A couple of months ago I explored the subject of the best teapot in the world, and why it was a stainless steel version made for an ocean liner in the 1950s.
And I still wonder whether the strange Rampant Rabbit design of a Philippe Starck teapot tells us more about the man himself, or simply shows that somebody else pours his cuppa.
Yesterday I met the opposite end of the spectrum, in the form of the garden waste dustbin from my local council.
Unfortunately for the reader, that has set off an opposite train of thought about designs which deserve the death penalty.
And I am particularly exercised by tiny changes, the smallest of changes, which would have been trifles for the designer, but where there has simply not been any thought.
A Dusty reception for a Bin
A pair of wheelie bins, one for recyclings, one for garden waste, of the type which infest driveways from Penzance to Perth. These examples are in the Midlands.
The one on the right was designed, commissioned, purchased, and imposed by someone who has never had to open a gate while pulling a wheelie bin with one hand, has never had a weak (or amputated) arm, has never had to use a mobility aid while moving a bin, has never had to pull two bins at the same time, has never had to move a bin while carrying something else, and has perhaps never had a driveway more than 25 metres long.
Spot the difference?
A little bit of plastic is missing, to allow the bin to be pulled along in the middle of the handle.
The irony is that – to my eye – the design on the right looks a little more complicated (and expensive) to manufacture and more likely to break.
Safety Features behind the Danger
Imagine a fire on your cooker.
If you are in Clapham faux Ruritania let it be wholemeal toast which has caught fire on the Aga Tennis-Racket toaster. If you are in the North or in Salmond-land let it be a chip pan (or deep-fried Mars Bar) fire. And if you are in York let it be a petrol fire because somebody is decanting petrol in the kitchen with the cooker running.
In any case imagine the master off-switch for the cooker.
The one that you want to switch off when something dangerous happens.
Where do you suppose it likely to be placed until relatively recently?
Brown Betty Teapots
We’re back to teapots, and tea.
And we’re back to civilised teapots and refined tea because we are dealing with tealeaves rather than teabags.
And the spout, delivering tea to your cup, exiting the teapot exactly at the point where the tealeaves are located.
It was probably designed by a manufacturer of tea strainers.
There’s no shortage of others, starting with electronic forms which insist on being filled in by hand.
But, as per Sad’s post earlier, I can hear the garden, the sun and the deckchair calling.
And unfortunately I have to go and paint a ceiling.