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Brief 6: Eat, Share, Live

Design an inclusive and accessible and multi-generational kitchen space or kitchen component that works for all ages, as well as for disabled and non-disabled family members, so they can prepare, cook and serve food, entertain, engage in hobbies or work and enjoy life together.






  • Demographic trends and property prices are encouraging more generations to live together in the same house. 

  • There are 11.6 million disabled people of all ages in the UK who want to live independently in their own homes. Disabled people and their families also have a combined spending power of almost £250bn so there are commercial opportunities for inclusive design.

  • There are mutual advantages for extended families in sharing living spaces. Parents working outside the home have grandparents helping with childcare; children may develop empathy, patience and an understanding of the life course, the process of ageing, and how disabled and non-disabled people can live together; in addition, older people have companionship and support with domestic tasks.

  • With advances in technology revolutionising the way we work and entertain ourselves, including in our kitchens, there is scope for new ideas in the design of furniture and equipment to enhance the experience of users of all ages and of users with a range of impairments.

  • A kitchen is a place of refuge and sociability. Rooms are spaces for shared emotional experiences.  The fact that design affects behaviour is acknowledged by recent work of neuroscientists: our hard-wired needs should therefore be considered by students. 

How should you approach this brief?

  • Examine your own preconceptions about what a kitchen is, what it looks like, how different generations and age groups use it. Look at implicit age, disability and gender stereotyping related to kitchen activities and see how to dismantle them.

  • You are asked to think boldly. Create an affordance - an action affecting an object or environment - that offers a family new, shared activities and individuals different ways to live in their kitchen. Designs for kitchens of all sizes and their components are welcome on the basis that it addresses the challenges of people at different life stages and with a range of impairments all working in the kitchen. In ‘smart’ kitchens different software configurations can address many challenges. We can maximise potential when we do not stratify designs into age or life stage groups.

  • Entrants are urged to think creatively and innovatively about how applying the principles of inclusive design and the concept of inclusive living at the outset of a project can result in spaces, products or systems that are more usable and accessible for everyone.

For the purposes of illustration only, viable responses could include:

    • a product or piece of furniture that takes advantage of smart technologies or the internet of things in relation to cooking or food preparation

    • a spatial design that enables people of all ages and a range of impairments to use the kitchen at the same time and for multiple uses

    • a component or item of furniture that facilitates easy, safe cooking for a type of disability (eg visual impairment, limited reach and grip, use of a wheelchair, Parkinson’s, early stage dementia)

    • a proposal for a compact kitchen or aspect of it that improves flexibility and sociability for the end user

... and many more are possible.

Please note: this is an excerpt from the brief, for the full text and information, please download the brief.


There are three awards available for this brief.

ODI Award of £1000

2 x Industry Awards of £1000 each

The judging panel may decide on more than one winner and will allocate the awards accordingly. In addition, the judging panel may award commendations.

Supported by

Office for Disability Issues, Symphony, AEG, Blanco, Kesseböhmmer and the Kitchen Education Trust.

With additional support from

National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA)


August 2017 - Briefs launch online + registration opens

Mon 15 Jan 2018 - Competition opens for submissions 

Wed 14 Feb 2018 - Deadline for ‘early bird’ submission by 4 pm GMT

Wed 14 March 2018 - Final deadline for submissions by 4 pm GMT

Wed 21 March 2018 -
2-stage judging begins 

Tuesday 22 May 2018 - Winners announced

June 2018 - Awards Ceremony at the RSA

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