Mar4Nothing is too small to be well designed… There are so many things that we interact with in everyday life that we don’t even realize was at one time a design project…and I am not just talking about your home or your car…even the pen you write with or the coffee mug in which you keep your “joe.” I hope to take this part of my site called “Designspirations” to highlight things that I think have been designed well, big or small.
Today I am focusing on the small…simple things that make everyday life easier for us all. If your desk looks anything like mine, my iPhone holder is a lifesaver. It’s a little plastic stand that holds my phone at the perfect angle to swipe and read a text or change my online radio station. With all of the paper I shuffle on my desk (I am trying to go paperless, but as an architect with a doodle addiction, it is a challenge), having a “docking station” for my phone, to elevate it off the flat surface of my desk and keep it out of a pile of paper is essential. The phone cradle you see here was a whopping 50 cents on clearance (of course) and is one of my favorite pieces of office equipment. So simple, I plug my phone into its cord to charge, set it on the stand, crank up my 80’s tunes (sorry) and get to work. Then when the phone rings – there is my phone, easy to find, sitting pretty above all the clutter.
While focusing on my desk, the next key thing for my work environment is a drinking container that won’t spill. If you know me, you know I am Italian and talk with my hands (and I am also a clutz)…so there is a lot of “flailing” during phone conversations and meetings with clients. The problem with most water bottles and coffee mugs are there are too many moving parts. The best one that I just recently found is a Tupperware tumbler (yes, Tupperware still exists…). It is simple, beautiful (in my opinion), non-toxic (no BPa’s), and you can run it through the dishwasher knowing that all the parts will get clean. Less places for little germs to hide or get funky inside of the straw like so many other water bottles. I even feel safe throwing it into my purse, knowing it won’t leak with that “burping” Tupperware seal it has.
Next is this locker carpet. What, you may ask, is a locker carpet? Well it’s something I found on clearance (of course) that I thought my kids would think was cool to “dress up” their lockers. Well, apparently they aren’t “cool” so I found a new use for it. My “co-worker” Felix likes to annoy me while I work – one of that hazards of working from home is that I work in the cats’ domain and another reason to have a spill-proof cup on my desk. They have no boundaries in their own minds, no matter how many times I gently shove him off my desk. He’s partial to the left side of my laptop, the side that blows out the exhaust heat…so I have set the locker mat next to my computer to give him a landing pad and keep him from typing curse words into my memos by walking across my keyboard. It reminds me to leave this space cleared for the cat and keeps him out of my way, warm and happy so we can peacefully co-exist. And he still thinks he’s the boss.
You may have noted, there is nothing all that exciting or sexy about any one of these three items (though sometimes there can and should be), but they each have a very specific purpose, and they do that job very well to solve a problem. Not too complicated. Not always doing what they were originally intended to do. But well designed. Finding a solution to a problem that is beautiful, functional, while using resources wisely. Just like architecture.