I feel that products with the ability to adapt to the user’s life will always come out on top of products which are rigidly designed to be used in a certain way. While of course people always use products outside of their intended purpose, the freedom of a malleable product that can fit into your life makes you feel true ownership over what you have purchased.
An example of a semi-adaptable product is Polygons, a 4-in-1 spoon. I say semi-adaptable because it really only has one intended use, for measuring, but it offers an innovative approach to kitchenware that I did not want to overlook.
“Polygons is the origami-like measuring spoon that lays flat and folds to 4 different sizes to fit your cooking and baking needs” is the definition given by Polygon designs on their wildly successful kickstarter campaign page.
The shape of the product itself makes for some rather practical transport and storage solutions, reducing shipping costs and therefore end user costs. Beyond just monetary costs, by minimising space required for product transport, the product has a low carbon footprint in this area. Furthermore, for use in either the home or in a professional cooking environment, Polygons will be extremely simple to wash, dry and then store.
This semi-adaptability is something I would like to influence my drastic plastic project, as I feel the sense of freedom it gives to the user while remaining a product with a distinct function will work well for my brief.
For Design/Tech Studies, I’ve recently been looking into the work of the Bouroullec brothers, whose design philosophy in terms of modularity and adaptability seems to align well with my own views. They claim to want to ‘hand the job over’ to the users, essentially allowing them to construct their well-designed and developed modules in whatever fashion they please.
Their ‘Clouds’ (2009) features a single designed module that can be combined in nearly infinite ways; an open system of flexible geometry with numerous uses. Not only does their design philosophy shine through this practical design, it also has beauty of concept and form.
While not all designs could be entirely modular or adaptable, probably, this way of thinking does offer a certain freedom in design. The designer can concentrate on designing one small, exquisitely detailed, thoroughly researched and tested module produced sustainably and ethically rather than having to design numerous aspects with less intricacy. I find this approach to be vastly appealing and I would consider the Bouroullec’s modular systems to be steadfast examples of great design.