Until about a century ago, the fitted kitchen as we know it didn't really exist. Kitchens used to consist of a stove, icebox and a pantry, until the advent of the so-called Frankfurt kitchen which was supposed to make domestic work easier -- but in fact, these static, fixed kitchens have just grown to include more appliances and stuff, paradoxically translating to more maintenance.
That said, there's a lot of advantages to a smaller, more mobile kitchen, which is why we can't resist a nifty compact kitchen when we see one, like this "Stewart + Justin Case" prototype by Maria Lobisch and Andreas Nather, German design students at Burg Giebichenstein.
Created under the theme of a "light kitchen" that could be manipulated while fitting into one square meter (10.6 square feet) of space, the design consists of two rollable units which can be reconfigured into endless iterations to suit the user's needs.
One of the units is outfitted with a sink, stove, drying rack, workspace and storage, while the other featuring folding surfaces which transform into a four-person dining area or even more space for food preparation.
The units are made out of steel, wood and is held together by blue webbed, textile straps. Best of all, the smaller "Stewart" sink-stove-storage unit can be embedded into the larger "Justin Case" dining component to make more space, making it suitable for small or flexible spaces. But even while it's collapsed, access to kitchen wares is still possible, thanks to its folding design.
An efficient and adaptable solution chock full of ideas for tight spaces; more images via Designboom.