Considering products as systemic objects, if the focus is a professional kitchen, it can be considered a system in itself—where the food and the work of cookers draw connections among different tools and appliances to produce a meal.
This research applies systemic design to design the future of professional appliances into a circular economy scenario, not taken in isolation but as part of the system of a professional kitchen. Moreover, this design challenge can be considered a systemic one because it should consider different requirements simultaneously as the product one, the environmental, the economic and the cultural and social ones. To reach and implement this scenario, a systemic design approach can be useful to use and apply with its tools and methods to reach different design solutions than the current ones conceived in a linear economy scenario. Trying to solve this design dilemma, some tools are in the development phase to help the work of designers in the process.
The research (in progress) started from a holistic diagnosis of the context to have a complete picture of the state-of-the-art. Moreover, to move more deeply into the kitchen environment where there is a great use of resources (food, energy, water, etc.). An assessment of the flow of information and resources is in the developing stage. It will support an understanding of how they are used and be illustrated in a gigamap (holistic diagnosis).
Thanks to the involvement of a large industry producer of professional kitchen appliances in this research, it will be possible to add data thanks to field research in their canteen. In addition, it will be possible to test the primary draft thanks to interviews with chefs and collect feedback about the problems related to the management of resources.
At the end of the data collection process and the development of the tools, future work will be to test their efficacy in a workshop with design students and discuss the results. The research will reflect on and build an understanding of the usefulness of this approach to designing solutions for a circular economy scenario.
Keywords: systemic design, appliances, circular economy, food service system