Matthias Pinkert – Small flat? Vesta cooktop saves space

German student’s fold-away cooktop is a finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition.

Sinks and cooktops take up a lot of space in small kitchens, but Vesta induction cooktop folds flat against the wall and out of the way when not in use to provide a larger working area.

The appliance is one of nine finalists out of more than 600 entries from 49 countries in the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition. This year, the sixth year of the global contest, undergraduate and graduate industrial design students were invited to create appliance concepts for the Internet generation.

“I was inspired by the fact that there are a lot of young, busy professionals in the Internet generation,” says the appliance’s creator, Matthias Pinkert, a design student at the HTW University of Applied Sciences, in Dresden, Germany. “They often live in small flats with fitted kitchens where the working area for food preparation is limited. But you don’t always need a cooktop, so Vesta folds away vertically when not in use.

“It also contains a scanner that can read RFID chips, which are predicted to replace barcodes on product packages. These chips could contain information about cooking times and temperatures and even recipe suggestions. So, Vesta saves space, time and provides more comfort for the Internet generation.”

Pinkert says the sleek design of the stainless-steel and glass appliance was inspired by the work of the Castiglioni brothers, who emphasized simple shapes. “They also brought articles from everyday life into new contexts, sometimes with good humor and irony, like the tractor-seat stool Mezzadro and the bicycle-seat chair Sella, for example.”