Curling Pan - Shapeshifting Cutting Board

By: on March 23, 2014

Right now Juan Lee's Curling Pan is just a concept. A wicked concept that Juan better make happen because a cutting board that curls up into a frying pan when it hits the heat of a stovetop burner? Holy balls that's some Einstein-abracadabra-Shazam, son! awesomeness. Brilliant. Someone give this kid a pile of seed money.

When cool, the Curling Pan lies flat as a standard cutting board for chopping whatever ingredients you would otherwise drop all over the floor during their transfer to a cooking surface. Use it to dice vegetables, slice meat, and compile the base of your dish, and then set the entire board on a burner, shaking your head at the marvels of human ingenuity as its edges curl upward and form a frying pan when they absorb the heat.

The piece of cookware achieves this effect from a shape-memory alloy material composition. The metal nitinol has the ability to remember and morph between two entirely different "pre-programmed" shapes. One shape rules below certain temperatures, while the other takes over above them. You may have seen something similar in the past--nitinol is the same metal used in magicians' self-bending paperclips and silverware. In addition to shapeshifting, the Curling Pan also changes color, from white to yellow to red, as it heats up to provide further indication of the rise in temperature.

On top of being rad...just...rad as a single dish for constructing certain meals, the Curling Pan also saves space by returning to and storing flat when cool. Lee's invention recently won a 2013 Best of the Best Red Dot Award, and is featured on student-based design idea site Behance. I'll say it again: someone give this kid a pile of seed money.