Paperware

For this assignment, we were tasked with designing a paper form to serve a chosen food in. The food we had to design for was the dish that we chose to do our cookbook page for. I chose potato soup so I planned to make bowls. I made some sketches of some options to explore.

My first idea was to make the bowls out of paper mache around a form. I considered incorporating cardboard on the bottom to help insulate it and keep it cool enough to hold. From this idea I started working physically. I got a ceramic cereal bowl to use as a form and layered paper mache on top of it. When it was dry, I tried to free it from the mold but it was stuck and in the end the paper form was torn to pieces trying to get it free.

As the paper mache was drying, I had started another idea which involved folding bristol paper. I drew an unfolded bowl on the paper, cut it out, and then glued it together to make this iteration.

I thought this was a good first start but it was brought to my attention that leaks could form in the bowl since the four edges had been cut apart and then glued together. A better way would be to cut and fold in such a way that there is no break, such as in the corners of a Chinese takeout container. I made a new unfolded design and this time I made the bowl out of cardboard to see how easy it would be to form.

The cardboard proved to be pretty difficult to deform at such a small scale. I experimented with removing the corrugation in the corners so that when they are folded over, they are folded flat against the side.

This worked out better, but I still wasn’t happy with the cardboard; the folds are ugly and awkward, and the staple doesn’t look great. I decided to go back to bristol paper and keep sketching designs.

I had the idea of a paper bowl with a cardboard sleeve that would both provide insulation and an aesthetic. I made several iterations following this main design.

In my first prototype, the entire bowl is canted, making it seem to lean in one direction. I also experimented with straight sides on both the cardboard and the paper. By the third iteration of this run, I rounded over the edges of the folds to make them more elegant and less sharp. In my next iteration, I wanted to curve the cardboard sleeve to make it match the curved folded corners. I also decided to crease and fold the cardboard sleeve instead of scoring and folding.

I think this final iteration is interesting but not perfect. The curves of the sleeve match the curve of the folds but they do not match the overall straight lined form of the bowl. In a next iteration I would stick to one form family, most likely going back a few iterations to angular edges. I think this type of bowl has applications to disposable paperware from a food truck. The bowl is meant to be held in the hand as the cardboard sleeve insulates your hand from the heat of the soup.