Temperature isn’t the only factor that affects the comfort of a room. Oftentimes, the humidity or lack of it can either give relief or aggravate certain conditions, especially for those with skin or respiratory issues. Dry air in a room or house, for example, can cause dryness in the skin, nose, or throat and may even cause symptoms that lead to flu and colds. Humidifiers have become more common in the past years due to increased awareness of these environmental factors to our health, but their designs have mostly remained the same. Common humidifier designs are utilitarian and uninspiring, easily sticking out like a sore thumb. This design concept, on the other hand, tries to offer not only a familiar face but also a familiar mode of operation that is as simple as cooking rice.
Designer: Gahyun Kim
The typical humidifier often comes in the form of some large can that you put on top of a table, though some recent designs have gotten a bit more creative in adopting spherical or teardrop shapes. They really don’t make any effort to blend with the rest of their surroundings, though that does have the advantage of making it clear what their purpose is. More importantly, however, all of these are designed to spray humidified air in only one direction, which is usually upward. This design simply relies on natural air to spread the humidity across the room, which doesn’t always work as intended.
SOT is a humidifier that implements a directional spray in a rather curious and almost whimsical way. In a nutshell, it still sprays humidity upward, but you can rotate and turn the nozzle in a certain direction so that it will let the steam out at a certain angle. It doesn’t rotate automatically, leaving the owner free to direct the output wherever they want.
What makes SOT really special, however, is its design and the source of that design’s inspiration: a pressure cooker. Both appliances do make use of water and let out steam, though for different purposes. More than just the similarity in process, though, SOT brings a sense of familiarity and comfort in seeing a product that they already know how to operate. It isn’t by coincidence that you use this humidifier exactly like you would a rice or pressure cooker.
To get started, you simply lift the lid off the pot and then pour the desired amount of water. Instead of simply placing that lid back down again, you give it a slight twist to turn it on. It doesn’t really get simpler than that, and it’s a series of steps that many people, especially in Asia, would be familiar with.
SOT’s exterior also brings that sense of familiarity and confidence by mimicking the appearance and texture of popular household objects. Its matte surface gives a sense of warmth to the touch, while the glossy edges make it look like a ceramic pot. Rather than have an eye-catching but incongruent object in your view, this humidifier design concept brings a comforting and familiar face to your living space while also giving you more freedom in what direction you want it to spray its humidifying vapors.