Sinclair Smith & Company is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Our services include strategic consulting, industrial design and interior design.



Furniture for Food for Thought

Posted on Jun 5, 2007 in Uncategorized

About a month ago I had this string of days when I repeatedly saw food and furniture being fused together. It was a bit strange to see these four projects back to back, but they’re all really fun and they make me want to sit and eat. I share now.

First stop is theoriginalsushipillow.com.

I saw these at the cherry blossom festival. “The makers of these great pillows, Cindy Tomm and Mel Maghuyop, are actors who toured with the musical Miss Saigon in North America,” and “it all started when Cindy mentioned wanting a pillow that looked like a sushi roll.” So goes their website. I mean, doesn’t all great work start that way? It was the first time I ever wanted to curl up with edamame. Collect them all!

Next stop was the presentation of industrial design master’s theses at Pratt Institute. There, Judy Hoysak wowed us all with her exuberance and passion for vegetables. Her thesis began with the simple challenge of wanting to have a garden in the industrial park where she lives in Brooklyn. (Sorry Judy, it’s an “INDUSTRIAL” park.) So she designed indoor planters that act as furniture. “Gardening is a fun, satisfying hobby, and indoor vegetable gardens can beautify the home while providing tasty and healthy foods. Lighting, soil substrates, and heirloom plant varieties were researched before determining successful combinations that would maximize existing negative space possibilities.” What a sentence! Brilliant! Judy also won an award for this work from my favorite retail design nemesis, Design Within Reach. Go Judy! Pictured below are her “Vege Table” and “Bean Screen.”

The third stop was the final furniture studio presentation at Pratt. There, 2nd year ID grad students Heather Taylor and Noel Spangler had a furniture-food-fight-off. “Stop designing with your food!” “Awe, Mom!”

Heather Taylor’s “Take-Out Table” takes its cue from chinese to-go containers.

So the scenario is familiar: you take out the food from the restaurant; you take out the containers from the bag; you take out the food from the containers. But then where do you put the food? You take out the Take-Out Table! Put it down, open the leaves, and sit on the floor. Containers sit in removable stainless baskets within the table. Chopsticks sold separately.

Noel Spangler fired back with his Sandwich stool for kids.

“The piece is composed of separate stackable layers – or cushions – that the child can play with and use to create a stool of any desired height. The child can also change the design of the chair by changing the order of the individual layers.”

So I gather it’s okay to design with your food after all. Is this setting up a dinner table disaster or a new breed of Top Chef? Who cares? This is so much fun, it’s obscene! I love it. How cool would it be if Noel’s stools pimped out the inside of this ride?

The above designs make me hungry. But more importantly, they make me happy to see that young designers are working on the consciousness of eating in new and playful ways. Many thanks to the all who agreed to let me show their work herein. If you would like to contact any of these brilliant people, leave a comment and we’ll get in touch.

And lastly, none of this would have caught my eye in quite the same way were it not for “Egg-blanket” by Cricket Ricardo, as previously showcased right here, on the IndustrialCircus.