The Electrolux Design Lab is at it again. Understanding that the kitchen is a place for inspiration, the Electrolux "Heart of the Home" Kitchen Concept integrates recipe creation into an all-in-one appliance. By combining a cooking surface with a countertop and throwing in a recipe reader for good measure, Electrolux paints a future where kitchen appliances can inspire everything from dinner to the conversation that goes with it.

Meal planning with the "Heart of the Home" starts with, what else, ingredients. The design concept is an imagining of a future where the cookware has a say in what’s cooking. When individual ingredients are placed on the surface, the appliance would recognize the foods, and then suggest meals based on the ingredients. It’s nothing new to imagine a searchable recipe database, but what happens next is where the magic would be.

Once a recipe is chosen, the next step is to actually cook those ingredients. Imagined to be constructed of a malleable material, users trace out a cooking area anywhere on the surface, and then create a depression by actually pressing down into the surface. Time and temperature could then be selected via a similar interface to that of the recipe/ingredient selector.

Like all concept designs, the "Heart of the Home" is a mash-up of the familiar and the far-reaching. Conceived as a space-saving appliance that fosters social behavior, the concept recognizes not only what we are, but also where we are going. As it’s a good bet the question of "what’s for dinner" will be relevant in any era, the design of future appliances that address this question will always be welcome.

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