Thomas J. Watson, who was the CEO of IBM for over 40 years, said that, above all, “good design must primarily serve people.” Of course he was talking about technology and the punched card tabulating machines that made him famous, but the thought can likewise apply to the simplest of designs.
It is true that designs are valued when they are fresh and unique, but the best are those that are practical and make our lives easier. In this instance, we are thinking of two kitchen products that do not often get much consideration. Yet, two ingenious designers have now turned them into items worth talking about.
Consider the arch sponge by Guo Wei Chen and how it improves what we normally use in the kitchen sink. Because of its wavy shape the sponge is never completely flat against a surface. The curves allow air to go through it and therefore it dries faster, decreasing the chances of developing bacteria. Some of us, perhaps you too, lean our sponges against the wall or the soap bottle to help it air out, but this designer has made the process altogether simpler.
Also of clever design is ivan zhang’s ‘whisk’ egg yolk separator. When you are going to whisk egg whites, the first thing you obviously must do is to take the yolk out. So how do you go about it? Do you shuffle the yolk between the halves of the egg shell? Or do you spoon the yolk out perhaps? Whatever the method, we know that it is messy and that it involves your getting egg all over your hands. Now ivan zhang came up with a clever tool that looks like a traditional whisk but that includes a void within its tip to separate the yolk from the white without hassle and without messes. Now you can whisk your egg whites and egg yolks separately, and mess free. Is this clever design or what!
These designs are more than clever, they serve people. We think Watson would approve.