Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Looking at design websites is a great way to catch up on new and exciting ways that designers and design students are using plastics to improve, well, just about everything connected with humanity. Would you think that plastics would be critical in creating cookware designed to let the blind and other disadvantaged people cook their own food?
Sento Tactile Cookware, the final project of Israeli design student Neora Zigler at the Industrial Design Department of Jerusalem’s Hadassah College, is a set of cooking utensils for the blind and sight impaired, who otherwise find cooking a daunting, often dangerous challenge.
The largest item in the Sento line is a metal cookpot to which the designer has joined a flexible silicone collar. A visually impaired person can touch the silicone to know where the hot area of the pot is without being burned by hot metal. And that’s far from all it can do.
The collar can be flared outward, widening the target area into which the cook wants to place the food. Two rigid handles that attach to the collar’s sides let it be set at a number of folded positions, including creating a partial lid, rather than finding one. The collar also will fold to create a spout opposite the user for pouring out the contents or just the liquid.
Other items in the Sento line include a measuring cup with a serrated rim of soft silicone so that a level measure can be determined by running a finger across the top of the cup. The entire line can be seen on Ms. Zigler’s website, which has an automatic translation feature in case you’re not fluent in Hebrew.
While there, also click on the “Plastics” line to see a clever multilevel toolbox. Then click on “Hot Pepper” to see a multi-component spice dispenser. Ms. Zigler, as you will see, has a fine understanding of plastics, and how to turn it into useful, attractive products.