‘7 Necessities’ is a range of enamelled stainless steel kitchen containers centered around the storage and use of key everyday cooking ingredients.
This project started as a study of the humble Chinese cooking oil dispenser, with its characteristic stainless steel body, funnel top and long, narrow pouring spout. Our research focus later broadened to include other essentials of Chinese cuisine and eventually got its final framing through the discovery of an old proverb from the Song dynasty, which lists seven necessities for cooking, namely: firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea. We thought it was remarkable that most of the ingredients mentioned remain as relevant today as they were almost a thousand years ago. With this in mind we sought to address the storage of each in a modern context.
Each item has its own shape, determined by typology and functional requirements, while the range is unified through a shared language characterised by simplicity, materiality and craftsmanship. Other considerations include thoughtful details and accessories, like integrated strainers, measuring cups, spoons and saucers. While the range forms a coherent system, it is envisioned as a less formal assemblage where each of the items could fit into any kitchen and add to its atmosphere.
Produced by: Serafino Zani
Awards: iF Product Design Award (2020), Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award (2020)
Credit: Photos 2-4, 11 & 20 by Serafino Zani