critical reading for the rude

ironic design

CSven had me going

Usually when I surf through the CGTalk forum I see plenty of creativity when it comes to character design, but when it comes to products/objects what I find are mostly attempts to model real world designs. There are plenty of Mercedes this and Ferrari that, but relatively speaking very few original product designs. Thus it’s difficult to not appreciate Kadeg Boucher’s “stupid object #1 : Lawn Mower schumacher” (shown above). What a great piece. For more images, check out the thread on CGTalk (Link).

I was all ready for him to launch into how great it is that the piece is such an excellent joke — that the irony ought to make us a little sad — that the designer is really clever to play on the red-state tension of wanting to zoom-fast-ride-the-hell-out-of-here-like-#3 but is always just stuck… mowing the yard. Clock in, clock out. Going to church. Catching the big race on teevee… never really going anywhere new.

But I don’t think that’s what he was getting at…

Boucher’s fanciful effort once again makes me wonder why corporations – in this case MTD, Toro, Snapper, John Deere and the rest – don’t add a little more flair to their products. To my consumer eye, those riding lawnmowers all look so… plain vanilla. This reminds me of those urban vinyl ketchup and mustard bottle sculptures that made regular condiment bottles seem excruciatingly stale.

This device is not fun — it’s scary. It reminds me for some reason of the Garth Ennis piece from Preacher about the Sheriff’s son who shot himself.

I think the Boucher mower’s title says it all — it’s stupid and really funny because of its stupidity. This mower’s design is great in its black humor. It’s a kind of Steven Barthelme joke. It’s great because it makes us laugh a little and feel sad a little at the same time.

Because it does that so well that it’s a total success. It’s not a success because it has “flair”.

November 16, 2007 - Posted by | blogs, books | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: