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Fisica Applicata

Physics experiments with Acquacalda's new cooking utensils

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 19 April 2010

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Experimental design duo Federica Castagno and Sara Petrucci of Acquacalda presented their stunning new collection Fisica Applicata at the Temporary Museum of New Design during Milan's recent Design Week. Inspired by the study of applied physics, Castagno and Petrucci describe their simple, eye-catching design as "one applied art, with the aim to communicate and develop different themes and show unexpected connections in daily life."

The Turin-based pair transform kitchen basics—like vases, bowls and shakers—into instruments of knowledge, experimenting with the physical design of the objects without affecting their original function. "Archimede's Scale," a simple graduated bowl on first take, also weighs ingredients when immersed in water; measurements on the exterior indicate buoyancy. By subtly toying with expectations of how things work and clear references to scientific imagery, the collection invites curiosity and interactivity.

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"Mix In Glass" (pictured above left) uses the principle of atmospheric pressure to mix cocktails. Blocking the straw opening makes measuring the ingredients quick and easy—unstopping the straw releases the liquid into the glass and eliminates haphazard spills.

A wine dispenser, "One For All, All For One," creates four uniform streams of vino, using Pascal's Principle which dictates that a liquid in a container exerts even pressure, to simultaneously fill four glasses.

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The laws governing connecting vessels also led to Communicating Vase and Vasco. Both have a transparent tube that indicates the water level in its companion vessel, thanks to perhaps the simplest rule of all that says liquids will adapt to the shape of their containers.

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