The first time I saw a dual-swing refrigerator door was in 1990s Japan, from manufacturer Sharp. The kitchens there are so small, it really does make sense to have a door that you can open from either side.
I never got to take a close look at how those hinges worked. However, global design and strategy consultancy Teams has also developed a dual-swing hinge for space-tight RVs, and they give you a pretty good look at it.
"Motorhomes are real space miracles," they write. "A refrigerator is always part of the essential equipment, but its contents are not easily accessible from every place, since the door can be opened from only one side. "TEAMS challenged this unwritten law during an ideation-workshop together with [RV appliance manufacturer] DOMETIC."
"Each hinge is also a lock," says Walter Heidenfels, Head of Engineering Services by TEAMS Hamburg, "that changes its function depending on the opening status, and that only with one movement, without the user noticing."
The Teams-developed hinge now appears in Dometic's RMD 10.5XT refrigerator.