Tag Archives: packaging

Something extraordinary

24 Oct

I used to have a saying stuck up on my wall:

‘Live an ordinary life extraordinarily.’

Graphic designer Jessica Ettridge must have connected with that too for her project Extraordinary. She selected a few products that we use every day: soap, a toothbrush, scourers; products where we perhaps do not give much thought to the way they were made or our use and consumption of them. Jessica explains that her project is about enhancing our appreciation of everyday projects. That’s a sentiment that sits well with sustainability. Imagine if we gave the same appreciation to everything we use, to every object we touch. Imagine if we re-invested them all with the extra-ordinary.

 

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More modern mobile tableware

17 Jul

Mobile tableware has been a central subject of this blog for a number of entries. The meal packagings that we looked at included the meal carrier variety: tiffins, rantangs, tingkats, pintos, sage jubakos, gamelles, henkelmänner and something that might be known as a mohinga but also picnic hampers, including travelling tea sets and travelling bars. Last year, in 2013, designer See Yew Siang received Honorable Mention at the Red Dot Design Awards for the pop-up tableware concept. It looks like a folder but opens out into a bowl-plate with a knife and fork that you can use, wash, dry and fold away to be re-used another day.  How’s that for an unusual item to carry with your tablet?

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Packaging grows veggies

25 Mar

vegetables1_kleinGrow vegetables. Harvest vegetables. Clean, sort and pack vegetables in consumer-sized portions. Wrap in packaging and label vegetables. But Sustainability! Reduce packaging: check. Re-use packaging: check. Recycle packaging: check. UK-based Bachelor-of-Arts student Ben Huttly came up with a method to 3R the packaging of veggies: a biodegradable tag afixed with biodegradable twine. Not that I’m convinced by the biodegradable packaging on the market but this one is at least different as follows: After use you take the tag and plant it. Being full of veggie seeds it will grow into your next serving. Ben’s self-imposed brief was how to inspire people to start growing fruit & veggies. Yes, the critics will be saying, “But why should veggies be packaged at all?”, “Laser-etching (used to save on inks & dyes) needs energy too?” but guys, this is still a step better for all the packaged veggies that you do find in retail.

Packaging cooks egg

22 Mar

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While trying to get some background on Koop’s More Freedom for Hens campaign, I came across this delightful little Russian idea: The Gogol Mogol. Buy protectively packaged eggs with a pull-tag to start a chemical reaction in the packaging, heating and cooking your egg for ready consumption where and when you are. Conceived by KIAN, a Moscow- and Novosibirsk-based agency, designed by Evgeny Morgalev, according to here and here. The designers won a number of awards for this packaging-and-cooking concept, such as the Cresta award (Gold in the Design Category, 2013) and the Pentawards (Gold in the Concept Category, 2012). I’d like to see some tentative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of this … meantime I’ll enjoy a Gogol Mogol, otherwise known as a Russian Egg Nog type drink. The recipes revolve around eggs and sugar, with a grand variety of further ingredients, e.g. lemon, orange, vanilla, nutmeg, honey, rum, brandy, liqueur.  It’s reputation includes belonging in the cupboard of grandma’s remedies and a tonic for singers, nobility and everyone else. Find a yummy recipe on theydrawandcook or here.

Meal Packaging: Bento

22 Nov

Culinary art in a lunchbox – that’s how one site describes bento, the Japanese tradition of packed, mobile meals. Whole sites are devoted to this tradition and the web abounds in obento. Lets start with some kawaii (cute) bento.

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As you can imagine, a lot of that goes to school in packed lunches. There are all manner of helpful accessories such as cutters, picks, cups, separating sheets and things you haven’t dreamed of. Indeed, there’s even an app to help you find bento recipes. Moreover, there are loads of how-tos such as at this flickr site.

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But the bento tradition is not just for children’s meals, it’s also the term for packed lunches at work, such as in the scene below, …

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… or really at any time. And it goes back a long way. Take the Shokado Bento: a square – often lacquered – box separated into four (or more) compartments. Apparently this dates back to the early 17th century, says Fukui Craft.

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You can make bento yourself at home, and, if you’re ambitious you can enter the International Bento Contest (see the 2013 winners here). Or you can buy it at many stores and even from vending machines. The future may even hold a computer filling bento boxes, as at the International Robot Exhibition 2013 in Tokyo here.

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Travelling? There’s a special name for railway bentos: Ekiben (from ‘eki’ = train + ‘ben’ short for bento). The following pic is the display poster of ekibens on offer at the Tokyo’s Ekiben Matsuri (train bento festival store).

IMG_4976_kleinTo me the lacquered lunch box versions are particularly beautiful. There’s a huge variety for sale out there, with one, two or more tiers, square, oblong, round or flower-shaped, traditional, modern or cute, with or without carrying bags, bands, handles and chopstick holders. Take a squizz at casabento, for example.
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The Tiffin Room

21 Apr

Stacked food carriers are part of the food culture in Singapore, as we described here. They even give name to the Tiffin Room, one of 15 restaurants and bars of the prestigious Raffles Hotel on Beach Road, which was founded by the Armenian Sarkies brothers, as was The Strand in  Rangoon, Myanmar/Burma. The venue description picks up on the light-lunch meaning of the word tiffin, not on the food-carrying part.

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Thus tiffins are part of the deco: in the dining room pic there is a display cabinet far right which has some colourful tiffins, as also in the hotel’s buffet photo on the right. Some more detail can be seen behind Chef de Cuisine Kuldeep Negi and his curries, described here and a pleasant visit is described in the Sydney Morning Herald here. There’s a lovely blog entry on Tiffins by Product Design and Transportation Design students at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India that were tasked with investigating the history of design here.

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Who told me? Whodunnit? Shamini Flint. In her book Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villany. Two of the characters have lunch in the Tiffin Room at the Raffles Singapore. During lunch they meet one of the murder suspects …

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Louis Vuitton only put a camp bed in a trunk. Hotello is a whole hotel room in a trunk.

15 Apr

We’ve been talking about portable meal packaging (= food carriers), including travel bars and mobile kitchen-cafés over the past weeks. Hotello takes it to a whole new level. Genovese artist Roberto da Luca teamed up with architect & designer Antonio Scarponi of Zurich, Switzerland, to create a package that will give you a 4 sq m space, containing everything you need (note: need) for work (office room) and rest (hotel room). A metal structure is used to support curtains which are sound absorbent and translucent (not transparent). There is a further curtain layer to give you darkness. Once these are rigged up you have a room. For that room you have in your trunk a desk, a stool, a shelf, a locker and a lamp.

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