Design

Wine Rack System

ASSIGNMENT: Modular wine rack

CHALLENGE: To create system that allows infinite expansion possibilities satisfying the average wine consumer to the serious collector.

SOLUTION: Bees and wine don't have much in common other than the occasional "hint of honey" comment in reference to a wine's characteristics, and of course there would not be any wine if it were not for bees. But the connection I am getting to is that this projects is a storage system and bees have evolved the most efficient storage system known.

The honey metaphor also influenced what the wine rack is made of and how we designed each hexagonal unit. A translucent plastic material was selected for its light refraction qualities and for the way it allowed us to create a form that flows smoothly from front to back with a cradle for the bottle in between. A clip holds the the units together and makes possible configurations from three to ...

Client

OXO

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Expand, Drain Borad and Dish Rack

ASSIGNMENT: Dish Rack Drain Board

CHALLENGE: To develop a highly useful low cost product for the dish cleanup market

SOLUTION: With extremely tight price point restrictions and a short development schedule Target's US buyers provided us with quite a challenge with this project but we were happy to meet the assignment head on. We responded with a unique expandable design that enables a flexible draining surface size to meeting a wide spectrum of customer's counter top configurations. Add to this a new three sided concept for dish racks allowing for a dramatic increase in storage capacity, and you have a reasonably priced product that is long on function. Just what Target asked for, and a bit more.

Client

OXO

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1Oth Anniversery Uplift

ASSIGNMENT: Design an anniversary edition of our popular Uplift water kettle to celebrate 10 years on the market

CHALLENGE: To update and bring even more innovation to one of our most popular products

SOLUTION: So, we already did this once, and after an exhaustive process back in 1999 we launched the Uplift kettle with OXO to much acclaim. Now it's 10 years later and our challenge now is not to make water kettles in general work better, it's to improve upon our own work and make our water kettle better. Part of our process for any product is to keep improving them over time in to make our products work better for our customers. However, this was the first time the word "anniversary" has been attached to a project, which is gratifying since this indicates real success for this product having achieved a consistent market demand that has kept it on sale for over 10 years now. Focusing on environmental concerns that have steadily risen over the past few years, we improved the Uplift by removing all plastic and replacing the heat touch points with cork, a natural material with better heat dissipation properties than any manufactured material. The result works better than the original, and as with all our work, it looks as good as it works.

Client

OXO

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Two-Tier Turntable

ASSIGNMENT: Kitchen turntable

CHALLENGE: To make functional improvements to this common kitchen organisation device

SOLUTION: When a product is already so basic it is quite a challenge to find meaningful ways to improve it. This was certainly the case with this assignment from OXO. Since our work is founded on innovative product solutions we are often asked if there is anything we think we could not bring innovation to. The answer is an emphatic no, and this is the product we refer to as an example of how we make important improvements to even the most simple products.

In this case we observed in our user research that this product was often used in tight an crowded situations and as objects became clustered around the turntable, friction would build up affecting the performance of the product. We reacted to this information and created a design built on a base slightly wider than the rotating surface. this kept other objects from touching the spinning disk and ensured a smooth and consistent performance no matter what the environment.

When we added a second level to increase the storage capacity of the first turntable we again reacted to the many unpredictable situations the product might be placed, and a wide array of products that may be stored within it. Our unique split level adjustable solution makes any user situation the most efficient it can possibly be.

Client

OXO

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Interlocking Modular Bins

ASSIGNMENT: To develop a flexible, modular storage system for drawer organisation in all areas of home and office.

CHALLENGE: To design a system that will accommodate and organise a wide variety of objects that are stored in drawers of any size.

SOLUTION: There is no shortage of various products that claim to help organise the contents of your drawers. But we found them all to be hard to use and not very ... well ... organised. Many products were on the right track by providing a range of sizes to accommodate various storage needs but where they all fell short was in the assembly. Once placed in the drawer all the products we tested would flop around with the opening and closing of the drawer creating, over time, a general disarray. We determined that the key to this project was in the "connection," and set about creating a jig-saw type system that could be assembled in any and in any configuration. We wanted to eliminate all limits so that the size and configuration of your system is only limited by your own drawer size. Total freedom.

Client

OXO

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tot Turntable

ASSIGNMENT: Kitchen turntable

CHALLENGE: To make functional improvements to this common kitchen organisation device

SOLUTION: When a product is already so basic it is quite a challenge to find meaningful ways to improve it. This was certainly the case with this assignment from OXO. Since our work is founded on innovative product solutions we are often asked if there is anything we think we could not bring innovation to. The answer is an emphatic no, and this is the product we refer to as an example of how we make important improvements to even the most simple products.

In this case we observed in our user research that this product was often used in tight an crowded situations and as objects became clustered around the turntable, friction would build up affecting the performance of the product. We reacted to this information and created a design built on a base slightly wider than the rotating surface. this kept other objects from touching the spinning disk and ensured a smooth and consistent performance no matter what the environment.

Client

OXO

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Over the Door Hook

ASSIGNMENT: Create a door hook system for home use

CHALLENGE: To provide a simple, solid solution for installing non-permanent hooks over a variety of door sizes widths and different door frame configurations.

SOLUTION: In our research we found that door depths were generally two thicknesses, but there were the occasional odd sizes in older homes. We also found that there is nothing worse than a loose door hook. it moves around in annoying and sometimes alarming ways sometimes causing damage to doors and frames. Our solution was to integrate a flexible tab into the hook that takes up the extra space for thinner doors and keeps the hook from moving around thus making our hook the universal solution for just about every door that could benefit from an extra hook hanging on it.

Client

OXO

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Drawer Organisation System

ASSIGNMENT: Extend the drawer organisation product line with additional storage options.

CHALLENGE: To research the kinds of unique items that people want to store in kitchen and office drawers and add these options to our line of organisation products.

SOLUTION: Our popular drawer organisation system was designed for cutlery and kitchen gadgets but since it has been on the market it has been filled with all manner of goods that we could not have imagined. In looking at these additions to the great variety of things people toss into drawers we found that small items sometimes slip literally through the cracks. to provide a solution for these items we developed a set of small bins with solid bottoms that plug into the existing organisation grid. Problem solved. Now your sweets stash is secure and will not slowly migrate into the nether regions of your office drawer.

Client

OXO

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Cutlery Organisation System

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Client

OXO

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Corn Stripper

ASSIGNMENT: To innovate a new product that provides a better way to remove corn kernels from the cob.

CHALLENGE: In the kitchen market a niche has been steadily growing for tools involved in the preparation of foods that include corn as an ingredient. This specialty area has been long overlooked and there are opportunities to take a fresh look at how to better approach tools that are specialized for corn.

SOLUTION: There are in existence a variety of tools for this purpose and our client had identified a lucrative market niche comprised of various corn-related products. Nothing had been created that could easily remove corn kernels from the cob. We were challenged by our client to invent something innovative to accomplish this. After extensive testing of existing products a functional issue was revealed to us: all of the current tools for this purpose made a mess because the kernels of corn would pop off as they were striped and distribute themselves randomly across the work surface. Containment emerged as the problem to solve and from our new brief the Corn Stripper was born.

AWARDS: International Design Society

Client

OXO

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Stem Vase

ASSIGNMENT: Vases For Individual Flowers

CHALLENGE: To create a vase, or vases, to accommodate multiple individual flowers.

SOLUTION: We started by thinking about where flowers are at their best, unpicked and still rooted in the ground. There is something magical about a field of flowers gently waving in the breeze and this mental picture ignited an idea. Many of us will recall Weebles, a toy that wobbles back and forth but won’t fall over. We connected this idea of how to animate an object with our image of flowers in a field to produce a product that simulates flowers in a natural environment-even when they are situated in your own home.

AWARDS: Surface Magazine’s TAG 10, 2002

Client

MARKNADEN

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Downpour Kettle

ASSIGNMENT: Hot Water Kettle

CHALLENGE: To build on the success of the Uplift water kettle and provide an alternative that meets the needs of customers interested in a more traditional aesthetic.

SOLUTION: Several years after the introduction of our highly successful Uplift Kettle, OXO sought to build on its representation and at the same time widen the appeal of its kettle offerings to reach a broader audience. The "traditional" market was identified as one that was not currently served by OXO and our brief was to fill this niche.

Designing a traditional product for OXO, a company with a reputation for modern functional products, was at first a bit of a conundrum. But we have always understood tradition mean time tested, high quality, and part of the cultural vernacular. We hope that these values are embodied in all our work and will one day enable them to be interpreted as traditional. In many ways the Uplift kettle fits well into these definitions and therefore was a solid platform on which to build a new version of our original invention. Since the basic mechanical concept was to be drawn from the uplift the initial focus was on the form. Through the success of products introduced in the distant past and the corresponding prevalence of these products in our collective memory we have developed a nostalgia towards them connected to the age in which they were in major use. We looked at many of these products which related functionally to boiling water and carrying objects.

Many early stove top products adopted a conical form, wide at the bottom and narrower at the top, because of the suitability of this form for heating liquids quickly and with the least energy. We thought of nineteenth and twenty-first century coffee pots, many of which assumed this practical form. We also chose this form for its practicality and it's corresponding nostalgic appeal. For the handle our research lead us to look at luggage of the twentieth century and the simple leather, metal, and later plastic handles which were prevalent in the past. This form naturally lent itself to our reinterpretation of the uplift mechanism and the orientation of the users hand to the best carrying and pouring angle.

Client

OXO

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Turn Table

ASSIGNMENT: Kitchen Storage Turntable

CHALLENGE: To create a functional market leading storage tool product in a crowded product category

SOLUTION: The turntable is one of the simplest products imaginable with moving parts. Its only objective is to allow you to place objects on it and spin it around so you can reach all of those products easier. So with such rudimentary functional requirements we set about to find the weaknesses in existing products in to make OXO's Turntable the best functioning product available. The First improvement was design an edge that is the most suitable for the user to rotate the product and to make use of OXO's signature soft rubber material to enhance this function. Second, we observed in user research that in a crowded cabinet situation turntables are often pushed against other objects, which creates a situation in which a turntable is hard to rotate because it drags on other adjacent objects. Based on this observation, we solved the problem by adding a "skirt" under the edge of the turntable that is slightly wider and prevents anything from touching the turntable as it spins around and around.

On the technical side we took a close look at how to manufacture the best spinning motion at a low cost. Many of the competing products we observed worked poorly simple because the engineering was careless and not thought through. We carefully analysed all these details so that the OXO turntable would continue to be a big success long into the future.

Client

OXO

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No Smoking Ashtray

ASSIGNMENT: No Smoking Message

CHALLENGE: To design a product that encourages a reduction in smoking.

SOLUTION: The best place for a message discouraging smoking is near where smoking takes place. There are three things that accompany the occasion of smoking, the cigarette box, the cigarette itself and an ashtray. The government has taken charge of the box and the tobacco company has control of the cigarette and it is not likely they will be using it to discourage use of their product. That leaves the ashtray, so we took this territory as the site of our intervention.

It was an amazing coincidence of form and graphic that many ashtrays are the approximate form and configuration of the universal symbol for “no.” so having made this connection we only needed to find the most effective combination of graphic and functional object that allowed both graphic communication and functional object to be expressed fully. We accomplished this by interpreting the graphic in rich red glass object, a material traditionally used for high-end ashtrays, and one that reinforced the graphic via the natural luminescent attention getting characteristics of coloured glass. All these things came together in a delightful object that, at the same time provides a gentle reminder and serves the purpose it was intended for. This is the only product we have ever designed for obsolescence.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Expandable Drawer Organizer

ASSIGNMENT: A Flexible System to Organise Kitchen Drawers

CHALLENGE: To find a system flexible enough to accommodate many individual's drawer storage needs in a multitude of drawer sizes, while maximising storage space.

SOLUTION: What we wouldn’t do for a simple, flexible, expandable drawer organiser that can keep practically anything organised that goes in a drawer. Well, we couldn’t find one so we designed it. Our version of the common drawer divider has movable walls that can be configured in hundreds of ways. Whether its cutlery or rubber bands you need to keep in this drawer organiser will work for you. The Drawer Organiser is distributed by OXO.

Client

OXO

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Suction Bath Products

ASSIGNMENT: Secure and easily installable and reinstallable suction products for the shower/bath

CHALLENGE: In a market dominated by the PowerLock suction mechanism based on a cam lock mechanism, our goal was to design a product that would have better and more secure attachment and a better and more functional use.

SOLUTION: A problem was identified with the competitions suction mechanism: that it was awkward to reinstall after the suction failed, which inevitably happens. We therefore focused our attention on creating a mechanism that could easily be “recharged” by giving it a quick push. This way suction could be maintained perpetually with no awkward reinstall ever required. We combined the suction mechanism with a smart combination of transparent plastic and chrome plated wire for a reasonable manufacturing cost but with an aesthetic of much more expensive bath accessories.

Client

OXO

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Bulb Light

ASSIGNMENT: Bare Bulb Lighting Fixture

CHALLENGE: The simplest lighting fixture is just the light source itself. This projects challenge was to come up with a concept suited to this minimal lighting format.

SOLUTION: A great deal of our work involves processes of simplification and this project was an opportunity to explore one of these techniques in isolation. The technique is duplication. The theory goes, the less distinct elements, the simpler and more harmonious the object. Form must also be meaningful though so in this case we take the given element, a common light bulb, and use this as the basis for the form of the socket and switch. The product is effectively reduced to a bulb and its mirror.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Magnetic Clips

ASSIGNMENT: Magnetic Clips in Stainless Steel

CHALLENGE: Creating small inexpensive clips to coordinate with an increasing array of stainless steel kitchen accessories.

SOLUTION: After a sketching a variety of clip design formats and estimating their associated production costs, the leaf spring emerged as the best option based on function, price, and a review of the production resources. Leaf clips are those with two halves joined by a hinge with a spring in-between. We formed two symmetrical sides out of stamped stainless steel and introduced, into the area users would touch, a pad of a soft rubber material. on the other end where the clip would need to grip items we also added strips of soft rubber strips to enable a secure grip. each of these ends were formed to maximize the function of the clip, good finger grip on one end and secure grip for objects on the other. in between was formed the simplest transition possible to tie the ends together.

Client

OXO

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Single Hand Contact Water Kettle

ASSIGNMENT: Hot water kettle

CHALLENGE: OXO is one of the best kitchen and household tool manufactures in the US and when we set about designing a water kettle, we targeted OXO as our preferred manufacturer for the product. So we had to create a product that OXO would love to sell to its customers.

SOLUTION: The Uplift represents a complete rethinking of the water kettle. Starting from square one, everything that had been done in the past was put aside and a kettle designed based purely on how it ?should? work. Heat was the central obstacle to overcome and we accomplished this by limiting all hand contact to one place where we could protect the user from burning. The handle became this point of contact. This meant the handle must connect to and operate all necessary functions. The result is a kettle that is safe, smart, and easy to use.

AWARDS: The Uplift water kettle is part of the permanent design collection at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and was the recipient of awards from the following institutions; ID Magazine, Red Dot, The American Society on Aging, and the Chicago Athenaeum Good Design.

Client

OXO

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No.10 LetterBox

ASSIGNMENT: Home Letter Box

CHALLENGE: To create a functional surface mounted metal letter box for home use

SOLUTION: This concept for a mailbox brings a little much-needed irony to the daily trip to pick up the mail. We responded to a self-imposed design brief for a simple and interesting mailbox with what now seems like the most obvious of solutions. The No.10 envelope is the most ubiquitous of all forms of mail delivery containers and it perfectly lends itself in both form and use to a container for the mail as well. The duality in the relationship between the box and what goes in the box makes for an interesting visual play.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Light Bowl

ASSIGNMENT: Combination Pendant/Tabletop Lighting Fixture

CHALLENGE: To develop a simple light fixture that can easily adapt to use as a ceiling pendant or on a tabletop.

SOLUTION: The LightBowl plays on the idea of a bowl as a container, in this case a container of light. The use of the bowl form, a fundamental and highly functional shape across that resonates in every culture, enables this simple idea to be engaged universally.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Bean Wire Furniture

ASSIGNMENT: Furniture, Chairs and Stools

CHALLENGE: To design a family of high-end seating products using simple materials that would be comfortable in a variety of interior settings.

SOLUTION: Frighetto, an Italian home-furnishing company owned by the Estel Group commissioned us to design furniture for debut at the 2007 Salone de Mobile in Milan. We created a line called Bean. It is based on bean shaped wire structures that are partially skinned, describing the form without entirely showing it.

Client

Frighetto

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Expanding Drain Board For Target US

Target asked OXO for a new function focused dish rack and drain board to expand there cleaning and organisation department and OXO in turned to MARKNADEN to design an object that will enhance a kitchen counter with its presence. For those dishwashers like us, sometimes the dish rack does not make it back into the cupboard so it has to look as good as it works.

Client

OXO

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Water Candle

ASSIGNMENT: Candles for the water

CHALLENGE: To create a candle light source for use in water and compatible with bath use.

SOLUTION: When we first sat down with the clients for this project they said, "We want you to design candles for the bath." We took them quite literally and produced a candle that goes in the bath and at the same time expanded the brief to include other bodies of water such as pools and ponds. The end result was the CandleBuoy. Powered by rechargeable batteries, the CandleBuoy's LED light source is programmed to simulate candlelight. Completely sealed and waterproof, it's perfect for illuminating the bath, or any other body of water.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Duo Vase

ASSIGNMENT: Crystal vases for the US wedding market

CHALLENGE: Swedish crystal company Orrefors Identified a retail opportunity in the US market for products connected to the wedding gift market. We were engaged to determine a product concept to meet the needs of this market.

SOLUTION: In association with our sister agency TODA, we worked to develop a product concept that would tie into an advertising campaign that drove sales of Orrefors product in the wedding gift market. Our idea centred around the creation of multiple and duo vase concepts. These all reflected the dual nature of a wedding, and through the print advertising campaign, identified the dual vase designs with the marrying couple. In this version, two identical half vases nest together to form a complete vase.

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Orrefors

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Topographic Chair

ASSIGNMENT: Furniture, Lounge Chair

CHALLENGE: A form based lounge chair constructed entirely of plywood

SOLUTION: With the Topo Chair Project the challenge was to create a furniture concept whereby a three-dimensional form could be created from a rigid two-dimensional material, 7 mm thick plywood. The result was a ‘topographically’ inspired chair that comfortably conforms to the contours of the body. A system was developed whereby the structure is entirely self supporting with no hidden attachments other than a small amount of glue. Designed in 2000 and launched at the 2002 Salone Internazionale del Mobile with furniture manufacturer Frighetto.

AWARDS: Topo is currently part of the permanent design collections at SFMoMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Stripes Vase

ASSIGNMENT: Crystal vases for the US wedding market

CHALLENGE: Swedish crystal company Orrefors Identified a retail opportunity in the US market for products connected to the wedding gift market. We were engaged to determine a product concept to meet the needs of this market.

SOLUTION: In association with our sister agency TODA, we worked to develop a product concept that would tie into an advertising campaign that drove sales of Orrefors product in the wedding gift market. Our idea centred around the creation of multiple and duo vase concepts. These all reflected the dual nature of a wedding, and through the print advertising campaign, identified the dual vase designs with the marrying couple. In this particular version, the concept of stripes was used to make the connection.

Client

Orrefors

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Plywood Contour Bowl

ASSIGNMENT: Fruit Bowl

CHALLENGE: To design a fruit bowl out of 7 mm sheet plywood

SOLUTION: When challenged to create a fruit bowl concept from thin plywood sheets we drew on our architectural model making experience. We often construct models of the ground plane where a building project is situated. By tracing the survey data and cutting each individual contour line out of cardboard we then stack them all together to create a representation of the earths contours. So we performed the same operation with the contour bowl by cutting a series of plywood sheets in slightly different configurations so that when stacked together, they form the shape of a bowl.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Pouf Stool/Chair

ASSIGNMENT: Furniture, Stool/Chair

CHALLENGE: To create a stool/chair hybrid for use indoors and out.

SOLUTION: Frighetto, an Italian home furnishing company owned by the Estel Group, commissioned us to design new furniture concepts for debut at the 2007 Salone de Mobile in Milan. We created Pouf. Pouf explores the dynamics of solids and voids in the form of tilted cylinders. Available for outdoor use in plastic and for indoor use in and upholstered leather model.

Client

Frighetto

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Paper Chain Side Table

ASSIGNMENT: Side Table

CHALLENGE: To develop a winning competition entry for Surface Magazine's TAG awards

SOLUTION: In 2002 we noticed a call for entries from Surface Magazine, the winners to be judged and exhibited at the upcoming Salone Internazionale del Mobile. This seemed like a good reason to turn some sketchbook ideas into reality. We had come up with an interesting table concept inspired by a common childhood pastime, the paper chain. The concept was quickly adapted to fabrication in metal and then implemented in white anodised aluminium. We won the competition and with nine other winners were fortunate to be honoured in Milan.

AWARDS: 2002 Surface Magazine's TAG Award, recognising the most innovative furniture designs of the year.

Client

MARKNADEN

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