Product Design Concept

I was invited to IKEA's new innovation lab, Space10, to participate in a design makerthon in Copenhagen, Denmark. Twelve designers and artists from around the world teamed up into 4 groups to create new ideas for healthier living. The final ideas and prototypes were presented to IKEA’s HomeLab division.

Food designer Jacopo Sarzi, fellow Stanford Graduate Design program student Doruk Gurel and I were teamed up in the food group to explore new ways in how we will interact with food in the future. We tackled the area of food preservation and came up with an idea for an individually-powered fridge and oven hybrid.


The look of the traditional fridge and how we use it hasn’t changed much in the past 80 years or so. It’s sole purpose, which it does extremely well, is to preserve food by lowering the temperature of the food to prevent spoilage. Since the 1950s, the food industry has manufactured all kinds of processed foods to compete for the space in our fridge. Along with today’s busy urban lifestyle, fresh foods are occupying less and less space in our homes.

We wanted to tackle the challenges of eating healthy in modern urban living by promoting eating more fresh food but also cooking that food at home. Time and convenience are at odds with food preparation which leads to unhealthy food choices. But can we find a middle ground where food preparation time can be reduced but still be able to cook and enjoy a healthy meal?

Another issue that we saw was that the fridge takes up an enormous amount of space in a kitchen. If we thinking about how a kitchen is laid out, the fridge more or less dictates the design and architecture of a kitchen. We thought, wouldn’t it be great if your fridge can grow and shrink according to your needs and lifestyle?

After a flurry of post-it notes and sharpies, we decided to make the fridge modular. The modules come in 4 different sizes and you can mix and match whatever size in any amount you like. Each module contains an insulating layer, cooling and heating elements. Say you forgot to defrost that steak, you can tell the unit to defrost it while at work and it will be ready for you cook when you get home. Vegetables stay fresh longer at different temperatures so by having the system modular, each unit can have their own temperature. The unit’s heating elements can also heat to a cooking temperature. By having the food properly packed before hand, one can cook a full meal Sous-vide style.


Since all the modules are all self contained, you can arrange it in any configuration to fit your decor. The modules also incorporates a glass door making “inventory” tasks easy. No more going through the fridge to find that left-over that you thought grew legs and walked away. Also, being able to see the food more easily affects the our eating choices.


All the modules are detachable so moving is easy.


Who says you can’t put your fresh food on display?


Created by Dickson Chow, Doruk Gurel, Jacopo Sarzi.

Big thankyou to the Space10 crew for the amazing experience!