This time last year, Fisher & Paykel launched the Social Kitchen with quirky reconsiderations of food (created by the Engine Room), stunning furniture (by IMO), and an atmosphere that partnered design and socialising on a grand scale. This year, they continued the concept, but The Social Kitchen 2012 was even more interactive and clever. Alt Group, working with the team of product designers at Fisher & Paykel created out of this world ‘appliances’ where guests could hunt, gather, cook, slurp and eat.
Starting with oysters still in the shell resting on a bed of ice, visitors ‘hunted’ which specimen they thought would be most delicious then a professional shucker opened it, it was doused in champagne vinegar and then down the hatch. Guests soon moved on to the eight-burner gas hobs where you could sear a piece of steak exactly to your liking before it was topped with mushrooms and crispy onions. At the end of this exaggerated cooktop, the designers had created an inside out refrigerator coil. A copper coil was filled with coolant, and created a beautiful, frosted twisting line. Huge blocks of ice were being shaved by Alt and F&P designers then doused with topping to create fresh snow cones. Last but not least, small plates of chocolate melted on a wooden veneer warming plate so you could then dip a biscuit into the soft chocolate – delicious.
I particularly liked how it was entirely run with designers from Alt and Fisher & Paykel. Having the designers behind the counter allowed you to interact on an entirely new level with the appliances. You realised it was all these people crafting and creating dishwashers and cooktops. A lovely combination of design and interaction.