We've covered several of AGENT's projects in the past, including an in-depth case study with Aava Mobile, as well as a couple of their newer furniture design projects at the ICFF this year. We were also pleased to see Alberto Villarreal, half of AGENT, at the Design Addict Conference South of the Border last month.
For their latest project, the Mexico City-based strategic design firm was invited, along with eight other designers, to develop a kitchen concept—another topic that we've seen lately—to showcase the appliance offerings of Mabe. Villarreal and his partner Michel Rojkind arrived at "Rehilite," Spanish for pinwheel, a culinary workstation with four 'wings,' each with its own dedicated function: compost/harvest, preparing, cooking, eating.
As opposed to a regular kitchen that uses the walls to allocate all the storage and working space, AGENT's concept concentrates all the action in a central island with the 4 wings. As an experimental yet visionary proposal, the concept presents new opportunities to generate architectural spaces from the inside-out, where eating, cooking and farming happen at the same central space of a house. Aesthetically, the concept was inspired by the dynamism and cyclic movement of the Pin Wheel.
The team at AGENT underscored the differences between the purpose of each station with their choice of materials: Corian for the preparation & compost/harvest stations, stainless steel for the cooking station, and wood for the dining area. "The stations also include storage space and units for the elements required on each phase."
The premise, is that beyond looking at the actions of preparing, cooking, eating and waste management as separated events (sometimes even happening at different zones of the house), these have to be understood as interdependent stages of a larger cycle. The idea is also to shorten the gap between food and its origin, bringing a compost/harvest station to the same room where food is prepared, cooked and eaten.
The cycle includes 5 phases: 1) growing and harvesting vegetables and herbs, 2) preparing, 3) Cooking, 4) Eating, and finally 5) reintegrating organic residuals to the compost bin (which later becomes fertilized dirt to seed again). The sinks, having the most recurrent function in all stages, are located at the center of the island.
"Rehilite" is currently on view, along with the eight other kitchen concepts for Mabe, at Centro Cultural Estación Indianilla in central Mexico City. In addition to the piece by AGENT, the exhibition includes concepts from Manuel Álvarez, Sebastián & Mauricio Lara, Tatiana Bilbao, Ezequiel Farca, Ariel Rojo, Cartos Torre Hutt, Cecilia León de la Barra, Juan Pablo Serrano & Rafael Monarjaz.