Hyobodo Fiume gives the traditional Japanese bento box an interesting twist

Hyobodo Fiume Bento Boxes

Andrea Ponti’s creativity never runs out as he has ideas for almost everything. Even the seemingly trivial item like a food container, he can make it more interesting. While the rest of the world is still being encouraged to practice social distancing, some communities are trying to live in the New Normal and that includes holding house parties or hosting dinners at home.

In some countries, public gatherings are now allowed while indoor parties are proceeding but with minimum health and safety protocols. For those who want to start meeting up with family and friends in a safer way, you may want to consider bringing home-cooked food. It is time to rediscover the joy of sharing meals in a convenient, secure, and hygienic manner.

Designer: Andrea Ponti

Hyobodo Fiume Tiered Boxes

The Hyobodo Fiume is a modern take on the traditional Japanese food container called the ojubako. The latter is an important symbol of Japanese culture. It is a set of tiered boxes that hold food to share with people during special occasions.

The new design by Andrea Ponti takes after the urban landscape of Kyoto. Notice the shape of the Fiume is based on the map of the city. The square grid shows the Kamogawa river, which is also an important landmark in Kyoto. It is a unique mark for the climate and seasons in Japan.

Hyobodo Fiume Design

Each Fiume set features four stacked tiers, and each tier shows one of the four seasons in the country: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season is demonstrated by how the lines are placed. The “lines” are for the divisions of the square-shaped food container that comes with rounded corners.

The Hyobodo Fiume is specially handcrafted from cypress wood. It is convenient to handle, which is just what we need when there are family gatherings. You can choose from either the black or red version in two sizes. The traditional colors are used but are accentuated by a bright blue line which refers to the Kamo river.

Hyobodo Fiume Details

Hyobodo Fiume is all about food sharing and food organization. To host the perfect family gathering, you need to be prepared which means it goes beyond cooking. It includes planning, organizing, and even presentation. With Hyobodo Fiume, we hope more people will be inspired to plan for on-site or physical gatherings. It’s about time you and I open up to the world.

This Hyobodo Fiume isn’t the first kitchen or food-related design introduced by Andrea Ponti. We remember the Dune sand-inspired flatware and the Ommo series of tea brewing kits from years ago. This 2022, the Hyobodo Fiume enters the frame with a more chic yet convenient style that can remain a classic.

Hyobodo Fiume Food Container

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This portable electric pot was designed to cook soup while camping!

This portable electric pot is conceptualized for cooking soups and stews while camping.

You don’t normally think ‘soup’ when it comes to camping food, but it sure sounds like the move. Cozying up in front of the fire pit with a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold, windy evening sounds a lot more satisfying than being next to the fire on the same night with a hot dog in hand.

Designer: Yunsoo Choi

Since camping restricts many of the different modes of cooking typically available to us, the menu is usually pretty limited too. Hoping to expand the culinary experience of camping, industrial designer Yunsoo Choi conceptualized an electric pot for camping that can even be used to make soup.

Characterized by its triangular shape, Choi’s electric pot takes on the same form as tripods and table lamps that have similar silhouettes. While its shape is familiar, its operation slightly differs to be suitable for cooking stews and soups. Camping accessories and cookware keep a compact build to assume ultimate portability and Choi’s electric pot is no different. Through a telescopic layering system, the different modules of Choi’s electric pot can fit into one another and be carried by a raised, removable handlebar.

When cooking soup, campers can use the appliance’s main basin to combine all of their ingredients. Just around the basin’s front panel, a timer and temperature control interface allows users to adjust the cooking conditions of each stew and soup according to its recipe. An additional light attachment is also integrated into the build of Choi’s electric pot, allowing for late-night cooking to soothe those munchies.

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This Vespa-inspired SMEG e-scooter is perfectly equipped to carry your picnic items with you

Relying heavily on the Vespa (and even SMEG’s) soft, rounded, colorful, fun-loving image, the SMEG Futro is an e-scooter concept that embodies the feeling of driving down to the beach, the park, or the lake for a lazy Sunday. The scooter’s curved form language is a direct inspiration of SMEG’s own design styles and leans heavily into the golden age of Italian automotive design (when companies like Vespa and Lambretta came to be), while its side panels open up to reveal a whole host of picnic items and tiny kitchen appliances, all the way from tiffins and thermoses to even a toaster and wine cooler!

This unique niche approach seems rather interesting, as the SMEG Futro positions itself as the perfect recreational two-wheeler. Meant clearly for lounging, the Futro doesn’t come with a spare tire stored in its side panels… instead, its panels open up to reveal a comprehensive picnic kit. The Futro comes fully equipped with thermoses to store tea and coffee, cups to serve them, tiffin-boxes for food, platters for sandwiches and cheese charcuterie boards, cutlery to dig in, and perhaps two of my favorite features, a literal toaster and wine-cooler! The two electrical appliances run on the Futro’s own detachable battery unit (which can be found right under the seat), giving you a comprehensive picnicking experience that’s sure to have everyone around you feeling jealous!

The overall scooter’s aesthetic feels like a culmination of a few design languages, including SMEG’s own visual aesthetic, combined with the likes of modern-day scooters like Vespa, NIU, and Gogoro. The scooter sports a ring-light on the front, with two indicators below it and the SMEG branding in between. Like the Vespa, the scooter uses a glossy finish complete with chrome accents and leather trims to look like a modern classic. Its dashboard, however, is an entirely modernized touch-sensitive display that lets you access Futro’s laundry list of features, including a navigation dashboard, and even a music player that serves as the perfect accompaniment during your picnic!

The SMEG Futro comes in a deliciously vast range of pastel colors that look incredibly eye-catching from afar. The muted color schemes are a hat-tip to SMEG’s kitchen appliances that sport the same pastel shades to blend into your kitchen’s decor.

Designer: Joon S.

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This ‘playfully serious’ rolling mortar lets you have fun while grinding spices and making pesto

Giving the traditional mortar and pestle a visual and functional overhaul, the JIA Inc. Rolling Mortar lets you grind your herbs and spices by simply rolling them! Sort of a hybrid between a mortar and a rolling pin, the Rolling Mortar comes with a bathtub-shaped base and ring-shaped roller. This unique design direction you easily and effectively grind items without spices flying around or spilling on the countertop… or worse, a sore wrist from repeatedly pounding away with that heavy pestle.

An added benefit of the JIA Inc. Rolling Mortar is that since you’re not pounding anything, there’s no noise to be worried about!

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Inspired by the Chinese ceramic tea mortars from the Tang Dynasty, this pestle + mortar combo brings modernity and sensibility to a century-old practice. The mortar comes in the form of an elegant, U-shaped porcelain bowl, whereas the pestle is a solid wooden oak wheel. Instead of punching and grinding the spices or tea herbs, you simply place them in the oblong bowl and roll over them with the wheel. The wheel possesses an extremely ergonomic form, making it easy to grip, and allowing you to grind your herbs via an effortless rolling motion. The process was formulated to ensure that none of the spices fly out of the mortar while you grind them… with the added benefit of being an extremely quiet one too! No annoyed neighbors because you decided to make some pesto for lunch!

The JIA Inc. Rolling Mortar comes with an inert ceramic base (so it doesn’t react to acids and other spice oils) with a silicone underlay so it doesn’t shift while you roll. The roller is crafted from oak wood, a hardwood that’s tough, long-lasting, and anti-fungal, providing the right material properties for making everything from a coarse spice rub to a deliciously homogenous chimichurri.

JIA Inc.’s Rolling Mortar transforms spice/herb grinding into a completely different experience. It lets you interact with your ingredients in a way that’s playful, so you enjoy the entire cooking process. Not to mention its minimal and sculpted aesthetic that makes it such a looker too!

Designer: Spencer Hung of JIA Inc.

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This Smeg-inspired toaster interprets design motifs from 1950’s kitchen appliances!

Alejandra Gutiérrez Rincón’s kitchenware rendering envisions a gleaming red toaster conceptualized using Smeg’s design language and in the style of 1950s kitchen appliances.

Kitchen appliances were different in the 50s. Today, they bleed nostalgia. From the curves of their glossy finishes to the polish of their stainless steel elements, kitchen appliances from the 50s remain an inspiration for contemporary designers. Spurred by the innovative design of 50s kitchenware, designer Alejandra Gutiérrez Rincón conceptualized a toaster using the design language of Smeg, an Italian home appliance manufacturer, along with design motifs from the bygone era of the 50s.

A piece of home decor and a kitchen appliance, Smeg products tend to give kitchens a whole lot of personality. Gutiérrez Rincón’s toaster design maintains a simple control panel in a similar fashion to related Smeg products and gleams with a polished finish reminiscent of 50s household appliances. From its base, Gutiérrez Rincón’s toaster is conceptualized with stainless steel legs that slightly raise the toaster from the kitchen counter.

Rounding out its short-legged base, a reflective red aluminum finish gives the toaster a bright, energetic profile. Along the side, users can find the toaster’s control panel that features a sliding knob that allows users to change the timing of the toaster, while small buttons give users options to heat, defrost, power off, or toast. Finally, Gutiérrez Rincón’s toaster features front-facing loading trays for a clever twist on the traditional toaster’s build.

Designer: Alejandra Gutiérrez Rincón

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LEGO-inspired waffle maker lets you create brick-shaped stackable waffle art!

It’s probably one of the only few instances where parents will encourage kids to ‘play with their food’!

When you stare at a waffle, you may see a beautiful dessert with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior… I just see an incredible opportunity for a form redesign! Sure, the waffle’s pretty perfect the way it is. Those scooped surfaces are great for filling honey, maple syrup, banana chunks, chocolate chips, etc… but unless you plan on turning your waffle into a decadent layered dessert every single time, the waffle shape could really use a fun reinterpretation.

The CucinaPro Building Brick Electric Waffle Maker gives the humble breakfast food a new twist, turning the large square waffle into a series of stackable bricks! The waffle maker’s heat plate is designed to resemble a LEGO-ish mold, and the resulting waffles come with studs on the upper surface, and hollow areas on the lower surface to allow the waffle bricks to lock into each other. The patent-pending design lets you make 14 bricks of different sizes with each serving, allowing you to explore quite literally a new dimension when it comes to food. Stacked pancakes have nothing on these brick waffles!

Designer: CucinaPro

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Each CucinaPro Building Brick Electric Waffle Maker also comes with 2 serving plates designed to provide the perfect stacking/eating experience. The plates are equipped with studs that make the perfect base structure for your build, while two small containers on the side let you store your accouterments, be it maple syrup, sliced fruits, or cubes of butter.

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This collection of biodegradable Christmas decor was designed to combat the waste produced during the holidays!

Winter With is a Christmas-themed collection of biodegradable home decor and accessories such as candles, side tables, and mugs.

While is Christmas is one of the most beloved holidays celebrated across the globe, it also creates a whole ton of waste. Whether it’s from indoor decorations, gift wrap, or tree ornaments, we collect a good amount of trash during the holiday season that only ends up in the landfill come the new year.

Designer: Jinwook Lee

While too much waste is never a good thing, no one wants to skimp out on the joy that comes with decorating the house with festive decorations for Christmas. Designer Jinwook Lee conceptualized a collection of biodegradable Christmas decorations and accessories called Winter With to scratch our holiday itch without hurting the environment.

Describing the collection’s origins, Jinwook explains, “There have been numerous incidents in 2021, but I think one of the most serious problems is the environmental problem…the plastic, which is thrown away too easily compared to huge plastic consumption, is causing animals to suffer and the environment to be destroyed at a faster rate than ever.”

In response, Jinwook designed Winter With, a Christmas-themed collection stocked with decor and accessories, from candle holders to side tables.

Inspired by the sight of falling snow, Jinwook’s Christmas-theme home collection is made entirely from recyclable and biodegradable plastics. Since most holiday items are used only for a short period of time before being discarded, Jinwook aimed to solve the issue of hard plastics ending up in landfills by the end of the year. Comprised of six different items, Jinwook’s Winter With collection will bring the holiday spirit to every home.

Santa is a match holder made from biodegradable plastic that appears as a micro-sized Santa hat with a Russian doll-inspired build. Initially appearing like a cute Christmas decoration, when users lift the hat of Santa, a pool of matches and striking surface is revealed. Winter With also features three different types of candles: Candle Ball, Leaf & Fruit, Red Shoe, and Woodbark.

Whereas the Candle Ball is a candle disguised as an ornament, Leaf & Fruit, Red Shoe, and Woodbark come with candle holders inspired by different winter scenes. Snowball is a trio of Christmas mugs that appear like stacked snowballs and Slope is a biodegradable plastic table built in the image of snow-covered slopes.

The Candle Ball appears like a traditional ornament but features a wick for candle lighting. 

Winter With features an array of different candles inspired by holidays scenes. 

The Tree accessory is a trio of Christmas mugs that stack together like snowballs.

Woodbark is made from copper, a type of metal that’s partly made up of recycled material.

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Silicone finger grips in this snack box ensures your kids can eat without a mess!

Monchi is a compressible snack box with a silicone lid that comes with integrated finger grips for kids to eat with their hands without making a mess.

There are only two types of people in the world: the ones who lick their fingers after a meal, and the ones who look for the nearest sink. While I fall into the latter category, the urge to eat with my hands is real. Finger foods like cookies and fries have always been a crowd favorite, but they’re messy too.

Monchi, a hygienic silicone-based snack box, developed by A Nus Design Studio features built-in finger grips so you can eat with your hands without the mess.

Tailored for children aged three and up, Monchi is as parent-friendly as it is kid-friendly. Featuring a flexible, silicone lid, the integrated finger grips stretch to fit hands and fingers of all sizes.

Just beneath the silicone lid, Monchi has a leak-proof and airtight food container that holds snack-sized items for kids to enjoy anywhere. From picnics to school lunches, Monchi packs some fun into eating so kids will never skip their veggies.

Once snack time is over, Monchi’s silicone build allows for easy cleanup. Compressible by design, the food container can shrink in size to fit into small storage spaces, even your front pocket.

The finger-grip lid allows users to slip their fingers into each slot, allowing free range of motion to pick up food items inside the container. Constructed from food-grade silicone and polypropylene plastic, Monchi is BPA-free and made from materials that are safe for kids of all ages to be around.

Designer: A Nus Design Studio

Even below the lid, Monchi’s design is fun for kids to play with.

Following an involved ideation process, Monchi reached its final form. 

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A Dyson-inspired mosquito-repelling device that sticks under your table to keep the bugs away!

Conceptualized using the design language and semantics of Dyson, this mosquito-repelling device uses the natural flow of air to keep mosquitos away and an adhesive backing that keeps the device out of view when dining!

There’s nothing worse than sharing a meal with a table full of mosquitoes. With eating outside becoming more popular as sidewalk dining areas crop up in response to COVID-19 restrictions, the bugs seem to be following suit. Ahead of the summer months, designers are taking to the drawing board for some modern solutions. Conceptualized using the design language and semantics of Dyson, WuShuai, a Beijing-based industrial designer, designed a battery-operated mosquito-repelling device that can adhere to the underside of any table.

Envisioned for restaurants with outdoor seating, WuShuai’s mosquito-repelling device is currently conceptualized to cling onto the underside of tables, automatically buzzing on as soon as it adheres to a surface. Using the design language and semantics of Dyson led WuShuai to develop their mosquito-repelling device on the background of airflow. A low-power fan located in the center of the device, “is used to accelerate the volatilization of the mosquito repellent, so that the mosquito repellent can be powered by a battery.”

Containing the device’s power operations inside of a battery-operated pack allows for portability and wireless operation, making it a convenient choice for busy city hubs like restaurants and cafes. By maintaining a wireless and portable design, the mosquito-repelling device can remain hidden from view when in use.

Waiters can simply adhere and remove the device from the table’s underside as customers need it, “When the device is adsorbed under the dining table, it will automatically start to work. The waiter can remove the device and place it on the table when no one is dining at the table. The battery can be easily removed, and all the batteries can be stacked together for charging.”

Designer: WuShuai

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The Top 10 Kitchen Appliances designed to be the perfect gift for all MasterChef ready home cooks!

The pandemic birthed a lot of home chefs, who discovered a deep and profound love for cooking! Surprisingly, I was one of them. Before the pandemic took place, cooking was a chore I completely avoided. But now, I honestly find it quite therapeutic! The pandemic, and all the free time that came along with it, somehow awakened my inner chef. To encourage and motivate all the inner chefs that came to life during the pandemic, we’ve curated a collection of kitchen appliances that promise to transform cooking from a Herculean feat to an enjoyable and fun process! From a hidden induction cooking unit to a smart refrigerator designed with a built-in food preparation space – these kitchen products promise to transform your disastrous cooking experiments into MasterChef-worthy delicacies! These products can reduce your prep time in half, make the little cooking tasks much easier, and help you with tedious and complicated techniques. They make cooking effortless and easy. Enjoy!

The induction cooking system is seamless and very easy to operate. All you have to do is place the Lapitec Chef silicone mat on your worktop to activate the touch controls and switch on the system. The mat is key, without it the induction unit and controls will be inactive and the worktop is like any other kitchen counter only distinguished only by small engravings that align with the mat’s controls. Lapitec Chef allows for easy cleaning and storage so the counter can be used for other activities like preparing food, plating dishes and hosting social occasions. Interestingly, Lapitec is a 100% sintered stone and it is also non-porous, non-absorbent as well as resistant to chemicals which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor kitchens. You can choose to have either two or four cooking rings for your induction system.

Fooding, a new kitchen appliance concept from Yifeeling Design, combines the best of the microwave and air fryer. Turns out, we can have it all. Inspired by the bulbous shape of an astronaut’s helmet, Fooding merges the microwave’s traditional rectangular shape with the air fryer’s modern rounded edges. While air fryers heat up some tasty meals, they typically take up a lot of counter space which makes them less user-friendly. By combining the air fryer with the microwave, Fooding takes up less space in the kitchen and merges two appliances into one for a one-stop-shop.

Made from heat-resistant and food-safe plastic, the Egguins are an innovative way to store, boil, or serve eggs. The hollow penguin shape allows you to slide eggs (both small and large) into it, completing it visually and making it look like a flock of Emperor Penguins ready to dash right into the water (the visual metaphor of connecting the egg, the bird, and the water is just perfect)! Immerse the Egguins into a saucepan of boiling water using the handle above, and just lift them out when you’re done boiling them to the softness or hardness of your choice.

While new trendy diets make their way across social media platforms and health food stores, no single diet will fit everyone’s needs. Ditching trendy diets for mindful eating, the Fresh Fridge designed by Tati Feruccio is paired with an array of technical features that encourage a health-conscious lifestyle. The Fresh Fridge is a sort of smart refrigerator that analyzes each user’s distinct eating and health habits to portion out nutritious meals throughout the day. The main technical detail that stands out is the Fresh Fridge’s digital interface that’s located just above the small refrigerator. Broadcasting mindful facts and cooking recipes from its screen, the digital interface is like your own personal cooking show for various meals throughout the day. Just below the interface, allocated space for meal preparation feels intuitive and makes following along with recipes while chopping up produce items easier than ever before.

The Terracooler is a modern interpretation of the traditional Zeer pot or pot-in-pot refrigerator, an evaporative cooling refrigeration device that has been used for centuries and is still used today in countries across the globe, such as India and Nigeria. Requiring no electricity whatsoever, Zeer pots only need a source of water and some dry air to keep produce and other food items cool. Reinterpreting the Zeer pot for modern use, London-based designer Ellie Perry created the Terracooler, a tri-tiered pot-in-pot refrigerator that fits right at home on the kitchen counter.

Providing leverage for one-handed users, Moray is built with an assortment of chamfers, angled surfaces, and curved edges that hold dishes in one place while they’re getting washed. In refining her universal kitchen sink, Baltazar identified the obstacles faced in the kitchen for one-handed dishwashers and sought to solve them with Moray. Following a series of indirect observation and ideation periods, Baltazar learned that it’s less so about introducing new tools and more about redesigning the sink from the basin up.

Meet the Oblige, an entertainment space where homeowners can depict their personal traits by customizing the modular appliance to their individual lifestyle or living space. The modular cafe intends to go beyond the idea of the basic functions the appliances in your kitchen perform. The designers behind Oblige feel setting up a café at home is inconvenient for now because it’s not easy to set up space with all the appliances required. Connecting them all to water and electrical sources is another headache. Simply thinking of brewing a good coffee – you need a list of appliances – from your coffee grinder, the pod-maker, espresso brewer, milk frother, and more, depending on your choice!

ODNY.BOX is a food storage concept with an intuitive control dial and a minimal aesthetic for users to store any type of leftover, from hot baked cookies to cold Greek yogurt. Inspired by the bulbous shape that water makes when it drops on flat surfaces, the glass lid of ODNY.BOX comes together as half of a globe and almost curls under the platform where food is kept to ensure sealed storage. The seasons have an effect not only on the food we eat but also on how that food is kept for tomorrow. During the winter months, the hot food we order or cook at home is subject to cold temperatures, while during the warmer months, perishables like produce are the first to go bad.

Samsung Cuisine is a conceptual all-in-one portable oven made keeping the Samsung design language in mind. It allows you to heat up your food anywhere anytime. Think of it as a lunch bag and a microwave having a high-tech kitchen appliance baby! Samsung Cusine features the built-in inductive heating technology of Samsung that can go up to 300-degree F and it will heat up anything you put in the oven. Sullivan explains that this portable appliance is perfect for any trip – camping, hiking, or picnic! The portable oven has clean lines, minimal form, a smooth surface, and that iconic pill-shaped button. It is divided into two sections: top and bottom. The top heating container is perfect to cook or keep your food warm, while the bottom container can be used to store fruits or desserts.

Instant Cooking Pot with Lantern

Instant Cooking Pot with Lantern

Meet WAMP, an instant cooking pot made from ultra-durable duralumin material, ideal for campers who value multiple uses of things they stuff in the backpack. Although a pretty basic utensil, this solves a very useful purpose. You can put it on top of any oil lantern to employ the heat dissipated to good use. Case-in-point, heating or keeping the food warm without expending any extra energy. Be it cooking piping hot canned food or preparing energy-boosting tea on a long trip to the mountains.

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