• 2020

  • Product
    Housewares and Objects

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Spina is a colander for washing, draining and straining foods, with the added functionality of transforming into an in-sink salad spinner.

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  • Colanders and salad spinners are both useful and ubiquitous. However, their tasks often overlap and a salad spinner is much more rarely used and difficult to store. The designers wondered if a standard colander could turn into a salad spinner when needed, while retaining the form and multi-purpose function and easy storage of a colander during everyday use. To avoid becoming another compromised-at-everything multi-tool the solution would have to perform both duties as effectively as a stand-alone product would. This included keeping the function, form, and overall perception of a colander when not in spinning mode.

  • In form, function and perception Spina is regular colander, but when needed it can be transformed into a salad spinner by simply unlocking the handle and rotating the frame. Now the user can easily hold the handle from the top and press to start the spinning motion. Spina can spin in the sink, where the food is being washed or drained thanks to the non-slip foot. This eliminates the need to transfer or for a separate catch bowl. Spinning speed and capacity are comparable to stand-alone salad spinners. This is truly a multi-tool that makes no compromises with either function.

  • Spina shows that good design can work to reduce consumption rather than only increase it. By adding the function of a salad spinner to a regular colander the need for buying this stand-alone bulky, plastic-dense item is avoided. Spina also retails for a lower price than most salad spinners as it does not have the added manufacturing (or environmental) cost of a water catchment basket or a lid. Spina is assembled without glue, overmoulding or welding techniques for easy disassembly with simple tools. This facilitates repair or recycling using the marked identification codes.

  • Various hidden innovations were needed to ensure the user perceived this product as a colander. For example the helical grooves in the handle serve to drive the rotation during spinning, but are disguised to look like a knurled grip. The ratchet mechanism hides in the handle mounting thanks to a remarkably low profile ring-shaped design normally used in high-end bicycles. The spinning suction-cup foot is also shaped to look and function like another handle. As a completely unique concept it’s important for the user to quickly understand the transition from colander to salad spinner from first use. This was made harder by the way much of the mechanism is hidden. The solution was dictated by user trials at various design stages, and uses a combination of debossed graphics, detents for tactile feedback, and visual cues in the product form. The BPA-free nylon & polypropylene materials are dishwasher-safe. Spina’s handle can be unlocked and pushed inside the basket for nested storage in a pot or bowl. The handle also functions as a brake when pushed down during spinning and the extended curve of the basket shape creating an overhang above the spinning food shape ensures no food spins out, including berries.