"Om Nom" – supposedly the sound that people in the English-speaking world make after a good meal while contently patting their stomachs (the Slovenian version would be "njam njam"). "With popular diets, and there are currently more than 90, I found that medicine and science don’t work, that we can’t rely on our brains, and that we have to go back to our stomachs," says this good-humoured petite woman, while stirring her cream cappuccino. She arrived to Ljubljana from Kranj with a train "because it was easiest", she says pragmatically.
Her Om Nom bowl is also pragmatic. She has already received a number of awards for her bowl, including from the Designers Society of Slovenia, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and at the Top Idea trade fair. "The bowl’s purpose is to prevent us from overburdening and stretching our stomach, and for us to eat the exact amount that we can. This is not a diet," she warns. Although Nina Malovrh says for herself that she tends to draw unusual stories onto ordinary things, the case with the Om Nom bowl seems to be the opposite – she drew an unusual thing, a bowl in the shape of a stomach, onto an ordinary story, like for example maintaining your body weight.
The industrial designer, a graduate from the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design with a Masters Degree from the London University for the Creative Arts, was most thorough in tackling this unusual project. During the research phase she visited the general hospital in Slovenj Gradec, which is the only medical institution in Slovenia which surgically reduces stomach sizes. "When the doctors saw my product, they said what they do is exactly the same, reducing stomach sizes to an even lower volume of seven deciliters." She also took the advice of nutritionists, which told her more about calorie density "and explained that the average person can’t actually count calories". She then started designing the bowl in the shape of a stomach, studying the textbooks of medical students. "I took into account the golden ratio, and stylized the proportions and bowl to that extent, that visually the bowl itself looks eatable," she says with a laugh.
There is already great interest for the Om Nom bowl in Europe, and especially in Australia, where Nina plans to move for half a year. What is most surprising in Nina Malovrh’s story is the easiness with which she handles her product’s creation process. With her experience from Steklarna Rogaška, her previous work with advertising agencies and other independent projects, she is capable of producing the whole package. "I didn’t need any big investments for the Om Nom project, I did the design myself and took care of the branding, 3D cut ... I know it might sound unprofessional, but I only hired someone to stylize the food and take photos of the product."
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