Blog  Object Oriented

Burn Bright, Burn Out

I love lightbulbs. I have an entire box of lightbulbs (contents of which are pictured above). Over the years, I've added to it and discarded bulbs that have broken or burned out. I've got incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, CFL bulbs, and LED bulbs. When I buy (or make) a new lamp, I bust out my box of lightbulbs and dig through it to find just the right one.

Blog  Object Oriented

Keep On Truckin'

Recently, I wrote about how folks refurbish old, broken products and “make do” with what they’ve got…and by doing this they customize the object and make it unique. I think about this type of customization a lot and think of many products as pedestals to support the user’s life.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting family on the Southern Oregon Coast and was amazed when a family friend drove up in an old Ford work truck that was completely missing the driver’s side door. He's sort of a cantankerous type, so when I asked him what happened he just said, “I was drivin’ and it fell off, rusted out from the salt air.”

Blog  Object Oriented

Communication Residue

Before fountain pens, people would write with pens with nibs. While writing, these nibs would get gunked up with ink. Periodically during a writing session, the writer would wipe the nib clean, dip the nib into the ink well to refill the nib, and start writing again.

A popular desk accessory at the time was a “pen wiper.” These desk accessories were sold wherever pens and nibs were, and occasionally they would be made by children as gifts for their parents. Above is an example where the head of a broken porcelain doll was turned into a pen wiper. As the “leaves” of the pen wiper became soiled with ink, they would be replaced. This quote from a Victorian craft book sums up the sentiment surrounding these useful and decorative objects: “A gay little pen-wiper with fresh un-inked leaves rarely comes amiss to a man who likes an orderly writing-table.”

Blog  Object Oriented

Making Do

I’ve worked in many places as a designer, but what has impressed me most about working at frog are the people. I’ve found that the frog designers are not only incredibly passionate, but very vocal on the subject of design, technology and culture. Certainly being in design and technology puts us at the forefront of cultural change. As designers we are both cultural zeitgeists and change–agents; we anticipate and guide the future. In my opinion there is a lot of responsibility with this position that ought to prompt a heated and thoughtful debate. With this in mind, frog’s product design team has launched Object Orientated. Our first contributor is industrial designer Tony Meredith, who’s passionate about the meaning of objects, particularly the unusual influences that define the appearances and functionality of an object. His first piece celebrates the inventiveness of the end-user in the design of a product. Enjoy. –Executive Creative Director Max Burton