Architecture and the City Festival
September 1–30, 2014
The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA San Francisco) and the Center for Architecture + Design announce the 11th annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind. Taking place in San Francisco every September, the month-long celebration features behind the scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. The 2014 Architecture and the City festival theme, Home: My San Francisco, will examine the shifting nature of home, the different elements that contribute to its definition, and its relation to the urban fabric. Over 40 festival programs will explore the cultural richness and diversity of our local architectural and design community as well as provide a platform for conversation about our changing landscape and its implications for a city in a time of rapidly intensifying housing needs.

Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes
September 19, 2014
The USGBC will present, Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes, at the upcoming AltCar Expo on Friday, September 19th at 9:30am.   Designed for building & design professionals, the lecture addresses the need to erect higher performing buildings and the push towards zero net energy buildings. Panelists include:  Tim Kohut, AIA Architect, Green Dinosaur; Lena Ashby Senior Sustainability Coordinator, Green Dinosaur; and Joel Cesare, Sustainable Building Advisor, City of Santa Monica.

10th Annual KAYAK and SUP Coastal Cleanup Day Event
September 20, 2014
On Saturday, September 20, from 8:15am–1:30pm, The Bay Foundation (TBF) will host its 10th Annual Marina del Rey Kayak Cleanup Day Event as part of the greater annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) which draws over 14,000 volunteers from across Los Angeles County to hundreds of events. As the longest-running kayak and SUP cleanup site, the TBF event is immensely popular each year and spaces fill up early.

San Francisco Living: Home Tours
September 20–21, 2014
AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are excited to announce the 12th annual San Francisco Living: Home Tours, a two-day open house event featuring a select number of modern residences. The popular weekend showcases a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods and residences, including single-family homes, contemporary renovations and multi-family residences, and is the first tour series in the Bay Area to promote residential design from the architect's point of view. Throughout the weekend, tour participants can see some of the city's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover innovative design solutions that inspire unique San Francisco living.

Detroit Design Festival
September 23–28, 2014
Presented by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), and supported by the Knight Foundation, the fourth-annual Detroit Design Festival spans all design disciplines and brings together commerce, culture, education, and entertainment with a full, varied program of exhibitions, openings, installations, shows, talks, open studios, fashion shows, product previews, performances and workshops.

Archtoberfest San Diego 2014
October 1–30, 2014
Archtoberfest San Diego 2014 is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of public events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability.

Westedge Design Fair
October 16–19, 2014
The curated fair features over 150 leading and emerging, domestic and international furnishings brands. Catering to both trade and consumers, the event offers a complete experience for attendees, including panel discussions and workshops, culinary activities, custom installations, and a series of special events.

4th Annual Found L.A.
October 19, 2014
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, the non-profit L.A. Commons ( will host its 4th annual Found L.A: Festival of Neighborhoods, and its first based on a mayoral theme, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Program. Angelenos will explore the main arteries of neighborhoods around the city, developed and not so, and meet the people in the center of activity there.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 2014
The primary goal of the New Urbanism Film Festival is to renew the dialogue about urban planning with a broader audience. The Festival brings in movies, short films, speakers, on the topics of architecture, public health, bicycle advocacy, urban design, public transit, inner-city gardens, to name a few. 







Deadline: October 31
Show Us Your Baldwin

Deadlne: November 30
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

FORM Event Images

Industry Partners




« FORM on Design: Emma Gardner's Poetic Fibers | Main | Showroom: Going Nuts for Vanities »

FORM Trends: What's Cooking in Kitchen Design

Introduced in 1972, the Idea kitchen, by Pininfarina Design and available through Snaidero USA, was recently rethought. From technology to finishes, kitchens are rapidly evolving, so we asked Alberto Snaidero, operational manager at Snaidero USA, to share some insights into the changes taking place. Image courtesy Snaidero USA.

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen seems to be evolving the most rapidly, especically when it comes to technology. We reached out to Alberto Snaidero to get his take on the changes taking place. As the operational manager at Snaidero USA, he's got a front row seat to the new kitchen. From smart tech to materials, there's a lot going on.

Alberto Snaidero, operational manager at Snaidero USA. Image courtesy Snaidero USA.How has technology changed the kitchen in the last five or 10 years?

For cabinets, soft close systems on all doors and drawers are a must. Software technology is drastically different than it was a decade ago—you can immediately design a space and make changes on the fly, when it used to take hours to draw out the floor plans. It has increased productivity and efficiency significantly. Material technologies are allowing us to use materials we never considered for kitchen in the past: leather, bronze, concrete, carbon fiber, zinc, and other industrial materials. Our ventilation hoods clean the air and can hide out of view when we aren’t using them, and they have become design elements in their own right.
Touch controls instead of knobs are now popular on ovens and cooktops, and we’re seeing remote control settings and timers as well. Ovens have eliminated all the guess work—you basically scroll through a menu of food items (as you would on your smartphone) enter the weight and hit ‘start’. The oven technology is advanced enough to cook it to perfection, determining exactly the right amount of heat, time, and energy to use, allowing us all to appear as if we’re seasoned chefs. Refrigeration is the same way, storing our food at optimal temperature and humidity levels to keep food fresh and tasting great for much longer.
How will technology continue to evolve in the kitchen?

The use of technology is allowing us to take universal kitchen design to a whole new level, making the kitchen a completely personalized, safe and functional space for all, regardless of age and physical/mental abilities. Snaidero has recently partnered with a network of universities, research centers and companies in different fields to explore industrial research and development for a universal design project called LAK: the “Living for All” kitchen. The goal of this universal kitchen design endeavor is to develop the prototype for an “intelligent” environment that utilizes home automation devices, sensors, smart outlets, and innovative remote control systems. These different technologies are integrated into a single platform with an easy-to-use interface that helps you “program” the kitchen to act as you wish. It will consider security, comfort, energy efficiency, and design to create a kitchen that literally adapts and transforms depending on its user. With features like adjustable workspaces and countertops, sensors that let you know how food items should be stored and when they will expire, and  facial recognition software that will adapt to your personal specifications for lighting, temperature or personal reminders, etc., this is just the beginning.
The result is a solution that improves the quality of home life for everyone. This concept that is especially useful for multi-generational households where different users have distinct functional needs. This home automation allows more flexibility as we grow older.  If someone in the home is dealing with memory loss or if you have small children, the oven and cook-top can be locked remotely, if they are home alone, to avoid accidents.
Kitchen technology will also continue to evolve in environmentally friendly ways, given the ubiquitousness of things like LED lighting and environmentally-friendly wood and manufacturing processes. I think particleboard, while industry-standard, will be even more prominent, given its durability, and the fact that it requires less deforestation than solid wood.

 Snaidero sees induction cooktops replacing large, bulky commercial models. Image courtesy Snaidero USA.
How have your designs evolved/continue to evolve as technology takes a bigger role in the kitchen?


One of the bigger design and aesthetic changes in recent memory occurred when dishwashers were developed that had the controls located on the inside of the door so an outside panel can be integrated to look like the rest of the cabinetry for a clean, European look. The cabinets will continue to integrate technology seamlessly but will also advance the design conversation. Snaidero has been influential in setting the standards for European cabinetry, including introducing the first handle-less kitchen, commissioning notable designers to design our kitchens, and demonstrating how new materials can provide classic style, while maintaining modern appeal.
On a smaller level, many of our designers have added adjustable spaces into cabinetry for people to place iPads, docking stations, and TV screens that help them manage the household.  They can pull up recipes and family schedules as well as control things going on in other sections of the home.  The keyword here is adjustability.  Technology improves so quickly, you do not want to spend money creating a niche for something that will be smaller, thinner, and smarter a year later.
Despite changing tastes and trends, Snaidero’s designs have stood the test of time. What do you attribute that to? In what ways have you adapted or tweaked them?

Snaidero never designs to be trendy. We try to consider classic designs, then adapt them to modern life, while introducing new and unique elements to help evolve the kitchen in a meaningful way.  A tremendous amount of thought, design, and engineering goes into our cabinet styles so they CAN stand the test of time.  You cannot manufacture a kitchen to last 30 years in someone’s home, but design it so that it is only current for 5-10 years.  That is intentional and what makes Snaidero truly special.  We further update and stay relevant by evolving wood and lacquer colors and updating the styles every so often to accommodate advancing technologies.
Intelligent design will always stand the test of time.  The overall concept of IDEA today is based on the same design principals as it was over 40 years ago; elegant balance and unified lines.  The adaptions come from updated drawer systems and modern engineering.  Small details like door profiles and finishes will be streamlined to keep the style fresh, but the beauty is that the IDEA installed in 1975 still looks as current and innovative as the one installed in 2014. That is the Snaidero difference.

In one of the company's newer kitchen designs, Code, rustic meets modern. Image courtey Snaidero USA.

What are some design trends on the kitchen horizon?

Different materials for door finishes like porcelain and glass are becoming more popular. While grey will continue to be a huge trend in interior design as a whole, I think we’ll start seeing more rusts, bronzes, and warmer, golden tones on the horizon.  Both dark and neutral woods (like Walnut) and raw, textured wood have some staying power as well.  They revisit early kitchen design in a new way, and are often integrated with more contemporary elements to stay interesting.  More industrial elements like stainless open shelving and brick will also continue.  As for function, we’ll see more double islands, double ovens, specific ‘work zones’ and unique pantry storage.  White kitchens are timeless and open floor plans are definitely here to stay for good.

Design can simplify life—people like materials that are easy to clean and appliances that are “smart” and intuitive. Streamlined design that reduces clutter, integrated appliances and handle-free cabinets and appliances. 


Are there things that folks aren't as interested in now?

We’ve seen diminished interest in granite countertops and in medium toned and warm woods (like cherry).
Double bowl sinks, tambour appliance garages and trash compactors are also losing their appeal a bit. I think people are growing more of their own food, trying to create less waste, reusing things and repurposing for the environment, which can only be positive! People are also requesting the removal of a desk area in the kitchen, possibly as a way to remove the pleasures of food and company from the concepts of work or homework. People are gravitating towards induction cooktops and away from bulky professional style appliances.  The elimination of microwaves has been interesting—people want to make their food fresh or reheat it more traditional ways. There is always value in the past—it’s interesting to revisit concepts that once were old and are now new again. It keeps things interesting!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>