We were contacted by a student of Industrial Design at the KABK in The Hague in the beginning of march. Jakov was doing a project about product innovation and improvement. He wanted to be sustainable and innovative. That is why he choose bamboo as the core of his product. His plan: take a classic kitchen tong and make an improved version out of bamboo.


That is how his research started. He looked at how a tong works and what the requirements are. His research didn’t just involve modern tongs, he also dove into archeology. To figure out how they used to be made is to figure out how to make it durable. When researching about bamboo tongs he ran into an issue. The serving tong he bought was prone to breaking and the glue didn’t hold due to the lack of surface points.


We went to look at our bamboo residue to see if there was anything fit for Jakov. That is how he started making his many prototypes. Bamboo is a very versatile product, but it is important to pay attention when working with it. That is because bamboo has a tendency to split vertically. In the end this turned out to be the answer for Jakov.


When splitting bamboo carefully you can stop it at the node. This meant the tong wasn’t dependable of the small glue surface. It created a tong that wouldn’t fall apart, but a tong that embodied the power and beauty of bamboo. There were still quite a few choices to make in design. How the foot and head would look like for example. Style and taste take an important part in that. But one mustn’t forget functionality. In the end this is a product that is to be used and you would want to be able to use it.


This resulted in a beautiful, functional kitchen tong made of bamboo. It is strong in design, functionality and sustainability.


Photos by Jakov Habjan


Jakov Habjan is a student at Master program of Industrial design at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. More of his art can be found on his Instagram.