What's the Future of Dining? Top 10 Picks for the "Dining in 2015" Competition

The results of the "Dining in 2015" contest hosted by designboom are in and my, oh my, are there some fascinating finds. Over four thousand aspiring designers from ninety-eight countries participated, and I must say we humans really are a creative bunch, especially when it comes to food and the partaking thereof. But don't let me convince you -- check out these noteworthy picks for yourself.

10. "Cutlery in a Wallet"

Don't leave home without itDon't leave home without it

Italian designer Alberto Ghiradello has come up with a creative solution to carting around cutlery. I don't know about you, but somehow I tend to find spoons hanging out in my bag all the time, and it can get quite annoying, especially when there's none in the kitchen drawer. This "Cutlery in a Wallet" set can be assembled whenever you need them, and then can be reinserted into the flat mold and housed in your wallet again, hopefully after a cleaning.

9. "Musical Dining"

flavor for your ear (and mouth)flavor for your ear (and mouth)

This piece, entitled "Musical Dining" was envisioned by Fumiaki Goto from the Netherlands and promises to bring some musical entertainment to your dining experience. It's made like a marimba, so when you place plates, glasses or different items on it at various points, different tones will emerge, transforming dinnertime into a jam session.


8. "Bubble"

Bubble your flavorBubble your flavor

I always like when everyday objects take on new life with a different function, such as this unique crystal "china" modeled after bubble wrap. "Bubble" is made of cast polyester resin and looks like it would be a real pain in the butt to clean. This was a collaborative effort by U.S. artists.


7. "=DEAR"

Oh, my dearestOh, my dearest

If this actually worked it would be pretty handy, as I often find myself unintentionally drinking "iced" coffee around 11 AM. "'=DEAR' looks like an ear" and is meant to keep your food and drinks hot far longer than usual. Designed by James Liao from Taiwan, this would work via a high efficiency battery that plugs into the cup, plate or whatever, thereby heating the ceramic layer via a series of thermo-conductive wiring. A color-coded LED light would indicate what state the plug was in, be it hot, warm, or recharging. Unfortunately, our technology today is not powerful enough to provide sufficient battery power to sustain the electric heating process, so we can only hope that by 2015 we'll have it together enough to be able to keep our dang drinks and pizzas warm for hours.


6. "Hot Plate"

those are some hot platesthose are some hot plates

This "Hot Plate" is similar in intention to the previous one, but with a different flair. An Israeli duo came up with this idea, using the conductive properties of metal films serving as decoration to keep food warm. The plate is hooked up to an electrical source (via a cord - not the most convenient) and the decorative elements on the plate are given a second function as transmitters of heat. But what's up with that egg? Does it get hot enough to actually cook it, or is that just to illustrate a lukewarm point?


5. "Fingersticks"

Freddy Krueger's cousin?  No!  Fingersticks!Freddy Krueger's cousin? No! Fingersticks!

This one is pretty funny. I don’t know how I’d feel about busting these out at my local Asian eatery, for fear of the stares and general mockery. These wacky instruments are titled “Fingersticks” and are allegedly a fine substitution for chopsticks. Designed by Zoltan Djeke from Croatia, they work by slipping onto your pointer finger and thumb like coiled rings, saving you from the hassle of figuring out the proper form for dining with chopsticks. Now that's class.


4."Pop-Out Cutting Board"

it's a boardit's a boardit's a bowlit's a bowl

This is really pretty handy. Designed by U.S contestant Kenneth Johnson, it’s a bowl and cutting board in one. Once you’ve finished chopping and slicing, you can just push the cutting board through and like magic, a bowl is formed to hold the stuff you just chopped. I’d like to see these in various sizes and colors. And forget the future, we need these NOW.


3. Salt & Pepper Mills Set, Plus Minus F

"levitate the salt, please""levitate the salt, please"

As I'm a big fan of all things levitating, I had to include this salt and pepper shaker in the mix. These are the brainchild of Italian designer Son Mocci, and could quite possibly be included on the dinner table of the future. They work via Neodymium magnets and are composed of two bodies - the floating base plate and the shaker.


2. "Flostick"

flostick flowersflostick flowers

The "Flostick" designed by Korean Hak-Byoung Kim, is a peel-away chopstick that has four different lifetimes. Made from branches and covered in a special, decomposable vinyl, these are not only eco-friendly but also pretty. When you've maxed out their function as eating utensils, you can just stick them in the earth and use them to help climbing vines grow. Or impale a vampire, if that's your thing.


1. "Exhaust Burger"

nothing like some CO2, served up fresh!nothing like some CO2, served up fresh!

And let me tell you: I am so happy to be a vegetarian some days, especially when I see bizarre ideas like this. Designed by an Iranian team, the "Exhaust Burger" transforms the tailpipe of your car into a mobile grill of sorts. Wow. Now that's creative, and also a little disturbing. The idea is that you stop the car when you are hungry, install the device (and pack some ground round into it - so hygenic) and you're on your way to a delicious hamburger, ready for you at your next destination.

So those are my personal faves, but there are several other fine ideas for you to peruse and come to your own conclusions about,  should you feel like investigating the results yourself.  One thing's for certain: Dining in the future is sure to feed not only our appetites but also our hunger for innovation.

Found at designboom

Sarah O
Innovative Interiors
Inventor Spot


Jan 21, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)


Fantastic finds. I like the chopsticks but that exhaust burger is naaaasty looking.

Feb 7, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)


that are cool thinks... the Salt & Pepper Mills Set is so ingenious ... i would have like this for my home ^__^

Feb 10, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)

Exhaust burger isn't new!!

I made that last summer with my uncle. We didn't have any fancy metal dinguses though.