Deconstructing Product Design
The HomeHero Fire Extinguisher was an IDEA winner in 2005. This quote was sited in the description:
“This design shows how elegance can enhance function. These designers understand that if a fire extinguisher looks good, users will be more likely to keep it handy.”
Steve Wilcox, FIDSA, Principal, Design Science
I understand this logic. I agree that it is a beautifully designed object. I have to wonder, however, if aesthetic elegance should be a primary concern when designing a fire extinguisher. Most extinguishers are red. There is a good reason for this: they stand out. Yes, they are garish, and I certainly wouldn’t want one in my living room, but there is no mistaking it. Practically everyone will recognize a fire extinguisher when they see one.
The HomeHero, on the other hand, is a pristine white. It would blend in with the wall. While it’s form is indeed pleasing to the eye, I’m not sure I would have known it was a fire extinguisher had the article about the award not told me. To be fair, this is intended as a consumer product, and thus to be used in the home. In such a scenario, the people living in the house will know what it is, as they purchased it to begin with, but they had better point it out to the babysitter before heading off to the movie.
As for keeping it handy, even though I do like the visual design, I still don’t think I would put one in my living room.
Why would you not put this in your living room? It fulfills your need for a safety-device that doesnt make your otherwise beautiful house ugly. I dont really see the problem…
The problem is that he’s a hater.
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