All-in-one digital table for Ikea suggests recipes based on leftover ingredients

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: a team of students have created a concept kitchen table for Ikea, which acts as an integrated cooking hob and dining table and can suggest recipes based on ingredients you put on it (+ movie).

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

The interactive table, which was developed by students at Lund University and Eindhoven University of Technology together with design consultancy IDEO, can identify an ingredient placed on it via a camera and image-recognition technology.

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

It will then suggest other ingredients to combine with it and can take the user through a full step-by-step recipe via instructions projected directly onto the surface of the table.

"It sees what grocery you put onto it and decides through colour, shape and size what grocery it is," explains Lund University student Ingrid Allenbach in the movie. "It will then suggest what will go well with it and give you recipes to guide you through how to cook them."

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

The idea behind the table, which was presented as part of a concept kitchen for 2025 at the Ikea Temporary show in Milan, is to promote cooking and reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away.

"The things within your home should help you be more mindful of the food you have," says Allenbach. "We want to get people more engaged with their food — actually touching and working with their food — rather than just poking at a screen."

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

Magnetic coils designed to fit inside the table could also allow it to act as an induction hob, allowing users cook directly on the wooden surface. The table includes a crank, which means its top can be lowered so that it is the right height to eat at after preparing food.

"It is a multipurpose table," explains Allenbach. "You can eat on it, you can prepare food on it, you can cook on it. You cook with a heat-insulated pan so it does not leave any burn marks on the wood."

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

Another idea presented at Concept Kitchen 2025 was a concept for a "visible fridge". Rather than storing perishable food in a closed refrigerated box, the students and IDEO developed a series of induction shelves on which individual cooled containers can be placed.

"You can set each container on an optimal temperature, depending on what you have in it," Allenbach explains. "Fish or meat need a much cooler temperature than cheese or milk, for instance."

Concept Kitchen 2025 at Ikea Temporary

Each of the containers features a transparent lid, so food is clearly visible at all times and so less likely to go off and be thrown away. Empty containers can be switched off to save energy.

"The great thing about the visible fridge is that only cools where you actually have something on it, so it uses much less electricity than the fridges you have today," says Allenbach. "I hope that in the future people will live a more sustainable life and I think that design can help them to achieve that."

Ingrid Allenbach, student at Lund University
Ingrid Allenbach, student at Lund University

This movie was filmed in Milan at Ikea Temporary. The music is a track called Trash Digital by UK producer 800xL.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers is an ongoing collaboration with MINI exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers

Related movie:

More Dezeen and Mini Frontiers:


  • Canastrophy

    Inducing heat into metal ON a wooden surface? You’ll IGNITE the damn table via the pot/pan!

    And if you do cook on the surface? That projector and camera up there? There better be a window in between them and the hot steam, or vaporised oil when stir-frying. And both, table and the window better be easy to clean.

    And visible fridge, are you f*cking serious? Certain foods, like that salmon, spoil easily if in a clear container like this! OR, if it’s exposed to sunlight, will easily get steamed on the spot, ruining your food, and maybe even the cooling mechanism. Peltier or Freon, either will absolutely break against heat from outside.

    Just buy what you’ll cook on that particular day. Look up a recipe the day before, buy ingredients and try it out. You’re making an expensive solution out of an inexpensive mindset!

    • JW
    • Edmond V.O. Katusz

      “You’re making an expensive solution out of an inexpensive mindset!” Indeed! Very well put, I couldn’t formulate it better myself!

      Yes, I know it’s a concept, but too far flung. Reminds me, by the way, of cooking according to the “Far Flung Floyd” way. (Prayer: May He imbibe heavenly fluids for ever up there). But I digress, sorry.

      Anyway, where in this kind of kitchen can I put my wok burner? A small one, but the real stuff.

  • Dan K

    Hello Ingrid. My name is Dan and I am a founder of Easy Fast Recipes website. Many thanks for this lovely kitchen concept article! Simple and affordable ingredients, easy to follow step by step instructions.

  • Toby

    We’ll all be eating Ikea’s Swedish meatballs now.

  • Jo

    Love and support!

  • Brakpanpolisie

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Brennan Murray

    It’s a concept, not a product. Give it a chance, honestly I just appreciate the implications this could have for healthy eating on society as a whole.

    Depending on your ingredients the system could offer you more healthy alternative meals that most people wouldn’t normally even think of cooking. Not because they don’t want it but because they’ve only known one dish to prepare with certain ingredients.

  • Esin

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 at 12:19 pm by . See our copyright policy.

Before commenting, please read our comments policy.