The basic pot – with a handle to stop burns and scalds and a lid to help cook food faster – has been a kitchen staple throughout civilisation. And despite the huge advances in technology over recent times, we are using an implement our ancestors would still recognise.

For BBC Future’s Imagineering Redesign series, we rethought the saucepan, which hasn’t seen a revolution since the accidental discovery of Teflon in 1938.

The concept uses smart technology to alleviate some of the drawbacks of a simple saucepan. A ‘smart handle’ (detachable if you need to put the pot in a dishwasher) would include a timer, a weighing mechanism, a thermometer, and an alarm for when the pot boils over.

The pan is made of two layers, with the outside one angled to increase contact with a hotplate, and the internal one curved to make it easier to clean. Heat exchangers – like those currently used in camping stoves - separate the layers, heating the sides of the pan more evenly. The lid tilts, allowing food to be strained without having to transfer it to another container. The modular design, with the handle being interchangeable with different sized pans, would also help keep production costs down.

To read more, see the whole story on the BBC website.

Combining consumer insight with desk research allows us to explore the cultural and physical limitations of current designs, as well as allowing us to understand the ways in which new cultural meanings can be utilised, blended and borrowed in order to create objects that resonate with consumers in the real world.

Miles Hawley

Chief design officer, Precipice