The ingenious design of everyday kitchen tools is often overlooked; when using a fork or chopsticks or a coffee mug every day, it’s easy to take those objects’ elemental characteristics for granted. For example, cups need to be concave; cutlery needs to be sturdy enough to grip; pot handles need to be positioned opposite one another. Even as new styles come in and out of fashion, these basic principles of utility must be followed.
But Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani has something else in mind. With her project, “The Uncomfortable,” she has devised a series of household objects that are just that. All visually exquisite, upon closer inspection each one has an obvious failing. That is to say, all of them are designed to be as annoying as possible.
“My goal is to deconstruct the invisible design language of simple everyday objects,” Kamprani says on her website, “and tweak their fundamental properties in order to surprise you and make you laugh.” But her subversion of these unspoken design rules also reveals their inherent genius, allowing us to “appreciate the complexity and depth of interactions with the simplest of objects around us.”
The entire “Uncomfortable” collection can be viewed on Kamprani’s website, where most objects only exist as 3-D renderings, but she has developed a select few into delightfully frustrating prototypes. Here are our 11 favorites.