Today, a quick look at a provocative — and nutritious — disposable tableware concept from Chinese product designer Qiyun Deng that’s sure to get an enthusiastic thumbs up from nagging mothers the world over.

Made from corn plant-based PLA (polylactic acid) bioplastic, Graft is a complete utensil set in which quotidian cutlery takes on the familiar shape, color, and texture of fruits and veggies: artichoke soup spoon, celery stalk fork, a knife with a pineapple stem blade, and on. Imagine that … eating fruits and vegetables with fruits and vegetables.

Explains Designboom:

The process began with the decision to use plant skin as a textural medium. First, Deng picked vegetables and fruits with special tactile features and reproduced their skins with resin to find a proper application. The textures were carefully copied to make sure they could seamlessly interface with the 3D printed parts.

The aim here isn’t necessary to remind us to eat our daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables although a spoon dressed up as a carrot does convey a certain, not-so-subtle message. Rather, Deng chose to shape the tableware like salad ingredients in a cheeky nod to the utensils’ biodegradable source material: plants (most likely corn or sugarcane and not celery, carrots, or artichokes).

“By waking both visual and haptic sensation it brings along a question: Will you throw them away easily?” asks Deng.

Speaking to Co.Design, Deng, who created Graft as a master’s project while a student at the University of Art & Design (ECAL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, explains her love of bioplastics: “I would love to introduce bioplastic to people without saying so by words. It’s a beautiful material that deserves design concern, not only moral exhortation. Since bioplastics are made from plants, why can’t I just make them look like themselves?”

No word on whether or not Graft is bound for production or it will remain a rather playful concept. And to answer the question proposed by Deng, yes, I’d certainly have a hard time chucking these vegetal beauties into a compost heap after I’d had my way with them.

Via [Designboom], [Co.Design]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Graft tableware: A not-so-subtle reminder to always eat your vegetables
Chinese designer Qiyun Deng creates disposable utensils made from biodegradable PLA that mimic the appearance of different fruits and veggies.