10:40

Crap Design Prize

A huge improvement at Heathrow: the trolleys at Terminal Five. They have fixed back wheels and only the front ones move. No longer do you find half-a-ton of luggage slipping inexorably sideways into the greeting queue as you negotiate the final bend. No longer do you have to spend as much effort stopping the wretched thing going sideways as forward. It got me thinking. There are endless prizes for great design – but why not one for the truly crap; a bad sex prize for the people who are paid to make things fit for purpose.

Candidates? How about CD jewel cases? How long does it take for the hinge mechanism to snap? In my experience, in the brutal environment of a car with children – surely what they were designed for – about a week. What about labels on so-called high-quality shirts?  You raise a mortgage to buy a beautiful soft cotton shirt and what do they do? At the point where your neck is squeezed into maximum contact with the cotton, they attach a hard, normally synthetic, label that takes ages to remove and when you have finally prized it off,  leaves an Achilles Heel that always ends up fraying first.  Expresso pots – the stove version. Can you pour the contents without it dribbling down the front? I can’t. Black tie. Whose idea was that? Edward the Eighth I’m told. No comment needed.

At the very least it could be a new party game.
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