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.




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