There exists a class of remedial objects, that would not exist if the primary objects they interact with were designed in totality, with ultimate priority given to the end user’s experience.
As an example, metal non-threaded bottle caps solve the manufacturer’s problem of capping bottles in a cost-effective way, but require the end user to purchase a bottle opener. Ditto with can openers. Cast-iron pans, when hot, cannot be grasped by the handle and so we have silicone solutions. Smartphones cannot survive the rigors of transport and so we need phone cases. Cars get too hot in the sun and so we buy sunshades.
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The need for these objects will not go away soon, and all the enterprising industrial designer needs to do is look for where they’re needed.
Amelie Van Houdenhove, an industrial design student at Belgium’s Howest University, observed that the nesting plastic crates at Belgian industrial assembly facility WAAK are just about impossible to prise apart. She then designed this simple Twist&Turn tool:
Van Houdenhove’s design is now produced by WAAK themselves. The material she chose for production is POM (polyoxymethylene), “which has good gliding properties,” she writes. “This makes taking out a Multipack box quicker and easier.”