The sink is full of soapy water, a pile of dirty bowls and plates looming at you. Sliding your rubber gloves on with a sandwich in hand, you are able to finally wash the mess up.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Did I just read ‘sandwich’ and ‘washing up’ in the same sentence?” Let me answer your thoughts.
Scrubwich, Yuk Wang
Yuk Wang is the designer of the ‘scrubwich’ a layered sponge that is reflective of a regular, white bread sandwich. (Fred & Friends 2015) This product is particularly successful as of how well thought out the product is in imitating the texture, form and shape of a sandwich. Firstly, the outer white layer is replicating the bread of a sandwich using a sponge with a rougher texture. The red and yellow layers being the ‘filling’ are made of a more refined, thinner sponge, to give the look of the meat and cheese inside. Even the packaging of this cleaning tool is akin to the packaging of a store bought sandwich, which adds an element of humour and parody to this product. At first thought a sponge and sandwich have no similarity however through further reflection and study I realised both items are relatively flat, with a textured surface, being the key link between the two objects. By adding an element of novelty to a product, it entices the buyer being a new and fun product to use, making the usually mundane task of washing up more enjoyable with the use of this quirky product.
Designers Liz Goulet Dubois and Jason Amendolara have also created products that are quirky and innovative, adding a level of fun and enjoyment to the task of washing up. All three designers (Wang, Goulet Dubois and Amendolara) have designed for Fred & Friends, a company which takes ‘delight in taking every-day functional products and turning them into something fresh and unexpected, something funny’ as stated on their website (Fred & Friends n.d). Fred & Friends features a whole range of products that incorporate humour and parody which can be used at the office, home or even at a party.
The ‘bubble scrubber’ designed by Jason Amendolara ‘turns your dish chores into child’s play’ as stated on the Fred & Friends website (Fred & Friends 2015). Similarly to the ‘scrubwich’ this product is quirky and makes washing up more appealing to the user. Alongside this product, Amendolara has designed a range of toys and other fun products including ‘mix stix’ (Jason Amendolara 2009) and ‘food face’ (Jason Amendolara 2009) which are guaranteed to entertain! The ‘bubble scrubber’ appears as a normal washing up brush however is designed with a hole in the centre which you can blow bubbles from. This product is poetic because it is merging the dirty brush with something aesthetically beautiful – being the bubbles blown. The ‘bubble scrubber’ redefines the interaction between the user and the washing up brush, adding meaning and value to this (generally) disliked task. Child or adult, this product appeals to all, changing the whole perspective on washing up and how it can be a more enjoyable activity as opposed to a mundane chore.
Bubble Scrubber, Jason Amendolara
Liz Goulet Dubois has designed a range of fun lifestyle products which feature on the Fred & Friends website. Her work also includes illustrating children’s books and designing toys (Liz Goulet Dubois 2000-2015). The product featured here is the ‘dish wish’, a washing up brush with magic and touch of fairy dust – only joking (Fred & Friends 2015). The brush is shaped like a fairy wand, giving users a reason to smile when washing up. A magic wand and washing up brush have an abstract similarity with each other. Whilst both products have an elongated handle and a head at the top, the use of each separate product is not similar. Yet I’m sure if someone got hold of a magic wand in real life, they would wish for their dishes to clean themselves (haha). I think this product would be appealing to children and encourage them to help out their parents with the washing up. Like the ‘scrubwich’ and ‘bubble scrubber’ Goulet Dubois’ design is witty and fun, changing the users’ often negative perspective of completing chores to a positive one, making the task just that little bit more enjoyable.