A Better Box Lunch

Black + Blum’s elegantly constructed container makes brown-bagging it a luxury.

As household budgets contracted in 2008, many of us traded lavish lunches for reheated leftovers. Though toting Tupperware to work can feel like an act of virtue, it can also seem like an exercise in deprivation. “We eat out of these sloppy little containers—which is far from what you normally eat from when you’re at home,” says Martin Blum, of the London-based studio Black + Blum. In the hopes of rescuing lunch from the humdrum plastic container, he and his design partner, Dan Black, have introduced the Box Appetit, an attractive, well-considered alternative.

Discussion of lunch boxes began about a year ago, as Blum’s coworkers enviously eyed the lunches artfully prepared by his Japanese wife. Instead of merely replicating the bento-box model, he and Black wanted to design something with the texture and sturdiness, but not the weight, of glass or ceramic. With the right combination of materials, they achieved just that: the bowl is silky smooth, thanks to a combination of polypropylene and seashell powder, and the ultraclear plastic lid gives the impression of glass. Two removable inner compartments keep sauces and dressings contained and microwavable ingredients separate from cold ones. All the components are BPA-free and safe in the dishwasher and microwave. Here Blum gives us the recipe for Box Appetit, available through Black + Blum’s Web site in green, grey, turquoise, and orange.

Click the images to read Blum’s comments on the design.

Recent Programs