By Zak Stone
The act of slurping a bowl of ramen alone--particularly if the noodles are takeout, but especially if they're instant--may epitomize the fast-paced lifestyle that overworks us, makes us lonely, and addicts us to fast food. While socializing through smartphones may make dining alone a less isolating enterprise, never before has there been a bowl to cement the bond between takeout eating and smartphone browsing.
The Anti-Loneliness Ramen Bowl by Japanese studio MisoSoupDesign is a potentially convenient and useable ramen bowl with an iPod-dock, but more than that, it's a wry commentary on the complex relationship between food and phone. At the same time that focusing on food as a simple pleasure has grown in popularity thanks to the local food movement, for many, that notion is more laughable than ever in a constantly connected digital culture, where focusing on soup alone could mean missing a tweet.
Eating while texting may be a faux pas while out to dinner with friends, but anyone who has eaten alone while attempting to read the news can relate to the #firstworldproblem of running out of hands. The only thing missing from this design might be a splash guard to protect the phone from broth runoff.
Copyright 2013 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.