Featured image for Spotlight: Tomorrow Machine

Spotlight: Tomorrow Machine

by Elizabeth Freeman on 08/21/2014 | 6 Minute Read

Editorial photograph

Tomorrow Machine, a design studio based in Sweden, has been producing some of the most innovative packaging designs of the future. Winning the Dieline Packaging Design Awards 2013 for Sustainable Packaging, they are at it again with 5 other creations including Basmati rice, Olive oil, Raspberry smoothie, Microgarden, and the Self-opening food package. What makes their creations so unique is the choice of substrates.

"We are a Swedish design studio based in Stockholm and Paris, specialized in package, product and food concepts. We believe in looking at the world from a creative point of view to shape the innovations of tomorrow."
-Tomorrow Machine


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The basmati rice gets wrapped in a pyramid of soft beeswax, soy-ink printed and dusted with pearlescent robin’s egg blue. The act of opening the package is very similar to peeling an orange.

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“A package made of caramelized sugar, coated with wax. To open it you crack it like an egg. When the material is cracked the wax do no longer protect the sugar and the package melts when it comes in contact with water. This package is made for oil-based food.”
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“Gel of the agar-agar seaweed and water are the only components used to make this package. To open it you pick the top. The package will wither at the same rate as it’s content. It is made for drinks that have a short life span and needs to be refrigerated, fresh juice, smoothies and cream for example. The packaging reacts to its environment, for example you could, just by looking at the package, see if it has been exposed to excessive heat during transport.”


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“The Microgarden uses transparent seaweed based agar-agar gel as a growing medium, and it has many benefits. It allows the Microgarden to remain self-contained – which means you will never have to water the microgreens. Their roots absorb moisture from the gel. The clear gel also allows the home-farmer to see and experience the whole growing process, from when the seeds sprout to the roots growth.The greenhouses’ walls cut the agar-agar gel in to six slices of still living greens. So you can choose to have only one slice or to put the whole greenhouse directly on the table to serve from. Our inspiration was finger food and we wanted to give the microgreens the same feeling as canapés because we think home grown greens is the most delicious and fresh thing you can eat.”The kit comes as a flat pack that consists of three items, a foldable greenhouse, organic seeds and agar-agar powder. To use the kit, start by folding the greenhouse. Boil water and mix in the agar-agar powder, then pour the mix into the open greenhouse. Sprinkle the seeds, close the Microgarden and wait. After 5-14 days your microgreens are ready to be enjoyed!”

In collaboration with INFARM

Photography: Merav Maroody


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Finally, the self-opening food box. This twister, packages food such as wontons, and as you heat it up in the microwave, the container slowly unfolds like a flower in bloom.

“A package that opens itself when the temperature (in the oven) is just right and the food is ready to be served. We studied shapes that are self-opening in nature in order work with the mechano-active material which will change shape when exposed to high temperature. The project is a collaboration with Swedish research company Innventia, who invented the 100% bio based and biodegradable material.”

In collaboration with Innventia

Overall, the commonality that threads though each concept is the strong influence from nature. While most designers indeed draw their inspiration from nature, creating organic forms and graphics out of “unnatural” materials, Tomorrow Machine chooses to complement their products with substrates that are in similar family. By doing so, the consumer is gifted magical experiences that come from interacting with the design.