Sunplace solar cooker integrates dining and cooking

cooking around table
© Angelo Becci

Designers Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai have designed SUNplace, "for cooking and sharing, using the most basic, self-sufficient, clean and inexhaustible energy source : the sun."

Unlike our beloved GoSun stove, which uses mirrors to concentrate the sun on a tube, SUNplace uses a big fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on to a cast iron grill. Everyone sits around it like one of those Japanese Hibachi tables; the social aspect is as important as the cooking.

The station requires the full involvement of all its users, well-equipped and protected by gloves and special glasses; this team-work will also promote interpersonal relationships with conviviality. Historically the hearth was the center of the tribe and family; Sunplace wants to recover the ritual of the banquet as a shared moment.

It was created as part of an exhibition for Milano Expo 2015, and I do wonder whether it would really work, whether that steel grill might act more as a heat sink rather than a hot surface, and whether one really needs all the protective gear. But it certainly is going to be an entertaining dinner. Thanks Fast Co Design for tip.

Sunplace solar cooker integrates dining and cooking
But will it really cook?

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