Introducing Cuisine Machine: A winner in Home Interior Products / Kitchen Appliances category at The European Product Design Awards 2021.
The European Product Design Awards celebrate the very best in product design. At 4D, we are constantly striving to create innovative and powerful inventions, which is why we are honoured to be named Winners in the Kitchen Appliances category at this year’s awards.
These prestigious awards are all about recognising the talents of design teams who create products which solve a problem and make life easier, and our recent collaboration on Cuisine Machine was recognised as a consumer product design, which will do exactly that.
We are thrilled to join the ranks of many other influential designers who have received these awards before us.
Besides being an award-winner, what is Cuisine Machine?
We are so proud that our Cuisine Machine has received recognition in this way, as our teams have worked tirelessly to make inventor Subina Shami’s vision come to life.
Cuisine Machine is an automated pressure cooker, which can follow recipe cards and add individual recipes to the dish at different times. The idea behind this innovative concept was to give people the freedom and capability to produce home-cooked, healthy meals without any hassle or time.
The machine uses individual ingredient pods to store and deliver the right ingredients into the cooking pot at the right time. Compressed air works to efficiently deposit the ingredients into the pot, and pre-programmed recipe cards determine exactly when each ingredient needs to be added.
The Future of Walk-away Cooking
“Steamers and slow cookers don’t produce the desired results for recipes that require meat to be cooked longer than vegetables. There are other automated appliances in the market, but they are not programmed to add ingredients separately during cooking. That’s where Cuisine Machine comes in”, inventor Subina Shami explained.
She also went on to say, “The recipe card contains programmed cooking instructions. It controls temperature changes and automatically releases individual ingredients from their containers to the cooking bowl at timed intervals, ensuring each one is cooked thoroughly before the next one is added.”.
The Design Process
As proud winners of the Kitchen Appliances category at the European Product Design Awards, we recognise that our unique design process was imperative in helping us create this innovative product.
When Subina came to us with her idea for Cuisine Machine, we understood the clear point of reference over existing devices was the ability to cook different ingredients under different conditions. We took the time to compare this new idea to what was already available on the market.
Why is this different?
Slow cookers allow you to add all the ingredients in a recipe and walk away, but each ingredient is cooked under the exact same conditions, which is not ideal. Automatic pressure cookers are available and can cook at varying temperatures and pressures, but ingredients need to be manually added at the correct times, making these quite labour intensive.
It was this clear gap in the market which helped our design process to focus on creating a reliable and repeatable mechanism for independently adding ingredients during the cooking process.
How was it made and what were the challenges?
We set out to solve this problem and create Cuisine Machine in a way which meant it stood out from existing products available today. The finished product appeals to users by taking the time and skill out of cooking, and giving them the power to create delicious, healthy recipes with minimal knowledge and time.
Our design team, which is highly experienced when it comes to designing home appliances, took a relatively complicated idea and worked to reduce it down to a simple problem statement: –
How can we add ingredients into the cooking area in a reliable and repeatable manner?
This approach helped us to take a step back and get creative with a diverse range of ideas. We then went on to test the ideas at a basic level, to determine the best solution for Cuisine Machine.
Our initial prototypes were simplified, such as using a bike pump and a plastic bottle to simulate the pressuring effect of ejecting pods. These simple solutions were built on over time and resulted in the award-winning Cuisine Machine technology we have today.
Automation of kitchen appliances has been a buzzword in the market for a while, and the success of Cuisine Machine is down to the way we tapped into automation and created a truly automated process for cooking, which was a big challenge, as the containers needed to have a none stick surface and be soft enough to easily invert and inject the ingredients.
Unlike many other solutions, Cuisine Machine is truly automatic and can be set up by the user, who can walk away and come back to a fully cooked meal.
We do it because we love it, not just for the plaudits
At 4D Products, we have been developing products for more than a decade, and we have a true passion for everything that we do. Problem solving is at the very core of what we do, and a project like Cuisine Machine is exactly the kind of thing we get excited about.
Like with any product design process, our team came up against challenges along the way, but working through these challenges is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.
Having the opportunity to work closely with our client Subina, and launch a successful product is fantastic, but having recognition from the European Product Design Awards is the real cherry on the top.