Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. V

It’s fun to kick off a new year with another addition of our popular post, “Good Gadget, Bad Gadget.” It seems that even with an economic downturn, the gadget industry is employing armies of product designers and child labor-stocked Chinese factories in the creation of countless new must-have items for the kitchen.

I’m a fan of modern design — we live in a midcentury modern house with sectional couch, Barcelona lounges, shiny orange barstools we call the “iStools”. But one of the most important points to modern design is “form follows function.” And one of the prevailing afflictions in modern design — especially kitchen gadget design — is “form follows form.” In other words, when clever product designers get really cool ideas with utter disregard to whether something is needed.

From the outlands of the avant garde comes the modern edition of “worst gadgets”. I call these “Form Gone Wild”:

*   *   *

The Garlic Zoom XL. Not sure what the “XL” is for, except that’s what people tack on to the names of their new cars, motorcycles and other products to make them sound futuristic.

And speaking of new cars, could you not just see this little pod cruising across the surface of Mars? Not sure what it does to garlic, though.

More

Responding to the Avant Garde

Ferran Adria & staff on the beach at Cala Montjoi

I once exchanged emails with el Bulli. If you’re one of the increasingly few people on Earth who have not heard of el Bulli, it’s a restaurant on an isolated bay called Cala Montjoi on Spain’s Costa Brava, a couple hours north of Barcelona. And even if you’ve not heard of it, you’ve been eating its influence whether you recognized it or not for years. More