Taste Condiment Set brings
uniformity to the dinner table

| 5 comments
 

Hong Kong designers Tomas Rosén and Nicol Boyd have created a flexible condiment set to put an end to mismatched bottles, jars and containers on the dining table (+ slideshow).

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

Rosén and Boyd, of Office for Product Design, noticed that most condiment sets hold predetermined combinations – salt and pepper, oil and vinegar – yet the condiments people want on their tables vary by country, culture and personal preference, resulting in a mismatched collection of containers.



The Taste Condiment Set for homeware brand Jia Inc consists of a moulded plywood stand that holds a coherent series of test-tube-like glass containers that can be used for different combinations of condiments.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

Containers have been designed for salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, chilli, spices, dried herbs and toothpicks.

When they are stored in the stand, only the white injection moulded plastic tops are visible.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

"The contents of the test tubes are concealed to create a uniform appearance when the inserts are docked," Rosén told Dezeen.

"By doing this we were able to bring a visual clarity to the set by concealing the wide variety of colours and textures of the condiments themselves, which would otherwise strongly affect its appearance on the tabletop."

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

Instead of displaying the contents, subtle visual references are included on the tops to reveal which container is which.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

"We have relied on communicating the content through historically accepted typological cues, such as one small central hole for salt, multiple small holes for pepper, spouts for liquids etc," said Rosén.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

The round-bottomed design of the glass containers prevents them from standing on their own, encouraging users to put the vials back into the stand after use so the table remains tidy.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

"We noticed that waiting staff often have to rearrange condiment jars and cruets when clearing the table after a meal," explained Rosén. "That observation sparked the idea to design the containers in such a way that they cannot stand on their own, but have to be returned to the stand after use."

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

The condiment set is available as a four-piece arrangement of salt, pepper, oil and vinegar for Western users.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

It also comes in a less-prescriptive Asian version that could hold soy sauce, vinegar, chilli and toothpicks for example, while a smaller set contains only a pair of containers.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

The Taste Condiment Set launched earlier this year at the Ambiente trade fair in Frankfurt. It has since won the German iF Product Design Award, and a Japanese 'G Mark' Good Design Award.

Taste Condiment Set by Office for Product Design

Office for Product Design is a Hong Kong-based studio formed in 2007 by Nicol Boyd and Tomas Rosén, who originally began their collaboration while studying at the Royal College of Art in London.

  • Judit

    I wouldn’t call the existence of two different variant of sets “flexibility”. Real flexibility would be if the set of four tubes came with all the different kinds of lids (and the set of two with four lids) so everyone could make their own selection based on their habits or the occasion.

  • Young Neil

    …but how do they deal with the remnants of good old ketchup?

  • P-dog

    Other than being incredibly anal and control freakish, the containers look far too like specimen jars. Enough said.

  • Stophorous

    Solid, good work but I prefer the different containers and things all mixed up. It’s more alive to me. I always find it difficult when it’s too much in the way of classical modernism; it somehow feels a bit dead. No feelings, just “objective thinking”.

  • design bastard

    These are nice looking objects, but to “put an end to mismatched bottles, jars and containers on the dining table”? Did the designers ever actually say this? Why add it? Why can’t they just be nice looking objects?