This project has been an exploration of how designing for blind users would effect the design process and the result. By conducting observations and interviews with blind users as well as professional chefs I got to learn more about the context of the kitchen as well as mapping out the real needs of blind users around this context. Several of these needs where shared between blind users and professional chefs, which also inspired me to see how the professional cooking techniques could be utilized by blind home chefs in new ways. The result is AL, the worlds first water free sous vide cooker.
Inspiration and Method
Since the users I have met during my process had limited or no vision it has been important to communicate with physical models and tactile references in combination with verbal communication.
Sous vide is a professional slow cooking technique where temperature control and slow heating is key. Today it is conducted by putting the desired food product in a vacuumed plastic bag and let it rest in a water bath of the desired temperature for several hours. what if the same result could be achieved with less hassle?
Growing up with a blind grandmother gave me insights in how much we depend in our vision.
It is remarkable how much emphasis we put in our visual impressions in our daily life when we have four other senses to use.
In this project I wanted to investigate how designing for blind users would change my design process and effect the result.
This project have been conducted with interviews, discussions and workshops in close collaboration with blind users in order for a better understanding of the real user needs.
Research and ideation regarding the sensory experience have been conducted in collaboration with Umeå University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts.
The technical experimenting have been done in close collaboration with researchers at Umeå University Department of Physics.
SOUS is the worlds first dielectric slow cooker.
It uses three magnetrons on really low effect (starting from 10W) to sous vide, slow cook, steam or heat your food as slow as you want it.
SOUS helps blind users by cooking perfect food without the risk of under cooking. The more time you give it, the better result you will get.
Perfect control, perfect quality – every time.