Envisioned in partnership with iconic Italian brands Alessi and Kartell, the Parmigiano Reggiano® Design Challenge invited the design community to help “elevate the human experience through products that celebrate authenticity across the journey of enjoying a meal.”
The open competition, which ended on the 15th of October, saw nearly 500 submissions that were judged by an esteemed panel of judges that comprised Mauro Porcini, Karim Rashid, Ayse Birsel + Bibi Seck, Richard Eisermann, and Pietro Rovatti. The competition’s winners (some of which are showcased below) span across 3 culinary-related categories – Cooking, Eating, and Sitting… and the jury awarded the overall Best Of The Show Winner prize to Qing Yan for designing Cillio – a range of ‘cheese cutlery’ that bordered on kitchen jewelry!
Aside from winning the award, Qing Yan also wins a one-week all-expenses-paid trip to Italy which includes a private tour of a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese-making facility, as well as separate VIP experiences at Alessi and Kartell’s facilities and museums!
Scroll below to see the Best Of The Show Winning Design, as well as some of our favorite designs from the jury-picked winners’ list!
Cillio Cheese Cutlery by Qing Yan (Best Of The Show Winner)
The Cillio celebrates cheese in its unique way by being a functional piece of art designed around the versatile world of cheeses. Elevating the experience of cheese cutting to a ‘ritual’, Qing Yan’s cutlery set takes inspiration from leaves, plants, and organic forms as a reference to the food tools used in earlier times, while bringing it effectively into modern society as ‘kitchen jewelry’ that celebrates all kinds of cheeses from around the world! Watch the video above to see the Cillio in action.
Bifur by Kebei Li (Gold – Cooking Category)
Bifur is a nifty little compact scale that comes in the shape of a foldable trivet-style structure and also packs a kitchen timer in it. Designed to be small yet effective, and the kind of tool that becomes indispensable around the kitchen, the Bifur lets you measure the weight of ingredients during food prep, and time your cook too, once it begins cooking. When all’s said and done, the device folds down like a tripod into a tiny baton that you can easily stash in one of your kitchen drawers!
Ember by Adrian Perez (Silver – Cooking Category)
Designed to make baking accessible, Ember is a pretty unique little device that sits on your stovetop, using the stove’s flame to create the ideal conditions for baking. Working sort of like how a dutch oven does, the Ember does a much more advanced job when it comes to even heat distribution… plus it even has a convenient temperature indicator on the front that tells you the reading of the inside of the oven so you can regulate the stove flame accordingly.
Love Birds by Kickie Chudikova (Gold – Eating Category)
European cuisine will have you believe that salt and pepper are the ultimate condiments. Found at virtually every restaurant table (and even some at home), salt and pepper are a culinary match made in heaven, so Kickie Chudikova turned them into love birds! The Love Birds is a salt and pepper shaker set shaped like two birds kissing each other! The shakers have their respective openings at the beaks, which cleverly align together when sitting on the table to effectively ‘shut’ the openings to prevent moisture from getting into the shakers. Coincidentally, the feature also adds a touch of romance and cuteness to the table, making it perfect for date night!
Duet by Ed Ko (Silver – Eating Category)
Duet is a clever microplane grater that also comes with a size-appropriate measuring cup attached to it. Designed in a way that makes grating easy overall, the cup helps prop the grater up so you can hold it easily, while the cup itself comes with markings on the side that let you measure out how much you’ve grated. Pretty useful for anything from hard cheeses to even plants like garlic or ginger.
Cup by Alan Hung (Silver – Sitting Category)
Seating forms an integral part of the dining experience, which is why it was included as a category for the Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge too. The Cup chair by Alan Hung won the silver award for its refined aesthetic that took inspiration from food trays. The upper part of the chair features a molded veneer shape that resembles the lipped profile of food trays, while it rests on a rather comfortably shaped molded plastic base, that acts like the tabletop surface on which the food tray rests.
Hybrid by Stephen He (Bronze – Eating Category)
Hybrid is a chair that explores a rather unusual combination of materials that also have a role to play in food and dining. The chair comes with an aluminum base (aluminum can be found in all kinds of utensils) and a cork seat + backrest (cork is often used to make trivets to keep hot utensils on). The cork lends a softness to the chair, while the aluminum structure provides strength while being lightweight. Designer Stephen He also points out that both materials can stand the test of time, and if need be, can easily be recycled too!