1st January 2000: the most long-awaited New Year’s Day ever!
On the Eiffel Tower the countdown had already started 1,000 days before, and although- technically speaking - the new millennium would have only started the following year, the year 2000 was awaited with expectations, hopes and dreams. Unending live TV shows broadcast the fireworks celebrating the dawn of the new year - hour after hour - in the various capital cities of the world.
We had entered a new era, in a literal sense, as many novelties would have radically changed the lifestyle and daily routine of millions of people. The first decade of the millennium was characterised by an unprecedented technological boom.
Culture, music, entertainment ... old customs familiar to generations of people were swept away in a very short time.
Gone were CDs and stereo systems: music was now purchased online in digital format and listened to with MP3 players, the most renowned being the iPod, introduced on the market by Apple in October 2001.
That same year saw the birth of Wikipedia, the large free online encyclopaedia accessible at any time from any device, which was to revolutionise the way of experiencing culture. Suddenly all those old, dusty printed encyclopaedias - which always lagged behind the Web’s real time updates - had become obsolete.
The same applied to entertainment and free time: old cathode ray tube TV sets were replaced by the new ultra-flat models with plasma or LCD screens, causing a revolution in furnishing solutions and home living design.
But, above all, for the first time TV was no longer the only form of leisure at home. A new form of socialising arose - the so-called 2.0 Web - thanks to the creation of social networks: the first to appear was Myspace in 2003, soon supplanted by Facebook (2004), founded by a yet unknown twenty-year-old, Mark Zuckerberg, followed by Youtube in 2005 and Twitter the following year.
Also for Snaidero the 2000s were a period of intense innovation and technological ferment. The collaboration with Pininfarina, dating from the 1990s, continued in 2003 with the design of the Acropolis kitchen.
It was to be the kitchen of the ‘future’- designed for interpreting the needs of the new millennium with style and character. The entire project marked a departure from the traditional linear layout of the kitchen against the wall, and closely reflected evolving lifestyles. The kitchen occupied the centre of the room and was the pulsating heart of the home, just as the acropolis was the focal point of ancient Greek cities. Refined and sophisticated, it was designed to merge with the living zone - an increasingly frequent solution in new homes.
The choice of technological materials, such as steel and aluminium, and the use of suspended elements, obtained through special processing of honeycomb panels, still make Acropolis a genuinely avant-garde solution to this day.
A few years later, in 2006, Pininfarina designed yet another model: Venus. Also in this case the choice fell on innovative materials and solutions. The use of aluminium allowed for creating curvy, sinuous forms that were extremely light. However, the most advanced technological solutions were experimented on the illumination system in particular. Light was an integral part of the Venus project: thanks to a Snaidero patent, closely aligned LED downlights could also be mounted on low-thickness shelves, ensuring tangible advantages in terms of durability, energy saving and visual comfort.
Moreover, the cabinetry on Venus offered containment solutions that allowed for maximising and rationalising space in the kitchen. In just 120 cm, the retractable cupboard could house as many household appliances (oven, dishwasher and coffee machine) as a roomy pantry.
In 2007, a year after Venus was introduced on the market, Steve Jobs presented the iPhone to the world, triggering the first smartphone generation. It was the dawn of the ‘pocket computer’ era, which would have changed our way of communicating, but also of working, playing, purchasing and much more.
The drive to innovate, experiment and produce new technological items was certainly the distinguishing feature of the decade.
Changing, evolving, finding solutions capable of improving people’s lives.
These were the ideas behind the creation of the Rino Snaidero Scientific Foundation, which aims to create and manage a ‘factory of ideas’ for keeping alive the authentic pioneering and innovative spirit defining the company’s founder throughout his life.
The project involves prime companies, advanced research facilities, prestigious universities, international associations and public administration bodies, and seeks to promote multidisciplinary scientific research in an international context in order to improve the quality of life at home.
Snaidero was already attracted to the idea in 2002 when - in embracing the 'universal design' principles - it entrusted the architects Lucci and Orlandini to create the Skyline-lab project; its aim was to create a kitchen suitable for all users, even the elderly and the disabled.
Skyline is designed to eliminate redundant features and enhance functionality: the roomy worktops offer a greater range of action, while elegant open crystal elements create new space for resting objects in the various work areas. The storage cupboards are 144 cm high, making them comfortable to use even when seated. Everything can be customised to suit individual needs and not only to adapt to the available space, in tune with the Design for all spirit.
The philosophy behind this project is based on the belief that many of the needs expressed by disabled people are shared by most kitchen users. For the former these solutions are a necessity, while for others they may enhance comfort.
Snaidero yet again discovers that innovation - and its applications designed to enhance well-being in the kitchen - is the heart of its culture and entrepreneurial purpose.
And the story continues...
Snaidero photographic archive
Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock archive