Kingston University graduate Wen Jing Lai has fused western and eastern cutlery to create a series of hybrid eating utensils.
China-born designer Wen Jing Lai created variations on traditional archetypal utensils that take elements from both of the cultures she has experienced.
"I wanted to use something very typical to represent a culture, so instead of looking at clothes, I thought that cutlery and dining rituals are very distinctive between the west and the east," Lai told Dezeen.
She began combining elements from chopsticks and spoons used in the east with forks, knives and spoons from western dinner tables.
"I first created a fork with the traditional metal handle, but replaced the teeth with bamboo - a material that is often used to produce chopsticks," said Lai.
"This led to a series of cutlery that has been merged in terms of material, form and function in order to express this phenomenon," she said.
Each Westiental utensil combines eastern and western characteristics to different degrees: some are more akin to chopsticks while others still perform like knives and forks.
Materials are mixed and matched so chopstick-shaped items are made in stainless steel, and knife and fork handles are produced in bamboo.
Clay and different woods have also been utilised to create the hybrid cutlery, mostly joined by hand.
How easy the cutlery is to use depends on the adaptability of the user and the food being eaten, Lai explained.
"The ease-of-use depends on the user and how familiar they are with both cultures, if you are used to using cutlery from both then some of them are easier to use," she said. "It also depends on the type of food you eat."
"I hope that this range can promote to the others a better understanding of my own culture across the different aspects of our lives," she added.
The collection was on display at the Kingston University graduate show earlier this month, along with a kettle shaped like mugs to save water when making tea and a fashion collection sculpted from metal fabrics. See more 2014 graduate projects »
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