A conceptual cooker that “makes” meat and fish has taken out first prize in the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 competition. Cocoon uses radio frequency identification (RFID) signals to identify muscle cells in meat and fish dishes and suggest cooking times.

The idea behind Cocoon is to use science to create food, thereby decreasing the burden on the planet by reducing the need for intensive fishing and farming. Just exactly how it does that, is not particularly clear, but the concept is to “grow” meat and fish from pre-packaged sachets. It is described as being similar to making popcorn in a microwave.

The designer, Rickard Hederstierna from Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, will receive a prize of EUR5,000 and a six-month paid internship at one of Electrolux global design centers.

The entries were judged by a jury of internationally-recognized designers. Of the winner they said: “Cocoon addresses a controversial issue that is very real: humankind’s continued desire to eat meat and fish. A great design concept polarizes opinion, and this is exactly what Cocoon achieves by exploring this issue. An inviting, tactile design, the Cocoon resembles a gemstone with a metal accent reflecting the heritage of the Swedish art-glass industry. Cocoon meets all of the brief’s criteria: it is daring, cutting edge and truly innovative in its focus on social and environmental issues.”

The brief for the competition this year was to create thoughtfully designed products that will shape how people prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes over the next nine decades. Over 900 entries were submitted from students.

The second place was won by “Water Catcher” – a flying rain catcher and water purifier by Penghao Shan from Zhejiang Sci-tech University, China. The third prize winner was “Renew” – a smart steamer by Louis Filosa from Purdue University, USA. The “Teleport Fridge”, a refrigerator that teleports food - by Dulyawat Wongnawa from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand took out the People’s Choice Award, which was voted for online.

For more details on the competition and this year’s entries see Electrolux Design Lab.

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