Interview with Rickard Hederstierna (Cocoon) Design Lab finalist 2009

Electrolux Design Lab 2009 finalist Rickard Hederstierna is the Swedish designer behind Cocoon, the meat and fish maker. He is a student at Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden.

Watch Cocoon video

Intelligent food to save the planet

Cocoon” is a sustainable response to the world’s growing population and its desire to consume meat and fish. Similar to heating popcorn in a microwave, Cocoon prepares genetically engineered and prepackaged meat and fish dishes by heating muscle cells identified by radio frequency identification (RFID) signals. The signals detect the specific dish and then suggest the required cooking time. This process uses science to create food, lifting a burden on the planet by reducing the need for further intensive farming and fishing. The negative effects of this process, including the mass transportation of food around the world, clearing of land and distortion of ecosystems, are then negated.

What was the inspiration for your concept?
I was inspired by designers from the 1960s and their thoughts on the kitchen of the future.

How does your concept fit into this year’s competition theme “Designs for the next 90 years”?
My concept is to help future generations maintain a sustainable way of living in the face of an increasing world population. This population increase will have huge consequences on water and the climate. It will also enormously impact the meat and fish industries, which are already feeling the strain of overpopulation.

What are the main consumer benefits of your concept?
My product offers consumers good food that is low priced, healthy, clean, and has as a minimal impact on our environment.

Describe the consumer research behind your concept.
I based my thinking on possible future scenarios: assumptions of how technology and societies will look in the future. I observed important phenomena in today’s society and how much they’ve changed over time. Solid phenomena showing stability over time is considered “low risk” and those with less stability are called “high risk”. If I based my thinking on only high-risk phenomena, there is a high risk that my concept will be undesired. So, my final design solution is based on a mix of both low- and high-risk phenomena.

What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?
I would use glass and aluminum.

Who is your favorite designer?
My favorite designer is the German industrial designer Dieter Rams.

What are your career goals?
In September 2009, I will graduate and earn my MA in industrial design. After graduation, I am looking forward to starting my career with a challenging job somewhere in the world. This job should help me continue my development in design and also as a human being.

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