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.

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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.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.