Today, induction stovetops are widely preferred over gas stovetops. Food cooks a little faster on induction stovetops, they’re easy to clean, and, without any visible flames, they’re generally considered much safer than gas stoves. However, when it comes to designing sleek induction stovetops specifically built for the blind community, the cooktop industry has a long way to go. Conceptualized by Hyeon Park, Curva is an induction stovetop specifically built for use by blind people.
Noticing the shortcomings of induction stovetops when considering the needs of blind people, Park improved several aspects of the traditional induction stovetop that could pose risks and hazards to the blind person who might be using it. The typical induction stovetop boasts a flat surface, which is usually the primary reason buyers choose it– it’s sleek, compact, and minimal in design.
However, the physical dials and knobs of gas stovetops have been replaced with haptic sensors and incognito buttons that cannot be felt by the blind community. Curva doesn’t compromise the induction stovetop’s flat surface but instead incorporates physical elements like ridges and slightly raised hot plates to help guide blind people when cooking.
Each hot plate on Curva’s stovetop is embossed and consists of different textures so that blind people can pinpoint the location of each one. Additionally, the firepower dial has a matte finish while the timer dial has a semi-glossy finish, indicating to the user the knobs’ different functions. Curva also comes equipped with voice controls that register commands for operation. The stovetop’s freeze function relies on weight sensors to keep the cookware lodged into the hotplate.
Designer: Hyeon Park
Textured and tactile features fill out the design of Curva.
Two raised hot plates allow blind cookers to pinpoint their location.
A disconnected raised ridge can be felt by those who are blind, indicating a nearby hotplate.
The knobs of Curva are textured to indicate different functions.
The fire burner knob dons a matte finish, while the timer dial is semi-glossy.
Curva’s freeze function keeps cookware on top of hot plates through weight sensors.
The freeze function can be blocked or activated with the push of a button.
While there are some added features to Curva’s design, it still holds that classic slim body for which induction stovetops are known.