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Wilfried Plaickner from Arclinea Talks Innovation and Grandma’s Kitchen

From haute cuisine to grandma’s comfort food, chief sales officer at Arclinea discloses what it takes to make our beloved cooking space at home truly special.

“Although tradition and innovation might be seen as opposites, it is now generally recognized that there’s a close connection between the two.”

1. The kitchen is the heart of a home. How can a kitchen space be designed to be an enjoyable socializing area?

The idea is to make the kitchen a place where sharing opens up to include cooking, and vice versa, in a continual interlacing of relationships.

In order to facilitate and aid the connection with people, sometimes a kitchen needs to add new elements. Maybe a wooden table that can extend the functional island, where the table could be raised at island countertop height so as to create an extension of the available working surface and can be used for food preparation or as a dining table. Another idea is a downdraft ventilation on the kitchen island to facilitate the communication between people working together around the island. A closet system can hide the technical zone, food storage, and equipment. This will make the kitchen space feel lighter and become the perfect room for entertaining family and guests.

Arclinea_Wilfried Plaickner

2. Will a grandmother cooking her signature lasagna feel as comfortable in your kitchens as a contemporary chef? What’s similar in their needs and what’s different?

Yes, for sure. They might differ in their approach when it comes to aesthetics, as the modern concept of cooking space borrows the materials, methods, and uses of professional kitchens. But they have in common the desire to share the ritual of food and their passion for food. And for that, the aim has to be to provide the right working tools for maximum quality results.

Arclinea’s 2002 project Convivium transforms the home kitchen into a vibrant gathering space for food prep, family time, and entertaining, centred around an open island and integrated work zones.

3. What’s your best tip for being innovative, and how do you balance the respect for both tradition and innovation in your line of work?

Successful innovation has to exploit the whole set of competencies, knowledge, values, and culture that characterizes our work, our territory, where we’re rooted, and of course the age we live in. Although tradition and innovation might be seen as opposites, it is now generally recognized that there’s a close connection between the two. Nowadays, legislation and technology are known factors that will trigger innovation.

For us, design is based on continuous research and analysis, of both people’s behaviour and, more generally, their approach to food—from its preparation to its consumption.


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Victoria Yakusha

Bringing her Ukrainian roots back to life in a line of earthy and minimalist home décor, this designer connects her aesthetic heritage to contemporary living.

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