It’s been a while that someone has made the effort to redesign the microwave from the ground up. So far it’s only about adding features and technology. The Hybrid & Wide-Oven gives a whole new form for the oven – round! It also hosts four little pots to hold condiments and seasonings that you could use in the dish that you are cooking in the oven.
The purpose of the round design, is so that you can remove your dish with more ease and not burn your hands. I can live with that insight – and to be honest, most homes can do with the new form. My only worry is the stowing of ingredients on top of the oven. Typically you want to keep this space empty and for ventilation, but you never know … this concept could spark a debate or new thinking.
Every home chef’s nightmare is a kitchen with little space and not enough stoves to do some soulful cooking. I’ve come to realize that most people don’t consider the workflow of a prep station, cooking area and assembling area, even when they have the space to do so. No wonder their kitchens look like a disaster after they are done cooking their meals. Perhaps, this is the reason why I like the Split Induction Cooking Top – which is super compact but considers the workflow and cooking multiple dishes at the same time.
Derived from the Plug & Play concept, the induction top is divided into the stowing area, cutting/chopping (or prep area) and cooking area. The design of the induction stove is such that three cook-tops swivels and are stored one under each other.
They fan out beautifully, making space for three people to cook together at one go. You will understand the concept better, once you see how well it’s been designed, and every detail, thought through.
Ideal for flat-mates and students who live in pigeon holes on campus… get a chance to do more than just cooking instant noodles!
Designer: Julius Pang
Imagine if Annie Leibovitz designed her own camera, or Christopher Nolan constructed his own movie theater, or Steve Vai built his own electric guitar from scratch. You wouldn’t second guess the quality of the product, would you? It would HAVE to be spectacular. Everdure comes from the mind of one of the most innovative and decorated chefs of our time, UK’s own Heston Blumenthal. Practically a master, nay, a wizard of the culinary sciences, Heston built Everdure to be the kind of equipment HE would use to cook mind-numbing, physics-defying dishes.
Dubbed the 4K, Everdure’s outdoor grill is a culmination of 4000 years of grilling and cooking with fire in a controlled environment. A first of its kind, the 4K allows you to light your charcoal with the push of a button, while numbered dials on the base and the top give you complete, calibrated control over the air-flow, both into the 4K grill’s base and out of the top. 6 sensors on the inside allow you to monitor the grill’s internal temperature, as well as the temperature of the meat or fish you’re cooking, while the 4K also packs two enamel grills, two stainless steel grills, a heat deflector, and water container, allowing you to absolutely master your cooking experience.
Beautiful too look at both inside as well as out, Everdure’s 4K comes made from thick-gauge metal and die-cast aluminum with a unique insulation design that lessens heat transfer. Perhaps the only grill advanced enough to have its own digital control panel, you can calibrate your cook using 4K’s UI, as well as measure your grill’s temperature using 4K’s companion app over a bluetooth connection, so that you get perfectly cooked food everytime, from steaks to vegetables, burgers, pizzas, to even the occasional delectable pot roast on a cold winter afternoon!
Designer: Everdure by Heston Blumenthal
I’ve always wondered how those vertically-shot Buzzfeed Tasty-style videos manage to prepare their meals so seamlessly. Everything they need is always at an arm’s length away, in their own convenient glass bowls. While it isn’t really practical to own twenty glass bowls to make your food-prep faster, the Chef Caddy proposes a pretty nifty solution.
Meet the Chef Caddy. It is to a chef what a well-organized CD rack is to a deejay. Designed to be modular, the Chef Caddy holds spices, curry-pastes, pre-mixes, dried herbs, seasonings, and oils in its magnetic body that allows you to snap elements together. Designed by Casey Moulton, a speed-chef in his own right, Chef Caddy uses a system he developed years ago, to make food preparation blitzing-fast by simply organizing your seasoning by cuisine. Clubbing seasonings and oils into cuisines like French, Thai, Mexican, Indian, or Italian, Casey found it was much easier to sift through spices without having to dig around in a cluttered spice rack for that one badly-labeled bottle. Chef Caddy allowed you to group similar seasonings together, to make it easier to locate and access whatever you need. The caddy’s body features four docking stations for seasoning-jars, and a bottle-cozy for storing a bottle of cooking or seasoning oil. Each caddy unit comes with magnetic labels that let you easily organize your mixes and spices, as well as a cheat-sheet on top of the caddy to help group your ingredients together, sorting them by cuisine.
The modular, magnetic spice rack doesn’t just organize your kitchen, it de-clutters it too. Keeping everything in a vertically-standing column of jars, the Chef Caddy occupies lesser space than a messy spice-rack and even keeps things aligned, thanks to the magnets that automatically snap and align individual caddies together. Moreover, for smaller apartments, the Chef Caddy even allows you to mount individual cuisine-caddies on cabinets, keeping your spices organized and counters clear.
Based around popular cuisines, the Chef Caddy allows you to organize your spices in a manner that’s sensible and relevant. A Basic Caddy set comes with the essentials like salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and cooking oil, while other individual caddies club spices together based on how often they’re used simultaneously. Magnetic tags allow you to easily label individual spice jars as well as add cheat-sheet spice-lists to caddy columns (and on oil bottles too), while blank tags let you add your own labels if you’re the kind to use special spices or self-made mixes. To preserve your seasoning for longer, all jars and oil bottles are made from glass, while the caddies are crafted from powder-coated aluminum, allowing them to be light, easy to clean, and keeping them from getting rusted.
The pleasure of owning and using the Chef Caddy goes beyond just having a marvelously organized spice rack. The magnetic, modular feature allows you to easily attach and detach spice-groups to be used at the kitchen, at the dining table, or even outside at the barbecue grill. Chef Caddy lets you choose from 15 different world cuisines to organize your spices (and even make your own bespoke super-secret spice-racks) putting all necessary ingredients right at your fingertips, so you don’t have to dig through a cluttered spice cabinet to find the right condiment, and you can prepare your meals with lightning-speed without investing in a whole bunch of glass bowls like those guys at Buzzfeed Tasty’s studio.
Designer: Casey Moulton
Click Here to Buy Now: $39
$50 (22% off) Hurry, less than 48 hours left. Raised over $100,000.
Meal prep better.
Store it easily.
Here’s their recommended strategy for storing your caddies:
– Caddies containing seasonings used nearly every time you cook should stay out on the counter, as handy as can be.
– Caddies containing cuisine-specific seasonings should be stored in easy to reach locations: on the counter, under cabinets, in a top drawer or an eye-level shelf in a cupboard.
– Bulk and rarely used seasonings don’t need to go in Chef Caddy units and can be stored out of the way in a dry, cool place.
The complete label set comes with:
– 15 cuisine groups, each with four spice cap labels and seasoning list.
– 60 total spice cap labels covering the 60 most common spices.
– 12 bottle collars for the most common oils, vinegars and non-perishable sauces.
– 5 blank label sets to write your own variations.
Click Here to Buy Now: $39
$50 (22% off) Hurry! Only 2 days left!
The Dishwasher. The must-have kitchen appliance for the time-conscious and lazy home-occupiers alike. However, justifying the loss of valuable space and the increase in water-bill that comes with them is sometimes a little tricky… especially when you live in a place that is on the smaller side! This was the motive that led to the creation of Toasher, the portable dishwasher for limited living spaces.
Toasher utilizes a method of interaction that has been lifted from another kitchen appliance, the toaster. The dirty items are lowered into the stainless steel tank, where an ultrasonic transducer agitates the dirt and separates it from the dishes. Add-ons elevate Toasher’s functionality even further; with the modular peg-board that can be attached to the rear of the unit, to expanding the amount of storage that it can hold and allowing it to be used as an item of furniture as well as just a kitchen appliance!
Designer: Lin Shuo De
Simon Bradford is sitting in the conference room waiting for us. He’s just demoed Electrolux‘s Intuit kitchen range, a cutting-edge range of kitchen appliances that are more than just instruments, they are enablers. I’m talking ovens with closed-circuit cameras in them and induction hobs that can tell the chimney when to switch on or off. Bradford’s spent years developing the products around this technology, creating kitchen tools that can turn amateurs into experts, and can help experts cook things they couldn’t before. After the demo, Simon even took us through the design process he’s instated at Electrolux, putting the consumer experience at the absolute forefront. We enter the conference room and are greeted by a warm welcome, after which we speak to Simon about a lot of things, ranging from his view on design in the past and the present, his thoughts on Silicon Valley’s motto of moving fast and breaking things, and we even asked him about the new Mac Pro 2019 (how could we not!) Simon explained to us how he approached designing his range, what the next big thing was for Electrolux after introducing Artificial Intelligence and intuition to cooking, and the distinction between designing using the the glorious past as a reference, and the exciting future as a direction.
Yanko Design: Hey Simon! Loved the presentation and especially the Intuit Range. For the people reading this interview, we literally made the most perfect pancakes on the SensePro induction cooker, and the cooker literally told us when it was time to pour the batter. The pancakes were absolutely perfect! So now that our stomachs are full, let’s head into this interview! Hi Simon, tell us a little about you and your role in Electrolux today.
Simon Bradford: Hey! Lovely having you here! I’ve been with the Electrolux group for almost 10 years. Started my journey with Philips, then moved onto Sony, then Nokia, and finally Electrolux here in Stockholm, Sweden. I’ve honestly liked working with corporate design organizations, because you really work within the full spectrum. You go from consumer insights to visiting peoples’ homes, all the way to the product rolling off the production line to launches like the this one! So, I started here as Head of design for Floor Care & Small Appliances. Five years ago I started on the major appliance journey as head designer there.
The kitchen space is a very emotional category to be involved in and it is continuously changing. It’s all about great tasting food! People buy appliances because they like cooking great tasting meals for family and friends, loved ones, on the weekend and during the week. With the arrival of connectivity, it’s an extremely interesting product category to be involved in because it is going to completely change it; change people’s behaviors, change the way we interact with our products, and change the way we consume food. This is what is driving me in my role and has done for the past 10 years.
YD: How did the range come about? What was the starting point?
SB:The clue is in the word “Intuit”. It is short for Intuitive, meaning something which is totally seamless and easy to understand. In our daily lives we are surrounded by negative stereotypes or user pain points. By putting the consumer at the heart of everything we do, is when we can start turning those negatives into meaningful experiences. Our definition of an outstanding experiences can be summarized by the following three words: Effortless, Enriching and Empowering. By Effortless we mean making things easy, taking away all friction points. Enriching means making the experience memorable, by creating moment of magic and tapping into all the human senses, touch, smell, hearing… And finally Empowering, meaning we adapt to the consumer, offering them solutions to expand their cooking repertoire!
YD: If we’re talking about enriching, I’d just love to go back to one of my favorite design details of the entire range. That swiveling refrigerator tray! As an industrial designer turned writer, that absolutely blew my mind. The intricate design, the way it comes slightly forwards so the tray can rotate a full 360°, it was just a treat to look at! How do you approach such a design problem? I’m assuming you went through multiple iterations.
SB: Hahah! I like the question, and I think I tried to convey that in my presentation earlier. We’re honestly learning a lot from Silicon Valley, we’re learning a lot from companies in the digital world who work agile. It’s very much this test, learn, iterate type of process, but you do it very quickly, until you’re really sure that the proposition you’re bringing into the market is the right one. The SpinView (rotating tray) was a great example of how we iterated time and time again, loads of cardboard mockups, but we’ve definitely been on this journey of being agile. Normally, a few years ago, the old fashioned way would be to build it, hard-tool it, bring it to market, and consumers tell you “Hey, it’s rubbish”. Our focus now on Consumer Experience helps us really pick up on feedback and gain insights on what they think, and we’ve spent a considerable amount of effort and money on developing tools that help us very quickly capture consumer feedback from reviews all over the internet, helping us be as agile as our American counterparts.
As far as the SpinView is concerned, the insight came from observing consumer behaviors rather than just feedback analysis. Do you know that 30% of the food in the fridge gets thrown out. Why? Purely due to lack of visibility. We see a lot of fresh fruit, vegetables, basically rotting away at the back purely due to lack of visibility. Among other features, SpinView was designed to uplift the refrigeration experience, while also ensuring that food doesn’t go to waste!
YD: You often mention the importance of human-centric design and the consumer experience. What does that mean to you?
SB: To me it means following a creative process that is centered around the user. Only when we have truly understood the needs of our consumer, can we then design experiences that will improve their daily lives.
YD: Okay, here’s a difficult question though. How much do you think Design Thinking has the potential to influence the workings of a corporate like Electrolux? At the end of the day a company is answerable to a board, its investors, and a wide variety of people, so is it easy to highlight the importance of design over reports and statistics?
SB: Design is a negotiation. It’s a collaborative process between all entities. Not every company is like Apple! There have been multiple instances where a design has been too expensive, or hasn’t effectively fulfilled a consumer need, which I think is an absolute failure. And in a corporate environment, there’s obviously a commercial reality that everyone has to face. A product needs to fulfill all expectations, and not necessarily those of just the consumer, right?
YD: That commercial reality is perhaps what is missing from design institutions, don’t you think? Is there anything you had to unlearn while entering the industry?
SB: What I really had to unlearn is that design isn’t all about cosmetics. When I graduated many years ago, the norm was to plaster the wall with as many sketches as possible, it was a bit of a beauty contest. Design is so much more than that. It’s about experience, which I’ve talked about. It’s about appeal, but it’s also about usability, low effort, robustness, longevity, and fulfilling a consumer need. The appeal is almost a by-product. If you get the insight right, and you’re solving a pain-point, the appeal will come naturally.
YD: Although this reality you mentioned is somewhat in contrast with what the Electrolux Design Lab has been about, right? Design Lab was always about creating outrageously futuristic concepts with focus on technologies that don’t exist and are purely conceptual.
SB: You’re right. With Design Lab, I’d claim that almost all the designs were based on insight, but it depends on how far-fetched the execution is. We often use the terms horizons. Is it a horizon 2,5,10 product? Naturally when you’re working for a company or you’re employed, you keep your horizon relatively close otherwise you disconnect yourself from the business. But with students, we want them to push the boundaries. They aren’t constrained yet, but it takes a couple of years of working in the industry for the horizon to emerge closer and closer, as designers start looking at commercial realities. It’s about finding the right balance while you’re in the industry, but with Design Lab it’s all about pushing boundaries.
(An Electrolux Design Lab winning concept for a refrigerator made for flat-sharing students with individual compartments).
YD: If we’re talking about pushing boundaries, let’s just go back to Silicon Valley for a second and look at their entire “move fast and break things” mantra. You see a company like Apple truly innovating, but when they do something like removing the headphone jack from their phones, how do you view their version of innovation versus Electrolux’s human-centric innovation? Do you think this fast-paced, often consumer-unfriendly innovation is healthy?
SB: I’ve worked for Nokia for 6 years, so I know all about Apple coming and disrupting businesses! Hahaha! I think they can afford it, because they’re the leaders and they’ve got a huge fan-base so probably they’ll be pardoned! But then, you see how their iPad now has a USB-C charger, which is the same charger for my laptop, and quite a few other devices, and there’s a synergy that Apple’s opting for. Nokia had their own issues too. There were too many chargers and too many different platforms, and it became a mess. Honestly though, I think it’s interesting that they removed the headset jack, because it kick-started a new industry in the truly wireless headphones. In the defense of human-centric design, maybe that innovation was forced upon the users.
YD: Back to Electrolux! What’s the stuff you’re working on now? I understand Electrolux also owns multiple sub-brands, AEG being one of the more notable ones. How does designing for Electrolux differ from designing for AEG? Is there a distinct difference in the way you approach designing for the two brands within the same company?
SB: The Intuit Range has to be the most recent thing we’ve worked on. You may have seen the AEG version of it last year, and we’ve been working to develop the range under both brands. Both brands have their own directions, heritages, provenances, and even users… so we approach designing products for both brands differently. For example AEG’s Germany-heavy audience focuses more on power-features, while Electrolux’s users definitely look for ease-of-use. It’s a fun challenge designing for both scenarios!
YD: There’s a lot of talk about sustainability. How does Electrolux view sustainability as a goal with its range of products?
SB: Oh, sustainability is definitely a strong theme. It isn’t just about designing a product, it’s also about helping people live sustainable lives, cook more sustainably, etc. The industry hasn’t changed much in the food-world for roughly 50-60 years, and the concept of ovens has pretty much been the same. Heat up a cavity and cook meats or pies inside it. So with connectivity, we’re also trying to build a sustainable world. Imagine a fridge that could know what’s inside it, and suggest recipes based on the items you own and beam those recipes to your oven. Electrolux is always actively working to build products that help people live better, healthier lives… not just for them, but also for the grander scheme of things.
YD: Wait, so did this push come from consumer insights? Or was it a design decision?
SB: Oh, it was a CEO decision! It came right from the top! It’s actually one of the company’s values, so it was natural that it would be a driver for our company. It affects everything we do. The way we design our products, how we run our factories, deal with suppliers, deliver goods, material choices, everything… and those are honestly the easier bits. The challenging thing is how to alter consumer behavior. A great example is our dishwasher, which does away with all features and has the most simple UI of a dishwasher, based entirely on one metric. Time. All the user does is select the time in which their dishes are washed, and the appliance does the rest. The longer time you select, the more water-efficient the machine is, and that’s much more eco-friendly… the UI was designed to promote that and educate the user that the longer cycles are more sustainable for the planet, while the shorter ones focus on cleaning efficiently and fast, often using more water in the process. Changing materials to more eco-friendly alternatives is really just the easier bit. We’re also trying to change user behaviors, which is the bigger play, and what’s better for the planet.
YD: This was an incredibly insightful conversation Simon! Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us, and for designing some truly innovative products! Any final remarks?
SB: It is a very fascinating time to be working at Electrolux! For many reasons: We are celebrating our 100 year anniversary, we are living in a ever changing digital world where the consumer experiences matter! And finally Electrolux is leveraging its Scandinavian heritage, its knowhow in Taste, Care, Wellbeing and its leadership in sustainability to continue bringing outstanding user experiences to our consumers for another 100 years!
[You can check out YD’s coverage on Electrolux and AEG’s products by vising this tag]
When it comes to chopping or cutting, have you noticed that you tend to apply different angle of pressure to your hand, and you tip the knife according to the method you are employing? Now imagine you knife doing all the applying of pressure – independently – while you glide your way through the process of using a knife. The Balanced Kitchen Knife makes this possible, thanks to the weight it hosts in its handle.
A premium set of three knives, the Balanced Kitchen Knife set is customizable and fits your personal cooking and preparation style. Simply modify the weight and balance of the handle by adjusting the button on the handle. The system uses magnet technology for adjusting the weight – when you position the weight forward, you get a firm grip for chopping. When you move the weight to the back of the knife, you get a firmer grip for precision cutting.
Designer: Paul Cohen Design
The standard set includes:
– Utility chef knife and 40gms weight
– Santoku chef knife and 50gms weight
– Petty chef knife and 20 gms weight
The finished blade is Black Chromium non stick honed “Cutting Class” martensitic steel with the handle in forged and machined stainless steel.
Shift weights from 20g to 60g
One-piece blade and handle
Both are crafted from the highest grade machined stainless steel
Surface finish is a black oxidized food-grade scratch resistant
Blade is micro-honed for excellent non-stick qualities
Adjust the balance individually to your needs with a magnetic weight