We’re calling it: this kitchen innovation – inspired by an ancient Chinese game – will reshape kitchen design forever


Kitchen design has remained relatively stagnant over the past few decades, with the typical layout consisting of counters along the perimeter walls and an island or peninsula in the middle. However, a new kitchen innovation aims to completely reshape kitchen design by drawing inspiration from an ancient Chinese game.

We’re calling it “this kitchen innovation” because it represents a major shift in how we think about cooking and socializing in the kitchen. By reimagining the kitchen as an interactive space optimized for collaboration and entertainment, this innovation will transform the kitchen into the heart of the home.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the origins of this exciting new kitchen concept, how it works, and the ways it will revolutionize cooking and bring people together. With flexible, modular components and a focus on promoting movement and engagement, this kitchen innovation is poised to become the next big thing in interior design. Read on to learn more about how this ancient Chinese game will reshape kitchens of the future.

The History Behind the Innovation

To understand where this kitchen innovation comes from, we need to go back in time to ancient China. Specifically, the inspiration draws from an ancient Chinese board game called Liubo, which translates to “six sticks.”

Liubo was immensely popular during the Han Dynasty era, over 2000 years ago. The game involved moving pieces around a board carved with squares, often enhanced with elaborate decoration. Players took turns maneuvering their pieces according to throws of six sticks, which acted as dice.

The goal was to occupy more spaces on the board than your opponent. Liubo boards and game pieces have been discovered in many ancient Chinese tombs, demonstrating how prevalent the game was among aristocrats and commoners alike. It was a game of both luck and strategy, requiring quick critical thinking and social interaction between players.

So how does this ancient game relate to a kitchen innovation today? While the connection may seem obscure at first, the parallels become clear once we examine the design principles behind Liubo.

Connecting Liubo to Modern Kitchens

Liubo boards were much more than simple game surfaces. They were designed as social hubs to promote conversation and human connection through engaging movement and play.

Similarly, this new kitchen concept aims to transform the kitchen into an inviting, interactive space for collaboration and entertainment. Just as Liubo players navigated a board full of squares, this kitchen replaces stationary countertops with modular components that can be moved and rearranged.

Here are some of the key connections between Liubo game boards and this revolutionary kitchen design:

  • Modular construction: Liubo boards featured squares which allowed for flexible configurations. Likewise, this kitchen uses interchangeable modular units for movable, customizable layouts.
  • Multi-sided use: Liubo was played from all sides of the square game surface. This kitchen innovation similarly has counters and appliances accessible from multiple sides for collaboration.
  • Promoting interaction: Liubo required constant player interaction and communication. This kitchen gets people engaged together through movable components and communal appliances.
  • Playful experience: Liubo incorporated fun gameplay and friendly competition. Bringing an element of play into the kitchen likewise makes cooking more engaging and enjoyable.

Drawing inspiration from this ancient Chinese pastime allows this kitchen innovation to transform the modern kitchen into a hub for connection and activity beyond just food preparation.

How the Innovative Kitchen Functions

Now that we’ve covered the historical foundations behind this concept, let’s dig into the functional details of how this kitchen innovation actually works.

The key distinction from a typical kitchen lies in the use of modular, movable components rather than fixed cabinetry and appliances along the walls. Here are some of the defining features:

Interchangeable Units

The kitchen consists of various cube-shaped units of standard dimensions that can be freely arranged within the space. Units can be outfitted with features like:

  • Countertops
  • Sinks
  • Drawers
  • Shelves
  • Appliances like ovens, microwaves, refrigerators
  • Storage like wine racks, utensil holders
  • And more!

With standardized sizing, the units can be reconfigured in any layout by sliding them around on wheels or casters. Their interchangeable nature allows for limitless customization and flexibility.

Multi-Sided Use

Unlike conventional counters fixed against walls, these modular units are designed for access and use from all sides. Their standalone nature means people can gather around the blocks, interacting and collaborating from multiple entry points.

Appliance units also integrate equipment like stovetops on more than one side, allowing multiple cooks to work together. The openness fosters natural conversation and connection as users move between stations.

Movable Components

All modular units can be moved around the kitchen space as desired. With wheels or casters on each block, sliding them side-to-side or back-and-forth allows for quick reconfiguration based on evolving needs and preferences.

Sections can be grouped together or spread out to adapt to different recipes, number of cooks, and styles of cooking. The flexibility supports multi-tasking and creativity during food preparation.

Optimization for Interaction

The interchangeable, multi-sided nature of the units naturally brings users together in a communal environment. But the kitchen includes additional design touches to further enhance interaction and playfulness:

  • One section may feature a removable chopped herbs station that can be passed around for easy access.
  • Appliance blocks could have rotating lazy susans to swivel ingredients between cooks.
  • Some units may incorporate cutting boards, knife blocks, or colanders that slide or flip up to move tools and ingredients between users.
  • Touchscreen displays on some blocks can share recipes or playlists to keep the atmosphere lively and collaborative.

By optimizing appliance access points and adding interactive elements, the kitchen promotes movement, communication and engagement for a spirited cooking experience.

Benefits of This Modular, Game-Inspired Design

This ancient Chinese game-inspired kitchen innovation represents a major departure from traditional kitchen layouts. By utilizing a modular design focused on interaction and flexibility, it provides a number of benefits and innovations.

Collaboration and Connection

The interchangeable blocks and multi-sided access points naturally bring multiple people together in the kitchen. Food preparation becomes a lively social activity, replacing solitary isolation along a wall of appliances. Friends and family can work side-by-side, easily interact, and share the cooking experience.

Customization and Flexibility

With freely movable modules, the kitchen can be reconfigured to suit evolving needs and preferences. The layout can adapt to different recipes, events, number of cooks, and lifestyles. Units and appliances can be grouped efficiently for specific tasks or spread out to allow freedom of movement.

Creativity and Playfulness

The interactive, game-inspired environment injects an element of entertainment into cooking. Movable pieces, specialized prep stations, and built-in touches like Lazy Susans or flip-up boards promote active engagement. The flexibility allows for experimentation with new recipes and kitchen layouts.

Small Footprint

The standardized modular system eliminates bulky conventional cabinetry. The compact cubes can be tucked against walls or rolled into storage rooms when not in use. The overall footprint is smaller than typical kitchens while still providing ample customizable storage and prep space.

Easy Repairs and Upgrades

With interchangeable modular units, repairs or upgrades are simplified. Individual blocks can be easily swapped out or enhanced without major construction. As technology evolves, smart units with features like voice control or auto-cooking can be integrated without overhaul.

This innovative kitchen concept transforms cooking and socializing by taking inspiration from an ancient Chinese pastime. The modular, interactive design brings people together, facilitates collaboration, and injects playfulness and creativity into the kitchen experience. This game-inspired innovation points to an exciting future for residential kitchens.

Bringing the Innovation into Your Home

After learning about this revolutionary kitchen concept, you may be wondering how you can bring it into your own home. Fortunately, with some strategic design choices, you can emulate components of this innovative system even in a standard kitchen layout.

Here are some tips to make your kitchen more interactive and collaborative using the key principles behind this ancient Chinese game-inspired design:

Incorporate Modular Bar Units

Install one or more standalone, movable bar units or islands that can act as flexible prep stations. Opt for carts or blocks on wheels with counter space, storage, and appliances. Position them near your main counters or in open floor areas.

Add Movable Kitchen Carts

Bring in kitchen carts with wheels that can act as movable supplemental prep surfaces. Look for options with tiered levels for storage and convenience. Position carts near doorways or primary appliances to optimize workflow.

Install Modular Shelving

Swap out stationary shelving units for modular shelving cubes or blocks that can be rearranged. Utilize square floor cubes or wall-mounted cubes on tracks that can slide side-to-side to reconfigure storage.

Use Centralized Appliances

Include multifunctional appliances like ranges, ovens or refrigerators positioned central in the room instead of against walls. This allows open access from multiple entry points. Opt for appliances with controls or doors that can swing open on two sides.

Add Interactive Elements

Integrate engaging accessories like lazy susans, flip-up cutting boards, or slide-out trays to promote movement and interactivity while cooking. You can also include fun touches like chalkboard paint on one wall for notes and creativity.

With some movable, multi-sided elements and playful touches, you can emulate this innovative kitchen concept even within traditional layouts. The result is an adaptable cooking space built to nurture collaboration and human connection.

Frequently Asked Questions About This Game-Inspired Kitchen Innovation

This exciting new kitchen concept may bring up some questions as you consider how it could reshape your own cooking and entertaining. Here we address some of the most common FAQs about this innovation inspired by ancient Chinese gameplay.

What are the dimensions of the modular units?

The interchangeable cube units are standardized, typically around 30-40 inches wide on each side. Standard sizing allows the blocks to be rearranged in any layout.

How heavy are the blocks?

The modules are designed to be as lightweight as possible, constructed from materials like aluminum or high-tech composites. Wheels or casters on the bottom facilitate sliding them around the kitchen.

How are appliances incorporated?

Appliances can be built right into the modular units, with options like sinks, ovens, refrigerators, etc outfitted into different blocks. Some units may feature retractable or fold-down equipment.

Does this require major renovation?

This system is ideal for new construction or full kitchen redesigns. But it can potentially be phased into an existing kitchen by starting with movable islands or carts. Full integration does require installation of specialized utility hookups.

How does the layout adapt for larger groups?

More prep stations, storage cubes and appliances can be integrated to accommodate more cooks. Popular configurations include central hubs of appliances/sinks surrounded by ample counter space and storage capacity.

Can you adapt this to small kitchens?

The compact, standardized modules are well-suited to smaller kitchens. You can optimize workflow by grouping frequently used appliances together and tucking other blocks in unused corners as “stations on demand.”

How easy is it to clean and maintain?

The smooth modular surfaces and high-quality materials are designed for easy cleaning. Having appliances and surfaces on wheels allows them to be moved for quick cleaning access all around.

Is this design affordable for average homeowners?

As a newer innovation, costs are still relatively high. But expanding adoption will drive down pricing over time. Consumers can emulate aspects through inexpensive solutions like kitchen carts and movable shelving.

This revolutionary kitchen concept promises to bring people together in new and exciting ways. With flexible, interactive features optimized for collaboration, the days of solitary cooking along a single wall are over. If you have any other questions about how this ancient Chinese game-inspired design can enliven your kitchen, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.


This innovative kitchen concept is poised to completely reshape residential kitchen design in coming years. By transforming the kitchen from a solitary workspace into a lively hub for playful collaboration, this design harnesses the connecting power of an ancient Chinese board game.

The modular, movable components allow endless customization and flexibility within the space. Appliances and surfaces are optimized for multi-sided use and group interactions. Drawing people together in this way facilitates cooperation, creativity, and fun.

Early adopters are already embracing this game-inspired innovation in cutting-edge new constructions. As the concept expands, it promises to become a mainstream mainstay of future home trends. The days of kitchens as walled-off domains for solitary cooking are numbered.

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