2011 Kitchen Tools Overview

The world is changing. Cultures and economies are making new demands on us yet we want the sense of quality that comes from food well prepared, with the right texture, temperature, and nutrients. We have measured, stirred, chopped, whipped, peeled, grated, zested, mashed, roasted, and served with the same basic techniques and tools for decades, even centuries.

The time has come for breakthroughs that apply design problem solving to modern circumstances. Can you bring a new level of efficiency, accessibility, versatility, and suitability to the kitchen tools of food preparation, cooking and serving? Can you find ways to improve the function, the fit, the environmental impact? Even invent a new category or push an old one into new value?

World Kitchen invites you to redefine the kitchen tools for preparing, cooking and serving food, making them more space-efficient, time sensitive and versatile for today’s home chef and their cooking needs. Whether your design helps a cook to shape pasta, marinate meats, create a stir fry, flip burgers, or dish out soup, think about the cultural heritage you want to reflect and define its modern reality as you identify and design your concept.

When preparing your submission, World Kitchen would like you to consider:

  • How could a tool suit your cultural heritage with the world’s new realities to improve the home chef’s experience?
  • Are there new activities, needs and opportunities for efficiency and better quality to enhance the chef’s accomplishments?
  • Can you make meal preparation and serving easier, faster, more affordable, and more space-efficient?
  • Do we need new tools, even ones that serve more than one function, to increase versatility and value to the consumer?

Please read the guidelines in this Overview and visit the Official Rules document on /admin/WebPage.asp? admin>www.whatsbubbling.net. You must agree to accept these rules or your entry will be refused.

Questions? Visit our Facebook Page - KitchenTools2011 or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on this web site or contact

Entries Must Be Received by: January 7, 2011, 11:00p.m. North American Central Standard Time.

Submit entry at: www.whatsbubbling.net

Your submission will not be accepted until all requirements are met, including your acceptance of the Official Rules.  However, if you leave out a required item, the online entry system will prompt you and you will be given an opportunity to provide the missing material.

Three Top Awards Each include:

  • A check for $6,000 USD;
  • Round-trip economy class airfare, for one, to Chicago, IL USA to attend our award ceremony at the International Home + Housewares Show® in Chicago, Illinois, between March 6 and March 8, 2011;
  • A hotel stay of two nights for that event for one; and
  • $250.00 to cover other travel-related expenses during your stay for the ceremonies
  • Publicity:
    • Press announcement and presentation on the What’s Bubbling web site;
    • The right to use a special What’s Bubbling winner logo for personal promotional use; and
    • Information about your design in the World Kitchen exhibit at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show®.
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Honorable Mentions may be awarded at the judges' discretion, to be recognized on the web site and with the right to publish a What’s Bubbling Honorable Mention logo.

You are eligible to enter if:

  • You are over 18 years of age or the age of majority in your jurisdiction of residence;
  • You are eligible to enter based on U.S. law;
  • You are not a resident of a country under U.S. embargo, including Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria;
  • You are not employed by or affiliated with World Kitchen and its affiliates or as specified in the Official Rules.
  • See Official Rules for additional requirements and restrictions.

You may enter designs that are:

  • Your original work;
  • Have not previously won an honor or award in any competition;
  • Single artifacts, entire product lines or whole systems; and
  • Focused on enhancing the food preparation experience.
  • See Official Rules for additional requirements and restrictions.

We look forward to entries that maximize:

  • Use of space, time, and resources.
  • Safety and fit.
  • Manufacturing efficiencies.
  • Environmental efficiencies.
  • Alignment with modern lifestyles.
  • Alignment with different food culture and preparation context.
  • For more information, see Official Rules.

Versatility, multifunctional tools and exclusions:

  • You may cross boundaries and combine functionality with other kitchen products, but kitchen tools for food preparation, cooking, and serving must be the primary purpose of such an entry. For instance, a spoon may be used to eat soup, but your design must primarily help to prepare, cook or serve the ingredients for soup if it is to qualify for submission.
  • No pots, pans, bakeware, plug-ins, grills, griddles, or other cooking appliances or devices.
  • No serving dishes or platters.
  •  No designs that have previously won awards.
  • No designs of food itself.
  • See Official Rules for additional requirements and restrictions.

Please submit design concepts that reflect today’s changing lifestyles and food preferences. They can be inspired by global or local trends and customs.

  • You have to write your entry in understandable English.


  • There are no categories in this competition.

The judges will evaluate your entry based on the following official criteria:

  • Opportunity Identification and Research
  • Innovation
  • User Experience, such as ergonomics and safety
  • Appropriate Aesthetics
  • Manufacturability, including environmental considerations in material choices and energy used
  • See the Official Rules for more information on the Judging Criteria.

Please be careful to read the Entry Submission Form before you start, so that you understand fully the kinds of materials you will need to submit. Only enter each design once. Do not send in duplicate entries.
To enter, you will be asked to go to
www.whatsbubbling.net and submit:

  • Visuals, as defined in the Official Rules;
  • A summary statement; and
  • Descriptions of how your design concept meets the criteria.

The Entry Submission Form will ask for the following material about your design:


  • Submit up to seven .jpgs, in high resolution (300dpi, 1200 X 1500 pixels).
  • One photo needs to be your glamour shot, the one you’d like to see published if you win. Please do not put words on that photo.
  • Do not include your name or company name on your visuals.  Doing so will disqualify you.
  • The other images can have captions and be presented like storyboards.
  • The point is to tell the story of your research and how your design meets the goals of the competition. What gave you your idea and how does your design fulfill the objective?
  • Optional Video: Use .wav, .mpg or .mov video format and focus on helping the jury understand how your concept works and fits the user. The video is limited to three (3) minutes.

Essay Questions:
Explain your thinking in the boxes provided, limiting yourself to 300 words per section.

Concept Summary: Introduce your ideas to the judges and remember that this is the content we will draw from to announce your design if you win. Consider addressing the following:

  • What is its context of use and the problem your design solves?
  • Who is the user and what are their characteristics and needs?
  • How does it function?
  • What advantage(s) does it provide?
  • You will also be asked to estimate the size and weight of your design.

Criteria questions: The other questions will ask for information on how your design meets the criteria, specifically:

  • Opportunity Identification & Research: Explain the research methodology used to understand the food preparation experience. What are the cultural, economic and lifestyle facets that the research has exposed and what is the product opportunity your research revealed? How did your research inspire and guide your design direction and decisions?
  • Innovation: How does the design innovatively address the opportunity you identified? How does the innovation create new value?
  • User Experience: Describe the characteristics of the intended user and how they live. How does the design enhance the food preparation experience? How does it satisfy the human element, from safety and fit to cost and cultural appropriateness?
  • Appropriate Aesthetics: How do the aesthetics support the opportunity and design goal? What were the determining factors for the form, color, texture, scale, etc.? How do the aesthetics support the user experience and respond to research findings?
  • Manufacturability: Explain how the concept would be manufactured, of what material(s) and why these choices support the design concept? Specifically address how you have minimized environmental impact and enhanced manufacturing efficiency and product quality with your design.

Materials Information Resource:

  • Through a partnership with Inventables, you can utilize their web site at Inventables.com to learn about new materials and processes to collect materials that will enrich your design solution.
    Optional: Finally, you can upload a .pdf that includes additional research or information of use to the judges. There is a space provided.

You will retain ownership of your design (subject to World Kitchen’s right to display the design following the Competition and its Right of First Refusal, as described in the Full Official Rules), but keep in mind that this is a public competition, so World Kitchen cannot control who sees your entry. If you want to ensure protection, you should take steps to legally protect your design before you submit it. If World Kitchen desires to commercialize your design concept, it will negotiate with you to compensate for intellectual property ownership or licensing. Be sure to read the Official Rules regarding World Kitchen’s Right of First Refusal.


  • Make absolutely no reference to your name, location, school or workplace except on the Entry Submission Form. This is a blind judging competition. The judges will not see your contact information. If you identify yourself in your visuals or answers, your entry will be disqualified.
  • You may enter as many designs as you like, but each entry must all be distinct and original and not merely reflect a minor change, such as a different material or color.
  • There are no extensions, so you must submit your design no later than 11:00 p.m. North American Central Standard Time on January 7, 2011. You may want to visit www.timeanddate.com to confirm what time that is where you are located.

Potential winners will be notified and asked to respond with all of the information and documents specified in order to be confirmed as a winner as set forth in the Official Rules. If so notified, you will have a limited time to respond. If you do not fully respond within that time, another potential winner will be selected. If you are not contacted, please plan to visit
www.whatsbubbling.net after March 6, 2011, to see who the winners are.

Your submission of an entry evidences your acceptance of the Competition's Official Rules, so please read them carefully.  There are additional requirements and conditions discussed in the Official Rules that are not included in this Overview.


  • Check out many answers at "FAQs" on the whatsbubbling.net web site, or
  • Visit us on our Facebook page at KitchenTools2011
  • Write to us at

We hope you enter this competition and join World Kitchen in looking at this critical aspect of our lives with fresh eyes and the unique perspective of a designer!

World Kitchen is dedicated to industry leadership through design innovation. To stimulate advances in the housewares industry, it established the What’s Bubbling? international design competition in 2009. the first theme was Tea-Off, followed by Redefining Dining. The winners are presented on its web site devoted to exploring new housewares thinking. We hope you will explore this site. To learn more about World Kitchen, visit http://www.worldkitchen.com

Sponsor of Competition:
World Kitchen, LLC, 5500 N. Pearl, Suite 400, Rosemont, IL 60018.

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