For all their precision and safety features, there’s something sort of disappointing about induction cooktops (which work through induction, rather than heat transfer). The visceral pleasure of cooking on an open flame is gone, and the cookware itself has to be made of ferromagnetic metal, so it’s often heavy and super expensive.
With these issues in mind, LG invited a team of six design students (Jack Holloway, Donato Santoro, Vina Kosasih, Jo Chang, Yelena Bushueva, and Sarah Lynn Pesek) to pitch a line of cookware that pushes the current level of induction design. The brief was to create a set of objects that increase what you can do with an induction cooktop—from toasting bread to grilling meat. The group responded with Stone, a set of porcelain and birch appliances that make a few simple but important changes to a typical induction gadget. "[They’re] manufactured from honest materials, such as porcelain bodies with birch wood handles, making the products sustainable and long lasting," says Jack Holloway, one of the designers of Stone.
Induction ranges heat food by inducing an electromagnetic field through the body of the cooking pot, which is why the heating is so evenly distributed. The components the group designed are compatible with current induction range tops, thanks to their stainless steel cores. The outer coatings of porcelain, birch, and mica act as insulators, so you can take the appliances directly from the stove to the table. There’s a chunky pot that looks incredibly rustic, a griddle that turns the cooking range into a grill, and a boxy teakettle. All of the pieces come off the stove cool—it’s a strange sensation, to say the least.
The neatest piece, though, is the stovetop toaster. It comes in two parts, so you can toast two pieces of bread or combine the pieces to toast artisanal-size slices. The faces are faceted so you can stack them in a corner. At the core, a layer of stainless steel conducts heat, faced on the bottom with mica followed by porcelain. The bread is heated by a layer of perforated ceramic reinforced with nanotubes, which hastens the toasting. It’s a high-tech solution with a super low-tech feel—since it’s heated by the induction stovetop, there are no wires or mechanisms. You can throw the whole thing in the dishwasher without fear of electrocution.
No word yet on whether LG will choose to develop Stone into a consumer line—in the meantime, Holloway and the rest of the designers are finishing up their degrees. More on the project is here.
[H/t Yanko Design]