Swedish design Studio Claesson Koivisto Rune has designed the Baker Cookstove - an energy efficient cookstove for the developing world - for Top Third Ventures Ltd, a social impact company operating in Nairobi, Kenya.
The majority of women in the developing world prepare food on a technology called a three-stone fire. It is basically three rocks that support a pot with an open fire in the middle. This cooking method is very inefficient and leads to many environmental and health problems. One very real side effect being that children are denied education and future because they are sent to collect firewood. Wood that every day is found at further distances. The walk takes all day and leaves no time for school.
However, since the three-stone method is a tradition since thousand of years a new stove must allow the user to keep their way of life intact to be successful. The solution is to make a stove that burns wood, but as efficient as possible.
You can still cook over burning wood, but with the Baker stove you need only one third of the wood than before. Based on tests at the University of Nairobi the Baker Cookstove achieve a 56% reduction in CO and 38% reduction in particulate matter.
Local methods of cooking, tools and containers were studied as inspiration and to gain cultural insight. As a result the final shape of the Baker Cookstove as well as its strong colours are reminiscent of traditional African cookware.
"The Baker stove project has inspired us not for the prospect of making money, not for the design itself, but for the extraordinary satisfaction of actually making a tangible, positive difference in many people's lives and for the environment. And eventually, if the end users will come to tell us that they are proud to own this stove, our day is made."