A Different View on Disposability

Cabbage Bowls by Yasuhiro Suzuki
Cabbage Bowls by Yasuhiro Suzuki

It’s a wonder how something as simple as a cabbage can turn into such a delicate and exquisite design object. Continue reading


Light Up Your Own Lighting

Who recognises and appreciates the actual fire that used to bring us warmth and light into our life from the darkness that once surrounded us. Moast people have forgotten to appreciate the actual fire since electricity has appeared into our life and aggressively superseded it.

Scott Amron was born in America in 1980. He is well-known conceptual artist and an electrical engineer. Amron studied electrical and mechanical engineering in America and in Europe. Notably, he established Amron Experimental which is a one man design firm. Amron also works for numerous companies and has also won high achieving awards for his creative ideas.

Die Electric” is a series of design objects that created by Amron in 2007. Interestingly, he tried to create this design series without using any electricity which explains the name of the work. This clever design captures his ethics and values centering his view on sustainability. He tries to express his thoughts about the overuse of electricity through his designs to raise awareness of contemporary, first world society’s high consumption on energy.

Featured image
Candull by Scott Amron

Candull”, an aspect of “Die Electric” which it is just like an ordinary desk lamp, but interestingly, Amron replaced the light bulb with a candle. Surprisingly, the candle comes with a screw-in just like a light bulb and can be replaced the exact same way as a light bulb. This design is thought provoking and reminds us of the past and the importance of actual fire which is considered as one of the most important elements for mankind. Everybody uses and depends on electricity but not many really appreciate it because it is so common within a first world setting. But to use Candull, people have to physically light up the candle with actual fire making tools such as matches instead of simply flicking a switch on. Therefore, it is more engaging, interactive and nostalgic with the users and also highlight the importance of the electricity and fire all at once, provoking thought about old and new lighting techniques.

However Candull doesn’t have the best design for its functionality since it’s not convenient as we have to manually light up the candle and also the brightness can’t be adjusted as a single candle has a fixed light amount. There are mainly two different points of views on Candull. Firstly, the elder generation who connect with the design emotionally and poetically as the Candull will light up their rooms and bring back or trigger nostalgic memories of pre-electricity. The older generations used to read books in a darkroom by the candle light, which gave them light and warmth. Secondly, the younger generations. The design may seem zany and useless since they don’t have such experiences like the elders but it would teach them the importance of electricity and also the quality of life compared to the past.

Featured image
Gun Lamp by Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck also designed a series of lamps called “Gun Lamp”. The Gun lamps are intended to symbolise the violence that exists in present society and is exacerbated by aggressive consumerism and a commodity-driven culture. The visual form of design is different from Candull but both designs leave a meaningful message with its concept on the user.

Featured image
Plugged by Scott Amron

Another design named “Plugged” is cleverly designed to give thoughtful messages to people on global warming which is also caused by the overuse of electricity. Amron simply covered the socket with a bottle cork, which makes the socket completely nonfunctional and useless. The design is almost telling us not to use the electricity from the socket and purposely blocks the socket to reduce any use of electricity. This notion of design could possibly raise awareness of saving electricity for many households, making electricity a redundant concept.


Featured image
Rinser Toothbrush by Scott Amron

Rinser Toothbrush” is one of the best designs that Amron has produced. The International Design Magazine nominated , as the best concept of the year in 2007. The visual form of this toothbrush is almost the same as most of the other toothbrushes, yet it is very unique. As you may have guessed by its name, it has one additional function to rinse your mouth as you are drinking water from a water fountain. Some people find it annoying to fill up a cup or use hands to rinse their mouth after brushing but this design has 1+1 functionality, a toothbrush and a cup together, which is entertaining as well as practical. You can also replace the bristle section, which can be cost effective in the long run and sustainable on the environment.

The “Die Electic” design series can be considered as a thoughtful, emotive and ethical lien of work for many others because of its meaningfulness. Not only because of the functionality of design making the designs standout, but more importantly its meanings that are intended to raise the value of the design and the experience of using them Amron has successfully carried the past into the future and attempted to make it a functional and engaging success.

Walking back to nature with designer Shuhei Hasado

 “Humans don’t experience the world directly, but always via a mediating artifact which helps to shape a specific relation between humans and world”.– Peter Pau.  Our once natural creation has become materialized and into a ‘synthetic’ state.  We can never really experience the world directly due to our closeness with technology. This closeness alters our perceptions of the world and allows us to connect with it in a different way.

 Designers  have the ability to change and challenge how one can interact and view the world.

We can see this through Japanese designer Shuhei Hasado, a plaster craftsman. Hasado was born in Takayama city in 1962.  “Takayama” means high mountain and is located down a valley with mountains surrounding the city in central Japan. Growing up in the splendour of nature Syuhei continually reflects his love for the natural in his works. From the age of 18 he studied as a plaster craftsman and later worked with commercial construction with modern materials. When he reached mid 30s he left the world of modern building and returned to his love of the natural and clay plastering.  He connected with the aesthetic of clay due to its pure and beautiful character. He believes To improve the quality
 of our lives we need to return to at least some of our origins.” For him this meant both returning to clay and back to a natural sense of the world. His works also evoke users to feel as if  they are returning to natural.

In his work Haptic Geta he recreates the Japanese shoe ‘Geta’ . This sandal is typically worn barefoot and allows the user to have a sensitized experience of the natural world. The word Haptic tanslates to  ‘relating or pleasant to the sense of touch”.
He ‘felt that footwear understands the earth better than anyone’ leading him to his object choice. Various natural materials such as moss and wood are placed on the surface of the sandal. These tactile textures allow the sensory nerves  on our feet to create a feel of walking ‘barefoot’ on nature.This allows the users senses to be awakened and experience the world in a  way to connect them back to nature. Ones everyday interaction with the world is challenged as we become aware of how far away we are from the primitive and into technological advancement.



read more about it here

Similarly Nguyen La Chanh also created a designed object which awakens our foots sensory nerves connecting us back to nature.  In her design Chanh created a Moss carpet used as a shower matt.  The carpet is an innovative material made form a decay-free foam named plastazote. The moss grows in different cells and lives off the humidity from the shower. 

Theres nothing quite like feeling refreshed and  after a shower and stepping onto some grass as if your completely natural. It reminded me of ‘Adam and Eve’ being completely bare in the garden, much like the user will be after hopping out of the shower. This goes back to the idea  returning to  our origins to improve the quality of our lives.  Its placement in an area used nearly everyday will allow the user to become sensitised to the natural world around them continually.


Read more: Living Moss Carpet Adds a Touch of Green to Your Bathroom – Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building


Think about your own world and how it is shaped through the designed objects around you. Basic elements such as a door can greatly change your world if it was taken away. For example, notions of privacy and space will be eliminated…Or a day without your phone will radically shift the way in which you may experience and navigate through the day. Try to connect with it in a new and different way which allows you to appreciate things for their natural beauty.  


So terribly useless that its.. useful?

Lena Xian

In such a technologically advanced world that we live in today, its hard to think people would spend the extra time fussing about with useless ‘rubbish-like’ objects. Fred and Friends is a company that aims to do just that.

We delight in taking every-day functional products and turning them into something fresh and unexpected, something funny, something personal.  Fred and Friends

With this in mind, they created the ‘cracked up’ colander, a seemingly useless bowl that actually functions as a colander. If you or anyone you know where to drop and break a bowl, I would highly doubt that you would like to spend hours picking up the pieces and gluing them back together. As said on perpetualkid.com, the ‘cracked up’ colander is intentionally designed to make sure it is NOT glued back properly. This purposely half-effortlessly reconstructed  bowl is one of the most finest illusions to have in somebody’s kitchen. Something that is seemingly useless is actually used just like every other everyday kitchen essential tool.

This makes us think about how we may overlook the usefulness of objects, such as how often we wear our clothes, or how many replicas of the same thing we have. Recycling or toning down how excessive our culture is indicated when looking at this ‘broken’ bowl.

‘Cracked up’ by WInnig Pang for ‘Fred and Friends’.

Another object that eludes to the familiar ‘useful uselessness’ is the ‘seat saver’ by someone in a New York market place who makes them. These things are more of a DIY project rather than a refined design, although they are highly effective and very convincing.

Introducing the Seat Saver, a highly convincing design that looks like rubbish and serves a pretty useful purpose. Although they are quite self explanatory in how they can serve to save your seat, I will explain anyway. They look absolutely identical to wet food rubbish. This makes it very icky to clean, and most certainly anything but inviting to sit on. By creating an easily portable, fake, and plastic version of this mess, this man has opened a store in a market place somewhere in New York selling these little models of rubbish.

Simply calling them ‘seat savers’ and having the object near the sign does all the explaining for the customer. By calling them ‘models of rubbish’ or ‘plastic spilled ice-cream’ does not give them any useful purpose, and does not redesign the ice cream itself in any way. In regard to ‘Cracked Up’ the colander, it would be the same as having a pile of broken bowl and calling it ‘broken bowl’. The usefulness comes in the purpose of the object, not too much the object itself.