Urban kitchens are notoriously cramped. And when it comes to space-hogging kitchenware, colanders are among the worst offenders.
Enter the RMDLO Colander, an elegant redesign of the bulky utensil. It takes up no more space than a ladle. Named for its resemblance to the armadillo’s ridged shell, it’s one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that designs. Made of several separate strips of stainless steel that collapse into a slim band just 1.6 centimeters thick, it won’t clog space in your pantry. Instead, it can slip into a drawer, or hang from its handle on a peg on the wall, or get tucked in a backpack for a camping trip.
"This was a project that started 10 years ago, when I was in design school," London-based designer Ran Merkazy tells Co.Design. "I’ve been obsessed with geometry and origami since I was a child, and I realized at one point that if you screw a few flat strips together at each end, they can unfold to become a circle. That really got me going." After years of tweaking, he's now raising funds for the RMDLO Colander on Kickstarter.
Merkazy has worked as an industrial designer at Speedo, Dyson, and Samsung Electronics. Over the course of his career, the RMDLO Colander has been his passion project on weekends. He remembered someone at school saying that if anyone could invent a folding colander, "the kitchenware industry will bite their hands off." He calls it "a revolution in kitchen utensils."
Currently patent pending, the design looks simple, but everything from the placement of the holes to the curvature of the leaves has been carefully designed and improved upon over five years. The utensil can be used for straining and steaming just as effectively as traditional colanders, and it actually has improved functionality in one area: its flexible metal allows it to be squeezed to create a smaller opening, so that it's easier to pour food from the colander into small containers. Merkazy plans on applying his foldable design to other cumbersome kitchen items: think foldable mixing bowls and baking trays. "I’ve got an obsession with this folding thing," he says.
Thankfully, the redesign doesn’t eliminate everyone’s favorite off-label use for colanders—the RMDLO can still be worn as a Pastafarian helmet.
The RMDLO Colander is available for $33 on Kickstarter.