LAS VEGAS - At KBIS 2015, the Virginia Tech University Center for Design Research will show kitchen cabinetry and appliances as a cartridge design, part of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show Jan. 20-22 in Las Vegas in the KBIS NeXT area.

  The kitchen is part of a FutureHAUS research project that explores manufacturing strategies and the greater integration of technology with architecture or, in other words, the industrialized production of smart homes.

Joseph Wheeler, professor of architecture and co-director of the Center for Design Research, and Denis Gracanin, associate professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science, are working with an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from industrial design, architecture, interior design, visual communication design, and computer science to envisage the kitchen – and the house – of the future.

“The future is now,” says Wheeler. “The technology is here now, it just isn’t being fully integrated yet.” Wheeler says his team is exploring how technology can enhance the entire kitchen - items such as a camera in the oven to monitor cooking status from anywhere, or a refrigerator that detects when  milk is out of date.

High definition displays in the backsplash can display recipes while cooking, or, in the example shown, the newspaper. The kitchen also explores improving accessibility and aging in place by incorporating elements such as touch or gesture to open cabinets and appliances.

A panel discussion on Thursday Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. will include Steve Brown, general manager, Jenn-Air; Daryl Nauman, key account representative, Hafele America Co.; Mary Jo Peterson, kitchen designer and consultant, Mary Jo Peterson, Inc.; Brian Yahn, sales manager, Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry; Joseph Wheeler, co-director, Center for Design Research, Virginia Tech; Denis Gracanin, associate professor of computer science, Virginia Tech.

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