The Old Dog Presents: What Were They Thinking? The Design Hall of Shame! Part One

in design •  9 months ago

  How could you design something like that? Do you have any idea how dangerous it is? What about the cost?  How can you possibly clean them? How did that ever make it onto the market?   

In my job providing property maintenance to the “rich and famous” I have entered literally thousands of private homes and businesses over the years. Sometimes I see things that leave me scratching my head. It's too bad that I haven't taken more pictures over the years but now that I'm a Steemit blogger I will!

Perplexing design decisions made on drawing boards by people who would never need to use or maintain the manifestations of their decisions!

A Little Bit of Background  

  I studied industrial design (the design of furniture and products) for three years and worked in that field for a decade. During my formal education we were exposed to a very critical analysis of all of our designs. Not only did they have to look good but much time was also spent analyzing of how the designs would be cleaned and maintained. No can clean, no can have a passing grade!  


What a nightmare! Why didn't I do it differently? image source: pixabay.com

Exhibit One: Why Didn’t I Install a Window That Could be Opened? 

   In these few examples I’ll show you situations where the decision to install a fixed window turned cleaning them into a costly and dangerous endeavor! When I offer my service to clean these windows I am almost always dealing with women and here are a couple of phrases that I often hear:   

  • I tried to tell the architect that it would be a problem but he wouldn’t listen! Now I regret it!
  • They just show you everything on a drawing and now that I see it....never again!


Here below are just three examples (I have hundreds) where an expensive  "high wire aerial act" could have been eliminated by simply installing windows that you could OPEN! HELLO!


In the photo on the right we actually had to close the road just to wash one small window!


At this house we had to put a ladder into the creek and then wade in! "Your joking right?" No, sorry I'm not!

Exhibit Two: Washbasins That Don’t Drain And Splash Water Everywhere!  

  Over the past ten years or so the fad, at least here in Europe, is to install extremely shallow and flat-bottomed washbasins. They may look sleek and elegant but come on designers, to a certain extent, form really does have to follow function! We're not washing sheets of paper we're washing our hands!!!  


Turn on this tap and the water spashes all over the place!

Not only do these basins leave dirty soapy water pooled at the bottom but they’re so shallow that the water splashes out all over the place. By the time you’ve finished washing your hands you’ve got to mop the floor and clean the wall behind the basin! I’m sorry designers and manufactures but that’s gross!  

What About You?

  • What head shaking designs have you seen?
  • Have you ever been "taken in" by something based on its looks only to regret it later?
  • Does form really need to follow function?


I hope that you enjoyed this first in a series "What Were They Thinking? The Design Hall of Shame!"


Until next time,


@kus-knee (The Old Dog)

Remember, I reward the best comment(s) on each of my posts with my "The Old Dog is Throwing You a Bone" program! So please re-steem and follow so that we can spread the wealth!     

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The sink issue is a pet peeve of mine...more specifically the facet. Here in the States there seems to be a growing trend to see who can make the shortest length of faucet. IOW in many restrooms, the faucet barely sticks over the far edge of the sink. Much shorter than in your photo. Now if you have man sized hands, you end up rubbing them against the back wall of the sink in order for them to get wet! What is the point of soaping and washing if when you go to rinse, you are inevitably touching the filthy back of the sink! Its like come on designers, put on another inch of material so we can use the thing lol. Great post BTW!

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As a guy with large hands, I hate short faucets with a passion!

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Yeah then you KNOW what I'm talking about lol!!! Its crazy!

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For sure! It's even worse when it's a public restroom sink and your hand s brush the back of the sink...yeah I know, #firstworldproblems, but really. Lol

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this sounds like some kind of bragging ;)

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My hands are bigger that Trump's, I can guarantee that! lmao!

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And he really loves faucets. He can watch them all day. Well... showers.

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Haahahaha

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Thanks for your observations!

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@kus-knee Old Dog, I'm aware you must be busy in the office atm but if you ever find time please spare me a few minutes on the message I sent you in the chat. Thank you very much!

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Blame crapitalusts needing to gouge another dime out of the fixed costs?

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The Old Dog is Throwing You a Bone For Your Nice Comment!

Please check your wallet!

Remember: I reward the best comments on all of my posts so continue to follow me and tell your friends!

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Why thank you very kindly OD. You, Sir are beyond generous!!! Much appreciated!

Here in Latin America, "thinking something through" is not common practice. I've gotten to where I just laugh about certain things.
Example: I've watched countless sidewalks go into upcoming subdivisions prior to the land being developed or houses built - by the time they are finished, meters of sidewalk have to be ripped out and repaired.
Also another funny little thing, they put the light switches on the outside of the doors...Like, not even in the room. (yes, even on the bathrooms)

I'm sure if you gave me a day, I could write you a nice list of things that I have experienced the "what the hell was that guy thinking" thought with. lol!

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Hey thanks! I'd love to see you do an article on the weird things that you see there!

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I would have to find a nice median and ad some pros to the cons, so I don't offend anybody. haha

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Also another funny little thing, they put the light switches on the outside of the doors...Like, not even in the room. (yes, even on the bathrooms)

Wait, What??? 😂

How is that even practical? Lol

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That's what I'm saying! Lol!

Where do these people come from?
Do you think the home owners are going to sell this home at a drastic reduction rather than chop the tree down?
()
Yes, I'll come over and watch the game with you... NOT!
()
You think this driveway is steep now you just wait til winter comes.
funniest-construction-mistakes-43.jpg
After I get done with my business I'll need 5 sinks to wash up.
funniest-construction-mistakes-31.jpg
I got these off of the web after looking at some of your crazy designs. As always, I enjoyed your post and was curious to see if I could get further chuckles and I was shocked at how many failed jobs were out there. Talk about dumbing down humanity.
Your fixed window was probably put in against your wishes because it was easy and cheaper to install. The sinks, on the other hand, are for looks and should come with outer pads to catch the water. The creators of these sinks suggest to turn the water on low and wipe the sink down every time used to prevent splashes. DOH. That hurts if you think about it too long. Last but not least... when you're in a hurry and you need money you might want to avoid this location.
funniest-construction-mistakes-22.jpg
Here are more if you want to laugh some more:
http://wonderfulengineering.com/31-engineering-mistakes-that-make-you-wonder-who-gave-them-engineering-degrees/
http://www.chilloutpoint.com/funny/top-40-funniest-construction-mistakes.html

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the crazy pictures @pitterpatter!

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OMGoodness . . . it was you who started it all. I love to laugh so when I saw your article I had to get more deLIGHT. Your posts are the best in my book and your words snowball an avalanche of ideas.

@kus-knee thank you for the gift of encouragement!

put a ladder into the creek

this is life threatening - good thing your worker is an acrobat maybe? :D What were they thinking? Make those windows burglar proof?

As for the sink- my jaw dropped - really? Holy crap!

Have you ever been "taken in" by something based on its looks only to regret it later?

yes, I'm a woman so in my younger years I bought boots that makes you look wowza for the design but kills my feet while walking and would probably cripple anyone who walks on those killer high hills later on or give them a bad back the least not to mention that I did this many times when I was young and uninformed about what high heels could do to both my feet and back if I keep using it.

source

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Back in the 80s, I could dance all night in stilettos. But now I put on running shoes to walk even 2 minutes down the road!

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@kiwideb I'm glad to bump into your comment here!
I suppose you have more time now?
Anyway, I'm glad to see you :D

I'm pretty petite so I use heels every now and then but till 2 inches
Stilletos are killer shoes - sexy now - bent later so no thanks :D


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Am still pretty in flat shoes hahahah they don't work like plastic surgery does and make me look like Angelina Jolie so it's not hard saying goodbye to those :D

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The Old Dog is Throwing You a Bone For Your Nice Comment!

Please check your wallet!

Remember: I reward the best comments on all of my posts so continue to follow me and tell your friends!

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@kus-knee thank you very very much! you've always been such an encouragement !
I hope the universe bless you ten folds of what you shower us !
I'm blessed with your kindness !
Thank you very very much!

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My pleasure!

Fascinating! I can't wait to see what else you come up with.

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Thanks for visiting. I'm going to keep on the look out for more crazy designs

Head shaking design: The human existence!!! I’m ever surprised at the constructs, rules, systems, ideas and doctrines by which we create and live our precious time on this planet.

Just considering even one small system, say “the work force”, we may find it looked good to generations before and is presented to us as achieving the "American Dream”. One could be inspired to buy into that example as it is enticing to get ahead and be prepared for the future. But at what cost?

In the U.S., what I actually see as the example is people who are in debt, overweight, stressed, on medications, declining in health, hate Mondays, only get a few weeks of “vacation” from their lives to do what they really want to do and then spend the rest of the year earning money to pay for it. Most have little priority on healthy food or physical activity, or spending time with the people they love the most. Most people have no idea what they really like to do or are good at as they spend all their time doing what they feel they have to do. Most have jobs they would not do unless they got paid to do it, and once they are in those money making positions, have little courage to step out and make changes that inspire them or make them feel alive!

I was “taken in” once by the “good life”, jetting around the world, spending weekends in condos or country houses, driving fast cars and going to fancy restaurants. It takes a lot of dedication to maintain that kind of a lifestyle supported by the money game. With it comes paperwork, taxes, titles, permits, record keeping, and an infrastructure to support all of those realities. It’s so “normal” that most people don’t question it, though it is neither life giving or sustainable.

I can say I have no regrets, as I see it simply as an experience and an opportunity for contrast and awareness.

I believe this is only one facet of the head shaking existence man has constructed for himself. Our present systems of education, medicine, parenting, food production, housing, law and more are all designs I believe need to be reconstructed.

Thank you @kus-knee for raising the questions and giving us an opportunity to consider the maintenance and the manifestation of our decisions.

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Great points that you make as always @everlove!

There's some really crazy stuff out there... I've seen my share.

Growing up in Denmark also meant growing up with a very strong "form must follow function" ethic, which is inherent in much Scandinavian design. Add to that ergonomics and "design for humans," and you usually end up with products that both work and look beautiful.

I think part of what we see these days is the influence of our "instant gratification" society... there is not enough time put into determining how and whether a pretty design actually works.

So we end up with disasters like you've shown here... or one of my favorites, the guest toilet where you can't actually close the door when someone is in it... unless that person sits in the sink, or stands on the toilet lid. Or furniture that "looks like a million dollars" but is impossibly uncomfortable to actually use.

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So you're a Bauhaus man! So true about Scandinavian design!

Great post! I think they sell us shallow sinks so we have to buy a second normal sink after we decide 31 days after purchase that we're tired of cleaning up. 1 for the price of 2 huh?

The other day I had to jump start my car, and a guy with some new Audi offered to help. I get everything ready, he pulls around and lines up. He opens the hood and we see a cover over practically the entire engine compartment. I don't think the owner could access a single thing, including the battery. No easily visible way to remove or open it either. (The guy was surprised cause he wasn't the owner of the car.) So silly to have it at all, you have a cover for the engine, it's called the hood...

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Funny! I had a Citroen and the battery was under the passenger seat!!! We had to unbolt the seat to get at it!!!

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Lol! That's ridiculous! So poor guy jump starts the car, leaves it running in the garage (he can't turn it off cause the lady he got a jump start from has to leave,) and while re-bolting the seat in for 35 min in the cold, the CO silently builds up. Omg... Smart...

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Exactly!

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Seems predictable to me, dunno what the problem is engineers/designers...

This was a great start to my day, such a good article on the importance of practical design. Thanks for the chuckle.

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Thanks for expressing your appreciation!

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Oh my goodness! I can't even tell what that is meant to be. A chair?

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Yes, maybe a chair but its horribly designed.

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When something is that ugly, AND you can't even be certain what it is, that's about as bad a design as you can get! Though to be fair, at least it could be cleaned!

How about swimming pools and hot tubs with the piping concreted into or under the flooring? It works fine until the point where something starts leaking then it becomes very expensive to repair because the floor has to be removed with a jack-hammer. Leads to years of topping up the pool rather than fixing a leak. (Information from my conversation with others - pools are way out of my budget, lol)

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Yes you're right. Some things should be considered before installation begins!

As an expert on dish washing, I would never instal those basins in my house! And the window issue is daunting to say the least.

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Women seem to "get it" but men don't!!!!

You should have seen some of the constructions in our house, sad we did not picture them - or better - good we did not :-)

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Hey my sporty, beer, techno man! Thanks for the visit!

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Always and every day I try to visit your awesome garden of wisdom my friend! Should I forget it one day feel free to remind me :-) @kus-knee

Those windows are wild. I haven't seen anything like that thankfully!

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Yes indeed! The strange adventures of a window cleaner!

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I hope the window cleaners get danger money!!

Sometimes designers get carried away. I've seen all sorts of bad basin designs that include the flat ones and also some that are barely big enough to get your hands in. They should also always have a mixer. In the UK at least we get lots with separate hot and cold. Many people won't bother to fill the basin and they may have to deal with either boiling or freezing water.

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Thanks for your examples!

stor post thanks

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I appreciate you having a look!

Yes, the windows are unthinkable, I would not want to live in such houses. But in order to use such a shallow pool it is necessary to dress an underwater suit and wash dishes: D

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Lol yes!

Wash basin is hilarious! Post more of these things! I love your tone of description :D

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Thanks so much!

Around here it can be so windy. Doors are rarely put into an alcove to spare them from the wind, especially on commercial buildings. If it rains hard and the door faces the wind, rainwater can blow around the door seals and actually hit the opposite wall. I have seen that happen many a time. The other thing is that the wind can literally rip the door handle from your hand and slam the door so hard, that you can be pinned, or a commercial glass door can shatter when it slams

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The Old Dog is Throwing You a Bone For Your Nice Comment!

Please check your wallet!

Remember: I reward the best comments on all of my posts so continue to follow me and tell your friends!

In our "new to us" house we inherited a modern toilet with flush options. The design problem is not related to its flushability but to its height.
It's a "too tall for me toilet" so my feet literally dangle in space which equates to a balancing act in the middle of the night that resembles a cirque du soleil performance when I'm only half awake. Much to Mr. Ryan's dismay, I remedied this by buying a squatty potty... after a heated debate took place in the middle of a Bed Bath and Beyond store. Needless to say, a blog post about the sorted affair ensued. ;)