Convenience and efficiency are king when it comes to product design. What could be more efficient than a natural ecosystem?
That's the insight behind a "living kitchen" designed by the brilliant young design studio Studio Gorm. They looked at what we have in our kitchens—fruits, vegetables, organic waste—and figured: That's actually enough to create a miniature system for watering fresh herbs, composting the waste, and generating new soil.
None of the elements is brand new to this product, but their integration wins points for ergonomics and ease. Above the sink, there's a rack for drip-drying your dishes. That water in turn rails down upon the planter boxes below, where you can grow fresh herbs. In turn, the table top has a waste bowl that can be tipped over, dumping the contents into a bin composter below. There, worms convert the organic waste into rich fertilizer. (Watch the progression below.)
Maybe what's most surprising is that Studio Gorm isn't based in the Netherlands or Scandinavia—but rather in Eugene, Oregon. Granted, the two young founders, John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong, learned their craft studying at the legendary Design Academy in Eindhoven. But they're part of a new breed of young designers bringing Scandinavian-style cleanliness to American design; in New York, there's the American Design Club, and in Milwaukee, there's Misewell. For any American design fan, that's great news.
Check out some of Studio Gorm's other designs, including a modular furniture system of pegs and boards; an elegant Egyptian-inspired chair; a handsome adjustable lamp; and an overhead light inspired by—of all things—a falafel container.
UPDATE: Studio Gorm actually just released an updated version of the FLOW table, which Dezeen has here.