Ditch the Fridge – Innovation in the Kitchen

The refrigerator. It takes up a huge square portion of your kitchen and sometimes can be a pain to have especially in smaller places like dorm rooms or city apartments.

Instead of asking the question, how can we make the refrigerator fit into a small space, one designer asked, how can we do without it?

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Cue Korean Designer Jihyun Rhou. Rhou turned away from the notion that ‘high-tech solves all’ and created a simple solution to preserving food based on how perishables actually behave. Life Edited features her beautiful work.

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For example, many fruits release ethylene when they ripen. When we put them in a refrigerator’s sealed box, it actually traps the ethylene and accelerates spoiling. Accordingly, Ryou’s apple storage system exposes apple tops to the open air so they release ethylene. The ethylene serves the other purpose of preventing sprouting in potatoes, so the bottom half of the apple faces a dark box where potatoes are stored. (from Life Edited)

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According to Ryou, “keeping roots in a vertical position allows the organism to save energy and remain fresh for a longer time”–so she puts carrots and scallions in wet sand to keep them vertical and maintain optimal moisture. (from Life Edited)

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Americans are about the only people who refrigerate eggs; Ryou’s egg storage leaves them out and features a bowl to submerge eggs to test their freshness (a fresh egg will sink). (from Life Edited)

“All perishables go in a refrigerator”.

In our client work, we always battle our assumptions or pre-conceived notions of the way things should be or have always been.

“How can we preserve food without a refrigerator?”

And like Rhou, we have learned that abandoning those assumptions and re-framing your question can open your mind to more innovative and surprisingly elegantly simple solutions.

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