Portable food container wins 2006 Electrolux Design Lab award

By James Wells

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: A jury of respected appliance professionals, including Australia’s celebrated chef Tetsuya Wakuda, have named a temperature controlled mobile food carrier as the winner of the first prize in the fourth Electrolux Design Lab Awards.

The winning concept, developed by a 21 year-old Turkish industrial design student, Metin Kaplan, was based on the idea that people would take healthy meals with them if there was a method of keeping warm food warm and cold food cold. By transporting food at a desired temperature, Kaplan believed this would promote healthy eating and less need for fast food restaurants.

Kaplan’s concept, which he termed Nevale, is based on the shape of an antique food container called sefertas – a type of layered food container that has been used in Middle Eastern countries for centuries to carry homemade food.

Kaplan’s product is also built in layers, with a hood featuring a digital control screen, and holds up to four different hot and/or cold meals. The digital display provides information on the food’s storage conditions and can be programmed to launch an automated re-heating process at a specific time (for example at lunch).

Alternatively, for cold foods, Nevale maintains a perfect preservation temperature. Each layer works independently, ensuring both hot and cold food items can be transported along each other.

"Metin Kaplan’s concept product is both historically and globally relevant and would promote a healthier lifestyle," said a statement from the jury.

"It is a reinvented and modernised concept that easily could be used all around the world because of its simplicity that recognises people’s eating habits. Kaplan is also awarded because of a well executed project. His design process is absolutely thorough with a complete research background. The product uses form, colours and technique in a new and creative way."

Electrolux head of design and jury member, Henrik Otto, said: "The concept not only solves a problem, but it also promotes a healthier lifestyle.

"That became very apparent as we were looking at the whole design of the concept. The winning concept makes it easy to make healthy decisions that are good for you. I was also stunned by the fact that there is a link between the winning concept and the second and third place winners."

The jury awarded second and third places, respectively, to Brian Chuan Chai Law (National University of Singapore, Singapore) for his concept that uses vacuum cooking in a new inventive way, and Eduardo Altamirano Segovia (Universidad La Salle, Mexico) for his portable cooktop that uses renewable energy. 

The awards are open to young design students throughout the world. This year hundreds of industrial design students from 37 countries entered the competition, which began in March, with the brief of designing a product that promoted healthy eating habits for consumers in 2016.

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