The Center for Real Life Kitchen Design opened in the fall of 1998 in a collaborative effort by both the university and the kitchen industry, and is the first of its kind in the nation. The Center is made up of five fully operational and very different kitchens, plus an Outpost Kitchen. The kitchens represent various price levels and space designs, and they also reflect the diversity of today's households. The kitchens illustrate how to accommodate a kitchen to young children, the elderly, and the disabled.
Students, consumers, researchers, and those in kitchen construction and design have an opportunity to learn about the new products, applications, and technologies entering residential kitchens of the new millennium. As opposed to solely learning by lecture in the traditional classroom, the Center provides a truly hands-on experience.
The kitchens in the Center are labeled to reflect the design theme. The largest kitchen is the GE Real Life Design kitchen and contains many universal design features. Other kitchens included are the traditional kitchen, a small starter kitchen, a gourmet kitchen, contemporary kitchen and outpost kitchen. Other areas incorporated into the Center are a classroom, laundry area, home office, and library.