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Handles On Everything

table lamp with big handle Remember when everyone copied the translucent color of the old iMacs and missed what made them special underneath? Here’s a surface feature that’s incredibly useful, seemingly obvious, and worthy of copious copying: a big handle to reposition your lamp, courtesy of Tobias Grau. The rubber feels great in your hand. The ball joint allows positioning in any direction. You grab it and put it where it belongs and focus concentration on your work, the way it should be.

On the same trip to Europe we rented an Opel Meriva that used a similar big handle to reposition the side view mirrors (and similar-feeling big, grippy volume knob on the stereo) instead of timid little electronic buttons. Such a simple thing, and yet the physicality evokes an emotional response that makes me smile and pull out my wallet.

  1. Victor, good issue you raise here! Another example for “surface innovation” with rubber is BRAUN with their electronic shavers.

    Having talked to their current CD director, Peter Schneider, the successor of the famous Dieter Rams, BRAUN has been one of the first companies who’ve applied these little rubber spots on the surface of the grip in order to improve the ‘usability’.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how and when the ‘translucent’ paradigm will revive ;-)


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