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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

- Kitchen that cooks also.


- It should cook on its own as soon as I am hungry...
- A display area for my family pics.
- A small interesting sitting space near window from where i can take a look of outside.
- A display touch screen which has the cabin ate number and the list of material in
cabinet
- Adjustable height chair to take all short women to all levels and reach all heights of
cupboards.
- A video chat station and web cam surveillance.
- Often seasoning or garnishing makes all the difference so something that can do the
garnishing\seasoning according to ones' personal tastes (may be this can be
programmed based on the users' needs)
- The cooking triangle should be properly incorporated in the design.
- Timed burner like washing machine so that u can time it for increasing or lowering the
flame and turn off automatically. Also would prefer a rack for drying utensils
- A refrigerator that warns about food going bad..
- Nothing futuristic but only if someone could design an affordable dishwasher... hate
washing the utensils, but don’t want to spend several grands on a regular dishwasher.
- Robo-assistant/chef, who can keep track of my needs with respect to food and other
ternary in kitchen.
- A fridge that scans the expiry date of products and orders replacements through the
internet online as and when stock runs out or expires.
- Washing utensils is boring, I would have a conveyor from the sink directly to a vessel
washing machine and later collect the washed vessels and arrange them back..and
adjustable sink height...

- A gas stove burner on the top of the sink, or a pull out sink below the burner. Freedom
to use the burner from both sides of the slab (stove that can be rotated- as for me i
usually dream to have everything electrical ... handy, compact stuff should be there like
electric hotpot, roaster, griller, fryer.
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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

- Child safe kitchen, food burning detector, auto switch off gas if it is not burning.-
-A wine vending machine/ draft beer fountains
- have washing machine attached. so that clothes clean up while cooking is going on, u
know one kitchen n all done.
- Auto turn off feature with gas burner and heater.
- Computerized conveyor belt kitchen system
- feed in the raw materials, & type in the specifications of the food u want
- The raw stuff will pass thru different stages (washing/chopping/ steam/ frying etc)
similar to that on a conveyor belt & delivering the cooked food at the end
- Self-cleaning kitchen!
- Most of the world are turning towards dieting, so maybe something showing the intake
of calories and maybe showing some menu and how to make them as a recipe.. Maybe
like your internet facility but much more modern not just like fixing any tv or lcd panel on
your cabinet maybe something which is voice directed and activated..

- you should check out the universal kitchen project done about 8 years ago by RISD
shown at the Cooper Hewitt design museum in NYC- Intelligent storage system that
would let me know, in advance, the grocery item is about to finish. Let’s say my
refrigerator has fixed space for particular product (or maybe we can program it
accordingly) then that will let me know when the milk is about to finish... same is with
other storage like racks and drawers..when there are not many items in the kitchen, we
really don’t need this.... but as i m experiencing now a days... when there are lots of
items in your kitchen, then the suggested idea could be of great help.

- I would like have a microwave, oven, dish washer.


- Automatic temperature and smoke regulator
- To set this device apart from other appliances even more, the chief focus should be
design. Use of quality materials, careful manufacturing, and contemporary styling would
make it more expensive but more notable.
- Easily adjustable slab height according to the person’s height.
- Kitchen in a suitcase, collapsible tent kitchen
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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

- Machines to help in cutting and cleaning


- programmed kitchen for food. Like you enter food code and the required material for
the recipe will get ready like masala etc. then you will have to just cook,
- would love to have automated cooking machine ;)- a sitting arrangement...for one
person who want to chat with me during cooking an area to keep beer glasses/bottles-
making operation of all kitchen appliances through one single computer, cooking food
without entering the kitchen, just by typing few keys on my computers keyboard.
- Love if my food never gets over cooked or burned...and milk never spills...
- May be a Portable kitchen, which i can carry when i go to picnic to cook food for
myself and my friends.
- An appliance that selects vegetables and spices from the given recipe, processes
those, cooks and serves and applies own intelligence gives some value added inputs
(when required) while cooking.....

- Maybe a robot!
- I m a gizmo freak any addition of such things would surely fascinate me..It’s a personal
choice

b) Information/communication devices in kitchen

-I want my whole concentration on one side other both will be messed up


but it is a nice idea
- Not too futuristic, a tv might be nice :)
- All this will not be much relevant because young people do not spend much time in
kitchen
- Kitchen is directly related to higher than comfortable temperature, and i won't like to do
any other attention seeking activity there...
- I will prefer doing most possible kitchen activities in normal comfortable conditions and
postures, i.e. out of kitchen instead of bringing comfort in small kitchen area.
- Control should never be so centralized...creates problems always..
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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

- No, Sounds TOO futuristic.- I have a small concern though is it safe to be multitasking
like this when u r using a gas stove or other appliances in the kitchen.
- I feel i don’t need any display in kitchen as i already plan to have a computer in my
bedroom, and a additi0onal laptop. I can carry laptop to my kitchen if I am so desperate
to cook..
- Cost must be justified.. Moreover a dedicated computer in the kitchen just for finding a
recipe is not justified cost wise
- Yes it is possible if it is really affordable.
- Multi-tasking is often a necessary evil in professional life, so I'd rather avoid it at home.
Moreover, it's better to keep life simple!
- While cooking i really enjoy it and I think I’ll make time with these appliances once the
food is ready and in my plate.
- Not as much futuristic as simply unnecessary; it would seem more so as a distraction.
However, to refine on the idea: A device that could be hidden away and/or telescope
and rotate would be nice (like an LCD on a VESA mount).
- i use computer for different purposes, kitchen can come to my computer, but computer
can't go to kitchen.
- While cooking one can’t do multiple activities. Its needs attention. Computers, internet,
phone can go with it. Well Music and TV does gel well with cooking% of total

population)
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Chapter 4 / User survey and Research

4.8 Key Deductions From User Survey

Some of the important key points noted from survey that would be used for guiding
creative exploration of concepts to be generated are as follows

• A kitchen plan that is flexible with there requirements

• Kitchen counters need to be height adjustable i.e. provide ergonomic comfort

• Furniture should be able to accommodate existing appliances.

• Furniture that was not fixed or partially fixed to allow mobility.

• Aesthetic, trendy in style furniture is as high on priority list as function of the


furniture for ladies.

• There is a demand for a compact kitchen workstation.

• Need for a modern and organized kitchen furniture that is affordable. Option to
pay in instalment or buy complete product in modules .

• Information display and interactive component was not immediate requirement


since usage was not very frequent however many expressed desire for the
system in the future.

• Interactive component should be user friendly , should not create excessive


multitasking which could endanger kitchen work.

• Interaction between user and all smart appliances, systems should be


centralized. And follow on lines idea like “one remote for all” .Interfaces should be
mobile and dynamic ad move with the user in his workspace space

• Price range for modular furniture was in range of Rs 15000 - 20000


And with complete appliances not more than Rs 40,000
Chapter 5
Interactive kitchen
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

5.1 INTELLIGENT KITCHEN

3
Leonardo da Vinci invented an automated system for a rotating spit for spit-roasting :
a propeller in the chimney made the spit turn all by itself. The system widely used
initially in wealthier homes later became a standard for all kitchens in coming ages. This
could be sated as the first demonstration of the first “smart kitchen “ in history.

Plate 5.0 : Humanoid robot ARMAR


Source - wwwiaim.ira.uka.de/users/asfour/armar/
Today an array of electrical appliances, devices and tools can be found in the kitchen
and around. The common factor amongst is that they are microprocessor based. They
are smart in terms of they use need less energy, are more flexible, solve their tasks
more skillfully, and show in the results better capability characteristics. We cans say
they are intelligent If they can automatically switch on their power supply at the time of
need , or can automatically vary the self control there processing based on sensors.
Today many of these devices and appliances can be remotely controlled by users and
are able to communicate by means of alarms, glowing LEDs or vibrations. In the near
future we should see integration of all these independent appliance controls onto a
common platform. A universal centralized control for all function. The control system
would be a common platform for physical and software interface between man and
intelligent appliances, hence increasing comfort and efficiency. The kitchen of future
might boost of a centralized control system.
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

5.2 Designing the Man Machine interface


The kitchen is heart of activity and require constant attention When we talk about
making a smart kitchen we should consider making activities noticeable to people.
Addition of interfaces increases complexity of interaction between space and users.
Smart interaction mapping should be as natural as commonsense 6 .

While designing a man machine interface it is necessary for us to consider important


aspects of cognition. The proposal should start with raising questions like; through
which sense is information conveyed? What mechanism? Is it active or passive? Does it
adhere to ergonomic norms?

Plate 5.1 : Interfaces in kitchen


Source Bonanni, L., Lee, C.H., and Selker, T. "Attention-Based Design of Augmented Reality Interfaces."
Short paper in proceedings of Computer Human Interaction (CHI) 2005, Portland

5.2.1 Choice of channel


Voice based interaction or Display based interaction?

Visual signals6 are able to convey a large range of diverse information and are
commonly used. Auditory signals are appropriate for warning signals, to attract attention
or transmit information to person who is occupied in other work. While designing the
interface between the smart kitchen and user it would have to be underlined the channel
of interaction for specific task. Interactivity should not become a distracting or
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

dangerous to primary function or task i.e. cooking. The channel of interaction could be
mixture of audio and video.

Cooking tasks require continuous attention; also the activities inside kitchen require
constant motion for the user to reach out to appliances or storage areas. Adding a fixed
display would increase the complexity of this ergo system. Therefore it becomes
important that the interaction platform moves with the user rather than the user
approaching display terminals. Virtual projection technology under development would
make this kind of interaction practical. Three dimensional representation of information
in free space using holographic projections is ideal for kitchen environments. Virtual
interface would allow information to pop up on user commands anywhere in 3d space.
Information could also be projected on 2d
space

Plate 5.2 : Virtual keyboard


http://www.webopedia.com/FIG/virtual_keyboard.jpg

The User survey carried out by the author points out a popular opinion from people
against a visual display terminal inside kitchen. Some respondents perceived it as a
source of distraction to cooking work. However this should not be taken as a valid
conclusion as the user does not always know what is right beforehand and may find
service useful when exposed to it. The kitchen can be a dangerous place as it requires
uttermost attention during complex cooking and preparation process. Respondents
were open to idea of voice based communication and entertainment system. This fact is
supported by the reason why most of the people listened to music or news on TV, radio,
or music players while cooking. It was entertaining as well as non-distracting as the
kitchen work was being carried out.
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Plate 5.3 : Concept of a compact interactive kitchen Source : Author

5.3 Proposed Functions Of Smart kitchen

• Act as a centralized console for interface and control over all appliance and
functions. Also allow users to communicate and entertain themselves.

• Keep a stock of position of all food products and inform the user on his cell
phone, laptop or an auditory command when required.

• Idea user interface should be mobile, i.e. the display should appear wherever the
user wants it. Holographic projections

• Diet manger- future kitchens should be able to monitor the user’s health and daily
food intake. This is possible through using Wi-Fi and RFID technology.

• Monitor energy, fuel and resource consumptions of systems like electricity,


heating, lighting etc. Maintain the most efficient and energy saving conditions.

• Allow users to access internet and search for recipes.

• Intelligent and self learning system. Get tuned to user habits and preference with
usage.

• Connectivity to webcams in home allowing users to monitor entire home from


kitchen.
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

5.4 RFID Applications In kitchen

A common language and form of communication is necessary for appliances and


packaged food products. E.g Food barcode labels dispensing information about
package date through a scanner. The present day introduction of RFiD and
technologies like Wi-Fi has opened up new domains of interactivity.
Consider a future scenario. A user buys his daily set of groceries. Included is a can of
packaged milk .Each of these products are carry RFID labels. The packaged food
products are stored in the smart kitchen. The smart kitchen automatically remote
registers the new items stored. A central computing system is able to register details
like the location of storage – refrigerator or cupboard, date of purchase, quantity ideal
cooling conditions etc. Further the system keeps a track of consumption by the user and
display information as and when required. The refrigerator e.g. announces to the
personal computer the shortfall, orders to the computer of the supplier the supply.
A practical model of this concept has been now demonstrated by Microsoft10.
Microsoft’s smart RFID based microwave and kitchen counter that displays information
of food contents

Plate 5.4: Concept of a compact interactive kitchen 2 Source : www.cnnmoney.com

Microsoft recently introduced a prototype of "Home of the future" an example of smart


microwaves, fridge and smart counter. The microwave, for example, is fitted with an
EPC scanner. After you scan a can of soup that carries an RFID tag with the product
description, it automatically figures out the ideal temperature to prepare the food. The
smart refrigerator fitted with RFID technology. Someday it will be able to automatically
scan the contents and figure out what needs to be restocked or which items have hit
their expiration date
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

5.5 The future kitchen – future scope

11
In the 1956 film Design for Dreaming --a promotional trailer produced by Frigidaire--a
housewife in the "kitchen of tomorrow" feeds a recipe card into a slot, triggering a series
of appliances that automatically bake a birthday cake complete with lit candles. Other
films of the era promised that future kitchens would include a transparent cylindrical
refrigerator! A robot butler! And an oven that cooks a roast in minutes " by electronics." !

Plate 5.5 - 5.6 : Scenes from the film Design for dreaming Source : www.wetcircuit.com

Many of these fantasy’s still remain in our minds but are coming into existence in closer
insteps. The introduction of smart appliances like microwave , consumption of
packaged and preprocessed food as part of daily diet are all steps towards a future
which would integrate these advances.

It is said that future kitchens come and go.

The future kitchens have been always been perceived to be build on technological
sophistication. Technology today makes automation of mundane cooking tasks easier
like never before. However technology does has its limitations and would not become
popular if the gizmo laden future kitchen cannot establish an emotional attachment with
its users.
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

Plate 5.7 A marketing ad of a futuristic home appliance by General electric in 1950’s


Source: www.historyofthebutton.com/category/women/

Plate 5.8 General Electric’s concept future kitchen launched in 2006.


Source: http://www.geconsumerproducts.com/pressroom/ /kitchenoffuture

So what will be the shape of the future kitchen? What will it be like? Will it be like a
space craft with lots of controls? Look more like a museum with hidden features? Will a
special room called kitchens in today’s living room become extinct tomorrow? The future
kitchen going by present trends breaks the visual and functional rules of existing
kitchens. It is trying to shrink and blends with the existing living environment, just like
any other furniture or an appliance in home.
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

Today’s future kitchens are bold in usage of hard shiny material mostly stainless steel,
plastics and ceramics. Advanced new age materials are making inroads which facilitate
easy cleaning, odorless cooking. Efficient Systems like water saving improved washing,
OLED based lighting and waste management systems make the future kitchens
environmental friendly. Architecturally they use bold sculptural lines. Colors and
decoration area’s are as fantastical as the gadgetry. The future kitchen are loaded with
technology and gadgets and day is not far when they would be able to sense appetite
needs of the users and deliver foods at a voice command .

Plate 5.9 An example of concept future kitchen 1.


Source: www.softroom.com/.../FUTURE-KITCHEN.html
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Chapter 5 / Interactive kitchen

5.6 Closure

Plate 5.10 An example of concept future kitchen 2.


Source: www.softroom.com/.../FUTURE-KITCHEN.html

The concept of interactive kitchen may sound futuristic and exists only in skeletal form
today, This thesis attempts to show a direction that this could take in the form of
practical concepts and illustrations. These inferences were based on existing
developments in technology, changing user lifestyles, market trends etc. Development
of standard smart kitchen furniture is a complex task, requiring effective technology
integration onto mass manufacture able products. Kitchen s in the near future will see
integration of knowledge from areas like robotics, artificial intelligence, human computer
interaction and food technology. The present Indian furniture market is dominated by
the unorganized sector which boasts of a large pool of skilled workers but lacks
adaptability towards changing demands in furniture needs. It is of paramount
importance that Designers, Engineers, Architects, Entrepreneurs and Manufacturers
come together to set up productive teams. A team that understand Indian users as they
develop a sustainable smart kitchen concept that is marketable.
Chapter 6 / Design Process

Chapter 6
Design Process
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.1 Product Life Cycle

Problem definition

Creating concepts alternatives

Choosing the form Developing the form

Concept Detailing

Making Prototype

Testing prototype

Modifications and Iterations

Mass manufacturing

Marketing

Maintenanace

Fig 6.0 Product life cycle


Recycling or Discardation
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.2 Design brief:


A Design Brief is a written explanation given to a designer outlining the goals of a
design project. A design brief may be generated by designer or may come from
marketing or clients. A well designed objective minimizes the wandering of a designer.
Care should be taken while drafting a design brief that it is neither too vague nor to
restrictive. The brief should allow manageable exploration of creative pursuits within the
design space so as to achieve satisfactory results. Design brief is also known as need
statement, objective, definition, goal, aim etc.

6.3 Need statement


To design a compact mobile workstation that fulfills basic cooking operation and is
Upgradeable to communication and information centered cooking environment.

6.4 Specification for Product Development

6.4.1 Qualitative Features

1. Easy to pack and ship


2. Offer mobility and flexibility in layouting
3. Provide efficient cooking environment
4. Provide adequate storage space and volume for a small family
5. Adjustable counter height
6. Follow trends in terms of aesthetics and function
7. Wi-Fi enabled rotating information display console
8. Easy to manufacture and assemble
9. Easy to assemble / dissemble by user
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6.4.2 Quantitative Features


1. Weight = Less than 10 kg per unit when empty

2. Unit Work surface = Length : min 381 mm , Width : min 457 mm

3. Counter Height = Min 825 mm, Max 914mm , counter thickness 12mm to 20mm

4. Max shelf height = Less than 1625 mm

5. Product life = 10 - !5 years

6. Price without appliances = INR Rs 20000 - 25000

7. Price with appliances ( fridge and hob ) = INR Rs 30000 – 40000

8. Price with information display console = INR Rs 50000

6.5 Proposed Appliance Specifications in Kitchen Workstation

6.5.1 Refrigerator
Dimensions & Specifications
Unit Height: max 16 " Unit Width: max 20 ½ " Unit Depth: max 20 ½ ”
Weight: 10 - 15 kg
Capacity: 1.5 to 1.7 Cubic Feet
Electrical: 230 V
Key Features
• Reversible door ( left and right swig ) refrigerator

• Compartmental storage for food, bottles, ice etc.

• Refrigerator should be detachable from storage furniture for replacement


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.5.2 Hobs or burners

Dimensions & Specifications


Unit Length: max 20 ½ ” Unit width : Max 20 ½ "
Weight: 2kg to 3 Kg
Capacity: 1.8 Cubic Feet
Reversible door (left and right swig) refrigerator
Key features
• Rotatable concealed gas inlets ( left and right )

• Stainless steel finish

• Auto ignition

• Flame level control


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.6 Benchmarking Existing Products


Prior to concept generation process a study brief study of existing products in market
was carried out to identify features and qualities present in them. This was also
important in terms of developing fresh , novel concepts rather than re creating an
existing design.

Plate 6.0 Benchmark Product 1 Source : http://www.compact-kitchens.com

Product Features

° Design flexibility
° 6.0 cu. ft. removable refrigerator with automatic cycle defrost
° Interior light , Electric oven models operate on 230v.
° Cushion-mounted silent compressor, High efficiency foam insulation
° All gas units equipped with electronic ignition and all gas components
° All oven surfaces finished with porcelain enamel.
° All refrigerators are removable which allows for easy maintenance or future
replacement.
° Refrigerator door may be located on the right or left when facing unit.
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

Plate 6.1 Benchmark products

An extensive online search was done to explore the list of existing products in the
defined category. Products were analyzed in terms of product feature, modularity, space
flexibility versus storage volume, cost, aesthetic appeal and usability.
Most of the available solutions are compact, multi-feature and posses aesthetic appeal.
A few products offered features of modularity and mobility. Concept of built in
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

entertainment / communication center is nonexistent among all the found products.


Market analyses failed to reveal any Indian manufactures in above category.

6.7 Concept Generation

Concept 1 – single station

Fig 6.1 Concept1


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

Concept 2 – Adjustable shelving level

Fig 6.2 Concept2


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

Concept 3 – 4 Cube Concept

Fig 6.3 Concept3


6.8 Final Concept

This concept splits the basic work triangle functions of cooking, refrigeration and
washing into four independent mobile modules. A module for storage and information
and communication display is added; together these four modules provide all basic
cooking functions in a compact area.
The concept inspiration came from four squares .These four squares were arranged for
maximum efficiency along the work triangle. Extrusion of squares into 4 cubes to take
form of individual furniture module wherein each cube performs the intended function..
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.9 Concept Illustration


Final concept rendering for Mobile Smart Kitchen Workstation

Fig 6.4 Concept Illustration


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.10 Salient Features of Concept

• A Complete cooking workstation to serve needs of 2 - 4 people


• Flexibility in arranging various plans to suit user requirements
• Possibility for kitchen expansion from small to large.
• Freedom of Mobility. Cubes can be easily packed and transported during home
shifting.
• Quick installation and easy assembly
• Low Investment kitchen. Can be purchased in modules according to users
requirements
• Contemporary design to gel with urban user’s outlook.

Key features in incorporated in the designed product are

• Castor wheels to allow free movement of furniture.


• Steel casing provide a termite free, insect free hygienic environment
• Stainless steel counter gives a hygienic easy to clean surface, and aesthetic
elegance confining to international trends,
• Trays and baskets for organized food storage. Used are cutlery tray, cup and
saucer tray, heavy utensil trays etc.
• Useful accessories like dustbin holder, soap and detergent tray, knife and spoon
rack etc
• Adjustable counter height mechanism to suit users.
• Ergonomic design confining to Indian Anthropometric data.
• A proposed rotating LCD touch screen panel that can be used for the smart
automated kitchens in future.
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.11 Applying the “Divine Section”

A normal rectangle is not pleasing to the eye11 . Either it is too square-ish or it is too
slender. A divine section or golden rectangle is a rectangle which follows a fixed
geometric proportion and has proved to be carry aesthetic appeal when applied in
architecture and product design.

A golden rectangle have side lengths in the golden ratio, 1: , that is, approximately
1:1.618.

Since the basic forms in furniture to be designed were predefined to be cubes, the
cubes were attempted to follow the golden section as close to possible. It was also
necessary to keep in mind that the resulting geometry should also confine to the
ergonomic guidelines to suit functions it was being designed for.

Dividing the length of furniture by width, we get 864mm / 533 mm = 1.621


Golden rectangle value is 1.618
So the basic form designed is very close
to a golden rectangle and hence final
form might carry aesthetic appeal.

Plate 6.5 - A golden rectangle.

Fig 6.2 Golden Section


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.11.1 Concept detailing

Individual unit

Fig 6.6 Concept detail


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.11.2 Smart kitchen interface module

Smart kitchen Interface module.

Rotating LCD display for information,


system control, communication and
entertainment.

Open Storage rack for spices and other


utilities to be hung or placed on top of
base unit.

Fig 6.7 Smart kitchen interface module


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.11.3 Basic kitchen layouts

Straight kitchen U shape kitchen

Island kitchen Gallery kitchen

Fig 6.8 Basic kitchen layouts-1


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.11.4 Centralized Control Interface For Smart Kitchen

Rotating, transparent LCD display


which can be folded back when
not in use.

LCD INTERFACE MODULE

• Wi-Fi display station.


• Transparent LCD touch screen
display panel
• Display can be carried by user
anywhere inside home.

Fig 6.9 Basic kitchen layouts-2


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.12 Scaled Prototype Testing


Once the concept sketch was frozen scaled
models of concept was made. The models
were handmade by the author ( sunboard
material ). To give the models a feel of
reality scaled models of kitchen toy sets
were modified and fit into the existing
design .

During model making outmost care was


taken to create a model that approved most
of the ergonomic criteria’s of the design .

Once the models were made, the concept


was tested. All possible layouts and
configurations with available units were
tried that sufficed the kitchen work triangle
law. Most efficient and least efficient layouts
were noted. This stage also tested the most
optimum position for touch screen
information display.
Based on testing at this level the author
carried out iterations in the concept For e.g
the tall storage unit was eliminated in final
concept since it posed serious restrictions
on mobility and would have become too
bulky for transportation. In place of closed
tall unit a open utility rack was introduced of
smaller dimensions.
Plate 6.3 Mock prototype Configurations
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.13 Product Prototyping Process


6.13.1 Fabrication In Sheet Metal

Plate 6.4 ,6.5 Sheet measurement and cutting

Plate 6.6 ,6.7 Sheet Bending and cutting

Plate 6.8, 6.9 Final Welding and fabrication of panels


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.13.2 Accessory Selection


Laminates and Handles -

Plate 6.10 Checking compatibility of handles with laminates


Plate 6.11 Accessories used

Market was surveyed for various types of fitting and accessories available for channels,
castors, handles, and minor fitting accessories. Finally standard accessories of right
quality and within stipulated budget was selected.
Metal Laminates (0.8 mm thickness) with brushed steel finish and complimenting dark
yellow shades standard laminate (1mm thickness) that matched closest to the designed
concept was selected. Handles were of stainless steel finish (152mm ).
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.13.3 Drawer Assembly


PVC mesh baskets are used for storage in standard modular kitchens. Baskets come in
variety of sizes and designs depending on purpose. The prototype uses 3 types of
baskets plain, single partition and cup and saucer baskets for demonstration.
Telescopic channels are fitted along edge of the baskets. Channel runs on guide rails
along the steel cabinet walls.

Plate 6.12 Three Different utensil trays used Plate 6.13 Telescopic channels fitted inside the steel unit

Plate 6.14 Plate Trays Closed Plate 6.15 Plate Trays drawn out
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.13.4 Carpentry and Assembly


Drawer baskets running on channels are attached by means of screws onto faces made
in wooden ply board 3/4”.Level adjustments are made to ensure all the panels of
drawers are in line and centered. Completed Units were sent for painting

Plate 6.16 Assembly with wooden panels


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.13.5 Final Prototype in Assembly


Once structure is ready and drawers running freely, panels are covered by laminates
through adhesives. Edges are filed and levels matched .Position of handles are marked
and attached.

Photographs showing partially finished prototype assembly work in progress.

Plate 6.17 Final prototype - Straight kitchen Configuration

Concept Prototype uses a fabricated MS Steel cabinets ( 22 Gauge sheet ) for weight
reduction instead of conventionally used wooden panels for creating cabinets.

Steel cabinets are fitted with 4 castors and can be freely be moved by the user.

Stainless steel sink fitted on top of sink unit.

Design uses brushed steel finish laminates to compliment with stainless steel counter or
slab to create a neat design.
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Chapter 6 / Design Process

Plate 6.18 Final prototype – showing drawers, dust bin holder, sink

Plate 6.19 Final prototype – Island kitchen configuration.


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Chapter 6 / Design Process

6.14. Prototype Development Cost


1st Chart shows amount spent on developing the concept from sketch to pilot prototype
level.
Fig 6.10 Product costing
Basic Furniture development Cost Amount (Rs)
Fabrication Cost of 4 steel cabinets 5800
including labor cost ,material
Stainless steel Sink 250
PVC trays and baskets, dustbin holder etc 3000
Hardware Accessories ( channels, castors ,screws etc ) 1400
Ply board 3000
Cenmica 2250
Painting Cost 2500
including labor, material
Labor Cost in development 2500
Total Cost 18000

Accessory Cost Amount (Rs)


Cost of stainless steel / or granite slab on counter 2000
Accessory – Burner / Hob 5000
Total 7000

Final development Cost for Modular Amount (Rs)


kitchen Workstation Concept
Module Furniture cost 18000
Accessory and Counter cost 7000
Total 25000
Chapter 7
Conclusion
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Chapter 7 / Conclusion

Conclusion

This thesis attempts to identify key user needs in Indian kitchen furniture for a migratory
population. This population segment is educated, on the move and requires kitchen
furniture that is modular, efficient and trendy. Henceforth concepts are proposed and a
physical prototype built that meets user requirements. The thesis takes a bold step
ahead in adding an interactive element to concepts which might become a standard in
the future.

This thesis however could not succeed on the front of physical realization of all
proposed smart features in kitchen. There were technical problems during development
and the present prototype is just a step forward. However, it does assimilate important
facts from users, trends in market and creates a usable product.

The contributions of this dissertation are stated as under


1. This thesis gives out a step by step approach which should be carried out in
developing commercial furniture starting from need identification to physical
product development and beyond. The author hopes that the process followed
could be useful to unorganized or small scale industries in gaining competency.

2. The thesis also documents relevant anthropometric data, important guidelines


necessary for planning any kitchen space or furniture. Reference to this thesis
work would acts as a quick guide to Indian ladies in creating efficient kitchens.

3. To the best of author’s knowledge, a concept like this for mobile kitchen does not
exist at present in the market. Future refinement of the idea on these lines and
development could create an indigenous product of high value.

This thesis is only a small step towards future development of an efficient smart kitchen. There is
scope of work over how physical embodiment of existing technology in communication,
information display, robotics etc takes place into the kitchen furniture in future.
90
References

References

1. Indian Economy and furniture business from report – Indo Italian Chamber of
Commerce & Industry In Mumbai (India)2006,< http://www.ud.camcom.it >

2. Kitchen Planning & Furniture Design from


Ernst and Peter Neufert, 2000, Architects’ Data,
Blackwell Publishing Limited

3. Terence Conran,1986, The kitchen Book,


Mitchell Beazley Publishers Ltd ,London

4. Sunset 1991,Kitchen Remodeling Handbook,


Sunset Books, U.S.

5. Furniture definition from


http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/furniture/

6. Ergonomics Overview
Bridger 1995, Introduction to ergonomics,
Mc Graw Hill, INC

7. Need for Indian Anthropometric Data


Chakrabarti Debkumar, 1997, Indian Anthropometric Dimensions,
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

8. Frankfurt kitchen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchen

9. Qualitative and Quantitative survey


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_research

10. Microsoft Smart kitchen


http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/07/news/fortune500/retail_rfid/index.htm

11. Future kitchen


http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/next-kitchen.html

12. Golden Section


Doren,1954, Industrial Design – A Practical Guide to Product Design and
Development,Mc Graw Hill.
Appendix
Final Prototype – Mobile Smart kitchen Workstation

Related Interests