Cooking food when in remote places can mean having to lug a camping stove along for the journey or trying your hand at some bushcraft to fashion a rudimentary grill. Israeli designer Roee Magdassi has created another possibility, however. Stakes is an ultra-light and ultra-portable grill that weighs just 300 g (10.6 oz) and takes a matter of seconds to assemble.
The initial design was inspired by Magdassi's time spent traveling, hiking and camping around the world and was created two years ago in the year between his military service and study. It was only last year, though, that Magdassi entered (and won) the Unique Youngstar competition at Spoga Gaffa, an annual gardening fair based in Cologne, Germany.
"I find outdoor equipment in general to be very fascinating and challenging," Magdassi reveals to Gizmag. "It has to be small, light, easy to operate and durable. Specifically, it was important for me to make an outdoor cooking grill, which is usually only practical, to be an appealing object too."
The kit comprises just five pieces, including a triangular roll-up grill net, a carry-case and three titanium stakes that can be driven into the ground using a mallet or rock, and that hold the grill-net in place. A periphery wire is looped around two of the stakes and its studded end is pulled through the top of the third stake and locked in place to ensure that the net remains taut.
The carry case is made of durable Cordura fabric and is equipped with a silicon handle so that it can be used to grip the grill when hot. When rolled up, the kit measures just 330 x 55 x 55 mm (13 x 2.2 x 2.2 in) and, when set up, its surface measures 320 x 277 mm (12.6 x 11 in), with its height varying.
According to Magdassi, the design process for the grill took a long time and its form changed considerably along the way. Having initially wanted to create a contemporary interpretation of the flint-tools used by prehistoric-man, Magdassi realized that radical changes were required, reducing the size and weight of the grill, making the stakes themselves thinner and reducing the number of stakes used to three.
Magdassi spent time testing how to connect the grill-net to the stakes. A number of connection mechanisms were trialed, based on springs, screws and rails. It was finally decided that a geometric lock would be the most effective method and the most comfortable for the user. Its simplicity would also help to ensure durability, whereas a complex mechanism exposed to high temperatures would wear out more rapidly.
"Stakes creates a new experience of outdoor cooking and it's an eco-friendly alternative for common disposable outdoor-grills," says Magdassi on his website. "It is durable, folds quickly into its case after use and can be washed in the dishwasher at home."
Magdassi explained to Gizmag that he believes the challenge of product design is to turn any inherent constraints into advantages and that, while this can be a tricky process, the results can often be surprising and satisfying.
Stakes is not currently available to buy, but will be soon. Magdassi told Gizmag that he is currently evaluating a number of opportunities and offers to commercialize the product.
Source: Roee Magdassi