Microwave ovens were considered the ultimate in futuristic kitchen gadgetry when they hit the market in the late '60s but, outside of a few dubious concepts that have surfaced over the years, they haven't exactly been on the leading edge of design innovation since.
So European appliance maker Brandt pretty much blows the category wide open with its new Spoutnik model. With its colorful mien and spherical shape, the Spoutnik breaks the rectangular box paradigm and also promises a functional leap forward.
The microwave's domed shape affords 360 degree views of the cheese bubbling on your Triscuits and its door opens 65 degrees, theoretically allowing easier two-handed access to contents. The machine also trades multiple buttons for a scrolling digital menu.
The product was heralded recently with an eye-catching ad campaign from DDB Paris, in which the microwave is cast as a surprise visitor from another world. "Brandt thought the place of a microwave was on a bar, like a deco object, and not anymore in a cupboard," says DDB Paris creative Olivier Lefebvre.
The campaign, shot by art collective Koerner Union, features miniature scenes and people standing in awe before the spaceship-evoking cooker, and the simple tag line: "The microwave that doesn't look like a microwave."
For now, the Spoutnik is available at select French retailers.