In many households around the globe the rice cooker holds perpetual court within the kitchen, always ready to prepare a couple cups of rice for a meal (or keeping leftovers warm from the night prior). But even our own small sized unit designed for a modest 2 to 3 cups capacity requires a considerable amount of counter space. The appliance’s appearance while contemporary, is also a tad gaudy, embellished with attention seeking illuminated controls and shiny metal detailing – par for the course within the category. Even the brand most often associated with modern minimalism in the domestic context features more buttons than most people will ever need or use. The Bowld Mini Rice Cooker by Korean design firm found/Founded by comparison is intentionally sparse in detail and options, a thoughtfully pared design extolling the virtues of “less as more.”
found/Founded’s small rice cooker is realized in opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer (aka ABS plastic), a gently tapered bowl shaped more closely like traditional stone vessels once used to cook rice rather than the squat and elongated shapes now associated with top electric models.
Bowld’s most conspicuous detail is its upper dial handle. Resembling a polished river stone, its smooth finish tempts eyes and hands toward the black dial. Give it a twist and it locks the rice cooker’s lid and forms a seal. Closed, the dial also regulates and directs steam output from the inner cooking pot safely toward the back while cooking.
The rice cooker’s simplicity is further underlined by its lone control button, thankfully uncomplicated by the icon-drawn hieroglyphics normally plastered or illuminated across many rice makers.
Unfortunately for minimalist design aficionados Bowld is currently only a concept, one of numerous case studies showcasing found/Founded’s wide range of design solutions showcased across the Seoul-based design studio’s website.