My husband and I ordered take out the other night from the local Japanese restaurant. We ordered three rolls, hijiki, a green salad and some dumplings. When we were done cleaning up, I took a step back and really looked at the waste generated from all the containers used to transport our meal. I’ve done this before, but never been motivated to actually stop and think long enough to want to change my behavior regarding one of NY’s diehard habits. And then I did a quick and rough calculation: I figured that if they got just 30 take out orders a night, and multiplied that times the number of days in a week, weeks in a year and then times that by the number of Japanese restaurants in Brooklyn alone…I lost track when I hit 230,000 separate pieces of plastic. I started to feel dizzy and a little sick. Not to mention guilty. Basically, that is one shitload of plastic containers. There has got to be a better way! First of all, no more take out.
If one were to look at the dysfunction in our healthcare system through the lens of design, one could safely say that we are in deep deep trouble. I went to visit a close friend in the hospital this weekend, and I was aghast at all the cords and clip and tangles. There was absolutely no attention paid to aesthetics, much less usability, neither of which are insignificant or shallow, especially when one is ill or injured. My husband said it best: Hospitals aren’t designed for patients. They are designed for practitioners. I’m not even sure that is true.
The top photo is just a log. Probably destined for the wood stove this winter. The photo below that is the log my husband uses to split larger logs into kindling. I like the pattern.
Some part of design involves the changing of a familiar form. Whether it’s a subtle modification or a radical overhaul is beside the point. Enter the Egg Cuber! An egg is arguably a perfect shape. That said, the fact that it can’t really stand up on its own (except during the spring equinox) is a bummer. And worse, oval slices of egg don’t fit well on my square sandwich. Some portion of bread is inevitably left without proper coverage. I see this as a major deficit. Granted, the egg cuber doesn’t render the eggs into perfect squares, but in my mind it’s a vast improvement.
I am on a bit of a jag lately when it comes to my office supplies and tools. Like most of us, I used a regular stapler for the majority of my adult life. But then I came across the ZENITH, with its tiny elegant staples. Look at the difference in size compared to normal staples. Anyway, my stapling experience changed from boredom and often frustration to that of enjoyment. That is saying a lot for a pretty mundane task. I frequently ponder how and why we get attached to tools and functional objects. Sometimes it’s an aesthetic experience. Most often, for me at least, it is dictated by the efficiency and feel of the tool itself. If it works, AND it feels good to use it, then why use anything else. The other factor that looms large for me is the notion of longevity. If the thing feels as though it’s built well and will last the requisite eternity, then I am in.
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