Altered Appliances is an exhibition presenting projects that investigate the retooling of industrial low-tech appliances and gadgets to offer alternative design solutions and experiences for today’s kitchen.
The exhibition is staged as a “live demonstration” presenting the process of making.
The kitchen was the inspiration for the design projects.
Historically, the kitchen as a domestic room grew from the need to house a variety of activities related to consumption. It is a story of the making of the modern home and its components, and on the shifting place and development of the most technological, equipment-laden and factory-like room of the home.
For the projects, the designers researched historical examples of appliances/apparatus, particularly low-tech, hand powered devices to become experts in a particular appliance, use and its effect.
From this initial investigation, design parameters, fabrication techniques and material experimentations were developed to define the project, its application and explore new “altered” design opportunities for the kitchen.
The projects exhibited were made during a “Research by Making” thematic design studio by students in the (MIARD) programme at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
1) CONEformation: A Measuring Set. By Maddalena Gioglio, Egle Tuleikyte
CONEformation is a set of measuring cones for cooking, designed for mixing ingredients and serving food. The organic shapes of the cones are an unexpected yet a practical addition to the task of measuring for recipes in the kitchen.
Recipes require a number of ingredients that are added at precise quantities to achieve the desired culinary result.
Salt, herbs and spices are key ingredients that add flavour to a dish, and therefore they should be easily accessible throughout the cooking process.
The product is a collection of six ceramic cones that are sized to correspond to customary volumes noted in most cooking recipes.
The set of six cones are arranged on a support frame that can be placed inside a typical kitchen drawer or inserted to an existing shelf.
CONEformation is made by re-purposing typical measuring funnels used to pour required quantity of granulated material into six precise mounds.
The mounds are formed by salt for this product, originally inspired by the colourful display mounds of spices in street markets.
The salt mounds are hardened by spraying water and then covered by pouring layer of liquid ceramic.
When the salt casting agent is removed, a unique and organic ceramic set of vessels is formed.
The product captures many activities related to the cooking process, such as the measuring, storage and display of food.
Moreover, the use of edible materials as a casting agent introduces an organic aesthetic to the kitchen environment.
2.) EXTRUDOUGH: Biodegradable Tableware. By Bo Baalman, Kine Solberg
Extrudough is a collection of biodegradable tableware fabricated using an altered meat grinder that operates as an analogue, human powered 3D printer.
The product line consists of five biodegradable containers, each with a unique pattern, colour and density.
Unlike similar industrial produced products, Extrudough is homemade using basic kitchen cooking ingredients, such as flour, salt and water, which are mixed into easily malleable dough.
Due to its material composition, this tableware is inexpensive to fabricate and is expected to have a shorter decomposing time than other temporary tableware, such as the traditional paper pulp.
Customising a standard kitchen meat grinder makes the product.
The homemade dough is then extruded by hand onto various shaped moulds, and then dried at room temperature.
The pattern, colour and density of each piece can be customised by changing three variables: the movement of the mould during the extruding process, the addition of food colouring, and the number of extruded layers.
The results of the analogue 3D printing can also vary in type and thickness by replacing the grinder plates with the uniquely designed extrusion heads.
In addition, aromas, such as vanilla, can be included in the dough to give the set of tableware an appetising scent.
3.) Rollware: Edible Dishware. By Joanne Choueiri, Giulia Cosenza, Povilas Raskevicius
Rollware is a set of laser-cut rolling pins designed as a tool for the production of bread-based edible dishware, which are adorned with customised and useful patterns.
The sustainable products merge traditional crafts, tableware production and cooking with digital technology.
Rollware re-purposes the typical culinary rolling pin found in kitchens to a human-powered fabrication device.
It reintroduces the rolling pin as a multi-functional device for production, while also addressing sustainability in disposable plates, since the baked bread plates can be eaten rather than thrown away.
The laser-cut rolling pins provide two separate functions: imprinting patterns on the dough and cutting the dough to the size of a plate.
Four patterns were designed to fit the arrangement and overall styling of various food types, helping the user to arrange and display dishes as needed.
Since the user applies the pressure to imprint the patterns, each piece is unique.
The second set of pins is designed to cut the dough into one of four plate sizes, giving flexibility depending on the meal.
Rollware plates are edible tableware that plays an active and surprising role in the eating and dining experience.
The design and making is a simple production line, each step adds a key element to the final product.
4.) FLIP FOOD: LUNCHBOX. By Ilias Markolefas, Nathalia Martinez Saavedra.
FLIP FOOD is a lunch box designed to store and carry food in a playful way.
It is a self-standing rotating object with six compartments to store different types of food in each section.
Inspired by the classic brown paper bag used by many to carry lunch to work or school, FLIP FOOD addresses one’s need to have homemade and portable food while on the go.
The design of the lunch box reinterprets the brown paper bag into a more structural, geometric and interactive shape.
The individual compartments separate the food and contain the considered amount of food normally recommended to keep a balanced diet.
To address the occasional need for ‘cooked food’ one might want to pack for lunch, reusable plastic and protective containers are designed and can be inserted into the compartments.
The investigation for the project focused on typical kitchen appliances used for cutting, specifically the alteration of the cutting board, pizza cutter and cookie stamp.
Various stencils were explored and designed to cut, emboss, stamp and transform a brown paper surface into a 2D template.
This 2D template is then folded and assembled to form the dynamic 3D paper lunchbox.
FLIP FOOD encourages the user to turn, play and even wear the container around the wrist.
Depending on its rotation, the printed patterns help indicate the type of food you are about to store and consume.
Using paper as the main material makes it a semi-disposable and recyclable product.
After several uses, the object can be thrown away and a new one can easily be created.