Day 156: Redesign an everyday object.Posted: June 5, 2011
There are two ways this could go — two ways it does go, because this happens all the time — the object in question can become genuinely better or more useful (the iPhone being the best recent example I can think of); it’s far more common, though, for the object to just get more complicated, without becoming any more useful, and often complication makes the object less useful. To wit:
idiot design student can take something that works just fine and render it non-functional — and I could have taken that route, no problem: spill-proof glasses which are hollow spheres, energy-saving lamps that don’t turn on, fans with no blades, &c.
I didn’t want to bullshit my way through this task, though; I wanted to do more than “redesign” something: I wanted to reinvent, to revolutionize — and I wanted a technology so old and so ubiquitous that people don’t even think of it as technology anymore.
As an aside: I’ve been using a lot of italics lately, and I’m not sure why. It just feels right, is all. Also I’ve started using longer dashes, and probably nobody cares, but I love dashes — Sterne’s Tristram Shandy is full of dashes, of all sorts of lengths, and they’re one of the many things I love about that novel.
Anyway, about the “everyday object” I chose to radically improve:
I chose rocks.
There’s an old episode of The Simpsons in which Bart and Lisa play rock/paper/scissors — as another aside, I have no idea what that should look like in print — and Bart picks rock, like always, and thinks to himself: “Good old rock; nothing beats that!” — and loses, because, of course, paper beats rock.
Well, not anymore. And that’s not all — except I can’t really tell you what else the New Rock™ does, or what modifications I’ve made, because the patent isn’t filed yet, and I don’t want my brilliant ideas stolen. Rest assured, though, New Rock™ will change your life in ways you can’t imagine: New Rock™ will not only replace your old rocks, it will replace your blender, your kitchen knives, your plunger, your spouse, and your sense of self-worth.
New Rock™: this shit just got real.