Gaggenau / BSH
Lorenz Bauer (graduation student)
Bruno Ninaber van Eyben (supervisory chair)
Dicky Brandt (supervisory mentor)
Piotr Szpryngwald (company mentor)
9/10 cum laude
The Gaggenau Motion Port redefines automation in the luxury kitchen while maintaining a rich cooking experience. The seamlessly integrated Motion Port can provide motion and heat to a big variety of kitchen appliances. The innovative design approach creates an aesthetic symbiosis between the countertop device and the luxury kitchen itself, by visually decluttering the workspace.
The Assignment asked to design a supportive kitchen device for enhancing the cooking experience within the given environment of a Gaggenau kitchen, mainly focusing on liberating the cook from less exciting tasks during the process of food preparation. Next, to convenience aspects, the envisioned aim was to empower the user to fully enjoy the essence of cooking by giving valuable and intelligent support. Throughout the process, it is important to provide the subjective feeling of being in the lead, by effectively assisting the cook - like a Sous Chef.
- original design brief
The underlying Idea of the design principle is having a universal port, hidden in the working surface of the kitchen counter. This port provides motion and heat for specially designed devices on top of it, to create a truly seamless experience.
PROOF OF CONCEPT
The prototyping phase included countless iterations to figure out how to transfer rotary movement in a non-mechanical way. The development of the working principle and the calibration of the internal electronics took many iterations. From the beginning on the declared goal was to prove the innovative approach by creating a seamless design without any mechanical fixation elements. After designing parts in SolidWorks low-quality FDM prints were made for fast iterations. Once the design was promising, a much more precise model was made with aluminum and brass parts.
A thin hairline indicates where to place the device on the seamless countertop surface. When the system senses a device approaching it gets aligned and locked automatically. The underlying technology of the Motion Port seamlessly transfers rotary movement without physical contact. This has the beneficial side effect of absorbing noisy vibrations which results in a significant noise reduction.
A unique selling point of the Motion Port is modularity. Next to providing heat and movement to several different devices, also different attachments can be used to modify the device for a certain application.
The Motion Port also provides heat energy through an integrated induction heating feature which lets the user define a certain temperature for the produce. The combination of those two features enables the user to blend and heat a soup or slowly heat and stir a stew all in one go.
Exploring the user interface of the product resulted in a basic proposal. Due to the fact, that different modules can be operated on the Motion Port, the interface has to adapt fluently to be in accord. A requirement for the UI was to disappear completely once it is not needed and unobtrusively providing insights on the ongoing process. The operating element of the user interface is the self-adjusting, detachable dial. It offers a haptic and intuitive input experience to operate individualized interfaces. By rotating and (double) tapping the top surface, the user can adjust settings.
The seamless approach of the Motion Port goes far beyond the blender module. Theoretically, it can provide motion and heat for many kitchen appliances, including food processors, coffee grinders or whetstones. Sharing a universal hub will drastically reduce the volume and weight of individual kitchen appliances by making an individual motor block obsolete. This big advantage redefines the cooking experience by making it more pure, light and effortless.
The blender module of the Gaggenau Motion Port is only one module which can work with the underlying principle. By taking the idea further, the universal hub adds a whole new level of automation to the kitchen environment. Due to its very compact design (<10mm thickness) the motion port can be integrated easily into kitchen surfaces.
Since the air gap between rotor and stator is crucial, the product is unsuitable to upgrade an already existing surface in a kitchen. The innovative potential fully unveils by looking at it in a bigger scope. In the near future, living environments will become context-aware. Therefore, interactive and smart countertop surfaces will encounter major technology upgrades. This phase of redefining the environment provides an ideal opportunity to integrate the Gaggenau Motion Port from the beginning on. The principle can be integrated seamlessly as a feature into a modular built-in appliance, like an induction cooktop.