ILO - 3/4 view closed
How to use : ILO
a step by step of how to cook a meal using the ILO fireless cooker.
How to use : ILO a step by step of how to cook a meal using the ILO fireless cooker.
ILO - open view - ready to fold around the heated pot
ILO - folding steps
ILO - from a cardboard model to a functionnal prototype
ILO - layed flat
What it does
ILO is a soft fireless cooker, that fold around a pot to retain heat and finish a cooking process started on a stove. By reducing the heating time, ILO cuts energy consumption by more than half and therefor energy losses to bring sobriety in urban kitchen.
My project began in June 2022. Having always been sensible to environmental issues, I set out with the broad theme of how to avoid producing waste. Through a great deal of research to build up my dissertation, a direction emerge: invisible wastes. We were in the autumn of 2022, the energy crisis was on all medias, and the government was calling for a general mobilization to combat the electricity shortage. What a more important invisible waste than our energy losses? To make our electricity dependance ceases, to take action on our own scale, I decided to solve this question: How to limit energy consumption and losses in urban households?
How it works
ILO, standing for Insulating Lowtech Objet consist of a well research folding technique that unable the object to go from flat to volume. With a simple movement from the user's hands on each side, the folding faces are brought together and attached to each other with magnets to surround the preheated pot place in the center. With an association of local, sustainable insulating material : cork fabric, linen wool, thermal lining, ILO retain heat to cook your meal by limiting losses through conductivity and radiation. The cylindrical shape aims to fit as close as possible to the pot to reduce heat loss through the air (convection). Instruction manual: Lay your ILO flat for later. Place your pot on the stove and heat until boil (around 5 to 10min), put the lid and remove the pot. Put the hot pot on the middle/center piece of your ILO. Close your ILO around the pot. Let your ILO cook your meal and open once the time indicated in the recipe has been reached.
The conception process started with an analysis of heat retaining object, 2 categories emerged, either hard receptacle or soft envelope. I explored both of those solution but settled on a middle ground and developed a concept soft but structured. My mains issues were around usage and being able to quickly transfer the hot pot without burning yourself, clean and avoid the creation of mold afterward but also store and display when the object is not used. I found my solution through a flat and foldable design. The next challenge was to find the most efficient folding pattern to transform a flat surface to a cylindrical volume with the least amount of manipulation. The aesthetic of the product came hand in hand with the folding function, the lid part of ILO that gives it this specific and recognisable design is essential for the functionning. The placement of the padding was then decided based of insulation but also to make the apperance more soft and reassuring for the user. To get to the final version many models were made starting with paper and cardboard to fabrics of different weight. The structural part inside the fabrics layers that unable ILO to keep its shape and to fold at the right place evolved from separated structural piece to a joint one during my experimentation.
How it is different
ILO is also known as a fireless cooker, a 1000 years old invention. But whereas current fireless cookers are DIY boxes with a duvet used during shortage and war, ILO aims to adapt its use to modern times and simplifie every steps of the cooking process. Quick transfert, easy to clean, security, no burning, easy storage and compact design. But more than usage, ILO is printing an image of efficiency, performance and modernity on to abandoned lowtech principle to make it a part of our life again. ILO is an object gathering an efficient and nutrient denser cooking method and a reassuring and intuitive aesthetic. Usage and image issues associated with firelesscooker were solved keeping in mind how an innovation can be accepted by population, how to promote sobriety and sustainable lifestyle through a product.
ILO is based on folding and was inspired by origami, to perfect its pattern, I would like to seek professionnel advice on this part. I'm currently expanding the range of user for ILO, to know were people naturally place their hands, how quickly they understand its purpose and how to use it. My ILO model is functionnal but it's made using basic material. My next step would be to make a functionnal prototype using the right material and industrial method to assess the production process. Finally, ILO being a new cooking method, I plan on starting a collaborative database, to gather tested recipe to ease the transition into this method.