Water works
by Vera Siegmund | Feb 7, 2008

To date, when buying a new kettle you could choose between various stainless steel or plastic models. Indeed, while current models display greater differences in terms of the quality of production and material, as regards form, they do not differ considerably from one another. They are all based on a water boiler or a cylindrical pot, have a handle, a spout on the opposite side and a water gauge.
Despite its name, The Kettle does not bear any of these characteristics. This kettle looks neither like a pot nor a boiler and nonetheless has a very archetypal form: It is shaped like a carafe or a milk bottle. And The Kettle is made of a new plastic, namely, Ultrason, resistant to high temperatures and transparent. The kettle is a prototype from BASF's project "Heat." The concept is to develop unconventional design ideas for household appliances, which are directly tailored to the new material. In the designfabrik™ in Ludwigshafen, which was founded in May 2006, industrial designers can seek advice on the entire process from the initial idea via the product concept to the color and tool design from plastics experts at BASF. Thus the new plastic Ultrason is being introduced as a design material from the very start.
BASF has already received the iF Communication Design Award at the International Design Forum Hanover for this marketing concept. Now, it has won the prize Design Plus at Material Vision 2007 for The Kettle. The kettle, which does not require a handle because you can touch it without the risk of burning yourself even when it has just boiled water, was created by the Munich-based agency Ideo. Alongside the simple kettle which provides a clear view of the boiling water, the creative agency has also conceived four other prototypes of novel household appliances which are particularly heat resistant, namely, a hairdryer, also with no handle, a lamp with no base, a heated coat hanger and a foldable, almost transparent