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•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by STIRworldPublished on : May 08, 2023
Beer as a beverage is associated with many different experiences, from sporting events to college parties. There are also some debate on how best to consume beer, with foam or without foam. Japanese design studio Nendo, founded and led by Japanese architect Oki Sato has crafted a novel and innovative product, one that focuses on giving everyone the beer foam they want. In the early stages of the product design, Nendo realised that while most commercial beer is shipped in glass bottles or tanks, beer for home consumption is packed in aluminium cans. It was noted that it is difficult to create an ideal amount of foam when pouring from a can into a glass. The studio therefore aimed at creating an alternative beer can that could control the level of foam produced by opening the can. Designed in collaboration with product designer Shun Naruse and visual artist Maya Watanabe, the Foam Can creates an improvised experience.
"Beer heads are considered essential for making beer taste better, at least in Japan. It is because a layer of foam with adequate thickness acts as a lid to prevent beer from coming into contact with the air, and keeps it from releasing aroma, flavour, and carbonation. In the domestic beer market, it is difficult to create an ideal foam when pouring from a can into a glass,” states Nendo in an official statement.
While raw ingredients are the most important component in the generation of foam when pouring it, there are two other factors to consider: the quick reduction in pressure inside the can once it is opened and the friction created between the can and the liquid. The pressure inside the can is concentrated in the narrow opening if the pull tab isn’t fully opened, which in turn increases the contact area between the beer and the can, accelerating the formation of bubbles.
The design process also revealed that by making a can with a narrower first opening, the bubbles produced may be concentrated in the slender slit. The new design places the tabs at an angle opposite each other, allowing the user to open easily. This alternative precisely controls the level of foam produced while pouring.
In keeping with their ideology, Nendo gave importance to materialising solutions to everyday problems. The Foam Can is a grey-hued minimalist cylindrical can, fabricated with two pull tabs instead of the usual one tab. The distances between each of these pull tabs and the lip of the cap, change the degree of opening. When the can is opened by tab ‘1,’ the lid opens slightly to create foam. Once the glass is about half full of bubbles, you stop pouring and wait for it to settle. One can then open tab ‘2’ completely and gently pour the rest of the beer into the glass with the rest of the foam, creating a smooth yet foamless flow of beer. This method of pouring from the can forms a ratio of 7:3 with liquid and foam, which is the considered the ‘golden ratio.’
Regardless of passing trends and fads, Nendo manages to innovate timeless products, elevating everyday designs and the Foam Can is yet another example of this.
(Text by Sanskriti Vashisth. Intern at STIR)
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