Just as night follows day, the return to school follows the fading of summer. To cheer everyone up and simply have a bit of fun, Kellogg’s has enlisted U.K. artist and designer Dominic Wilcox to re-imagine breakfast time.
Wilcox, who thinks of himself as somewhere between an artist, an inventor, and a designer, came up with seven whimsical objects, including a cereal sogginess detector and “Robowl,” a kind of drone that helpfully zips a serving of cereal to wherever it is told to go.
The objects are in keeping with Wilcox’s personal work, the Reinvention of Normal, a playful approach to transforming mundane, everyday objects. “My work is my work, I’ve got my way of doing things so it’s not like I am switching on ‘Reinvention of Normal’ style, it’s just how I always am,” says Wilcox. He previously worked with auto brand Mini for a project on the future of mobility, for which he created a stained glass driverless car.
Wilcox received an open brief from Kellogg’s challenging him to “make breakfast more interesting,” particularly for children going back to school. He liked the challenge and initially came up with 19 ideas in sketch form. “I’ve had breakfast every day of my life so I am a bit of an expert, and researching the subject matter was no problem at all,” he jokes. “I was thinking about the process of going from the bed to the breakfast table and how to speed that up. It’s about looking at all the different facets of breakfast, the minutia and trying to find a trick or a surprise or an unusual thing.”
Between them, Wilcox and Kellogg’s whittled the 19 ideas down to 12, though the inventor says the brand left the process largely in his hands. “They really left me to my own devices,” he says. “I was very clear from the beginning, if I am putting my name to things it’s got to be a Dominic Wilcox invention.”
Wilcox developed the items on the shortlist further, and the final seven were arrived at. The whole process, from idea to finished objects took just 10 weeks. Along with the “Robowl,” other contraptions include a wearable device that amplifies the sound of rumbling tummies, the “Breakfast Is Served Pillow,” which enables frustrated adults to summon kids without having to go upstairs and the “Get Enough Spoon,” a smart spoon that measures how much cereal is being eaten and signals when sufficient fuel has been taken on board.
Wilcox’s favorite is the smart spoon, but he also talks wistfully of an idea for a house slide system that would allow someone to slide straight from bed to breakfast table, which was, alas, rejected due to budget constraints.