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A cool new cooktop concept

These cooking plates use various existing technologies to create a futuristic kitchen idea.

Cool. Literally. Yanko Design

A hallmark of smart kitchen design is a properly calibrated work triangle--that's your sink, your fridge, and your cooktop. The idea is to minimize the steps you need to take to move between these three areas to make you as efficient as possible.

In a small kitchen, creating an effective work triangle can be tricky. In my galley kitchen back in L.A., we couldn't open the fridge and the dishwasher at the same time, which is more of a problem than you'd think.

But what if you could move the legs of your triangle around? Why be locked into a cooktop that's fixed in one location? Why not give yourself the freedom and flexibility to cook right next to the sink one night, and near the open window the next?

Designers David Barry and Laurence Finnegan have come up with a concept design for Lotus, "a wireless cooking system that offers an elegant alternative to the conventional static hob." The various pieces in the set are designed for different cooking styles, such as grilling, wok-style sauteing, induction heating, and so on. Power comes from resonant induction via transmission coils in the counter tops and receiving coils in each piece. When the cooking is done, each piece can go straight to a sink full of water for simple cleanup.

The pieces are also cool to the touch, so you'll have far fewer kitchen safety issues than with a traditional hob. It's a cool concept, and one I'd like to see realized. According to designer David Barry, "the only new technology applied is the wireless power." Even though the system seems to be "powered by pixie is actually quite feasible," he says.