Call it a first world problem, but keeping plates hot and drinks cold during a carefully-curated meal can be a problem for many chefs – particularly if they’re upholding a reputation in the elite ranks. First shown at the Salone del Mobile in April, the SmartSlab Table just might be the missing piece in a Michelin-starred chef’s arsenal of kitchen tools.
Featuring discreet digital devices embedded in a razor thin composite table top, the SmartSlab Table contains circular heating elements positioned directly beneath guests’ plates, keeping them at a precise temperature of 108.5° F (42.5° C), as specified by critically acclaimed Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Bottura. Additionally, cooling elements are embedded along the table to keep champagne bottles (or any other cold beverage) perfectly chilled next to that piping-hot lobster ravioli.
The concept project was conceived to show off the impressive capabilities of SmartSlab, a new composite material developed by Swedish designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram of KRAM/WEISSHAAR for the Iris Ceramica Group. The new material is capable of integrating heating, cooling and sensor technology directly into oversized ceramic panels for a variety of applications – temperature-sensitive smart tables just being one of them.
While the top layer of the SmartSlab composite is made of SapienStone – a virtually indestructible ceramic material impervious to fire, frost, thermal shock, scratches and microbes – the middle layer contains touch sensors, heating, cooling and inductive cooking pads on a single composite slab that acts simultaneously as circuit board, structure and surface:
Although the SmartSlab Table is likely 99% overkill for the needs of most people, the concept itself is nonetheless a fascinating look at the near future of intelligent materials in product design and architecture.