For the dutiful designated dishwasher in your life, we are entering an active week that will be defined by teetering piles of honey glaze-smeared dishes stacked sky-high by the kitchen sink, half-drunk mugs of eggnog left on every tabletop, and clogged garbage disposals. Mercifully, as their gift to you, two Swedish firms have unveiled an innovative product design concept that makes for great fantasizing material for anyone who’s been assigned to tackle the dirty dishes this holiday season:
Sturdy and attractive cellulose-based tableware that you never have to wash.
Before you completely freak out, the technology behind these self-cleaning wonder-dishes is in the early stages of development. "It is real but a very new technology that is still being developed, so it’s not ready for the industry yet,” explains Hanna Billqvist of Tomorrow Machine, a Stockholm-based design studio specializing in packaging and food that developed the self-cleaning bowls and plates in partnership with research firm Innventia.
The technology itself involves treating the lightweight, shatterproof dishes (they’re made from moldable, cellulose pulp-based material) with a superhydrophobic spray coating that, similar to the surface of a lotus leaf, repels dirt and water. And probably red sauce, too.
The process of applying the KTH Royal Institute of Technology-developed coating to a surface is called “Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions” or RESS, explains Bilqvist. I'll just call it magic.
Aside from the obvious benefits, Tomorrow Machine explains that the dishes are good for the planet, too: “The product not only saves resources during the manufacturing process, but also over its full life-cycle, not requiring water and chemicals to be kept clean.”
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