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.




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