I went to a multi-disciplinary design school, so I got to see a lot of different kinds of design at work. Some things I thought were interesting, some things I’ll just never care about, but there were two kinds of designers that consistently made everyone look like chumps. One group I’ll talk about at some point soon, but since Tori was asking me late last night about the lamp I came up with on Saturday night, it was a good time to mention them.
Yeah, I know. “What?”
Toy designers? These folks rock my world. They take everything I love about good design and then compress it like a neutron star. It’s just *tight*. So tight. Function/form/imagination. DONE. A good toy is a thing of beauty. Think about some *really* good toys and games. There’s a simplicity in them that’s so pure and perfect that they transcend time- and some of them really *are* ancient. The frisbee. Etch-a-Sketch. The cup and ball. Jacks. Pick-up sticks. Lite-Brite (even though everyone always stepped on the little pieces.) I was a big fan of Ker-plunk. I also had one of those magnetic yo-yos my father got me as a sickness present once.
A while ago, I got to talking about a toy that I had as a kid. I can’t remember where I got it. My guess is sadistic grandparents, but obviously whomever it was, was someone who didn’t consider the sanity of my father, at any rate. Like any number of other things, it “disappeared” one day and was never seen again not long after it appeared at my mother’s house. I wound up describing it to Mike and he made this image from my description: