Two Christmas Design Heroes
So maybe I was a little harsh when I said there was no good ergonomics at Christmas. So this week I would like to share a couple of my Christmas design heroes.
The Christmas Tree Stand
This weekend we put up our Christmas Tree. It is, of course, looking fabulous. But beneath all the baubles and lights, there is something holding it all together. Something that was so quick and easy to use that it is easy to forget all about it.
Without a Christmas Tree stand, I remember spending hours trying to get the tree into that magical balance between straight, stable, and in the right place in the living room. All that before you even start untanging the fairy lights!
But when we came to put up the tree, we trimmed the trunk, put it into its stand, tightened the screws and…
A perfectly straight and stable Christmas Tree.
It is not like there isn’t room for improvement - I would love a way of knowing if my Christmas Tree needs watering without lying on my front under the tree. But all in all, the Christmas Tree Stand is still one of those things that makes Christmas a little easier with good design.
Given the huge range of kitchen utensils advertised as ergonomic, it is perhaps not a surprise that kitchen gadgets bring us some good design for the festive period. Take nuts, for example. A very quick search online found over 18 different designs for a nut cracker. Check out some of the range out there here.
But I do have a particular favourite that comes out every year in our house…
The Bar Craft Nut Cracker and Cork Remover.
What makes this nut cracker so good?
The conical shape means that any size or shape of nut will fit well in the nut cracker
The grippers within the cone keep the nut snug-ly in place while being cracked
The resting position of the nut cracker is open ready to place the nut in
The sprung handles mean that you do not need excessive force to crack even the hardest of walnuts
There remains a gap between the handles when the crackers are fully closed, meaning you are less likely to trap your skin between them
While any one of these features would help, the combination of these little touches makes a really usable and practical piece of ergonomic design.
So there you have it, while while Christmas might not be a bonanza of fantastic ergonomics, there are still some unsung design heroes that make the festive period that little bit more usable.