In early March, we were approached by a student who was working on his master's degree in Industrial Design at the KABK in The Hague. Jakov was working on a project that concerned product innovation and improvement. He wanted to be sustainable and innovative and therefore chose to use bamboo as a raw material for the product. His plan: improve a classic kitchen tong by making it from bamboo.
This is how he began his preliminary research, looking at how pliers are put together and what requirements they must meet. Apart from research into modern pliers, Yakov also did research into pliers in archaeology. Subsequently, he also started to do more research on bamboo. He had found serving tongs made of bamboo, but in use they quickly broke at the glue points.
We started looking at our leftover material with Yakov to see if there was something interesting for him to use. Thus began his project of making many prototypes. Bamboo is a very versatile product, but you have to be very careful when processing it as it has a tendency to split lengthwise. In the end, this proved to be just the answer for Jakov.
By splitting the bamboo lengthwise up to the node, a pair of pliers emerged that was not dependent on a small glue area. A pair of pliers that would not fall apart, but would show the strength of the bamboo. In the finishing stages, we looked at how the headpiece and the ends would look. Style plays a role in this, but so does functionality. In the end, it is an object to be used and you should be able to use it as such.
The result is a super nice, functional kitchen tong made of bamboo. They have thought about design, functionality and sustainability.
Jakov Habjan is a master student of industrial design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. You can find more of his art on his Instagram.
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