Katerina Kamprani: The Uncomfortable.

Katerina Kamprani has some very interesting and entertaining work:

All the objects you will see in this website are deliberately designed to annoy you.

This project started after I failed to finish my studies in industrial design around 2011 and it has continued to grow ever since. My goal is to deconstruct the invisible design language of simple everyday objects and tweak their fundamental properties in order to surprise you and make you laugh. But also to help you appreciate the complexity and depth of interactions with the simplest of objects around us. As a poor designer I have started the project by making conceptual 3d visualisations, but recently I have decided to spend all my savings to produce prototypes, because what would the world be if there were no Uncomfortable objects out there?

Many of these did make me laugh, but there was also a sense of cynical despair, because if these objects were marketed, people would buy them. The concrete umbrella would become a popular garden ornament. The thick buttons would become a new anti-fashion fashion statement. The wineglass would become a new party drinking game favourite. The chain fork would become fashionable jewelry. Ms. Kamprani is in Athens, but here in uStates, people have become such slaves to marketing, I don’t think there would be a problem in selling any of Ms. Kamprani’s prototypes. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see unscrupulous people taking advantage.

You can visit Ms. Kamprani’s site to see more.


  1. komarov says

    Oh, I don’t know, there’s a lot of potential there for ‘serious’ application:
    -- The slipper spoon: great if you have shaky hands or have a particularly windy kitchen (at least for sugar and salt)
    -- The thick cutlery set could replace plastic cutlery in prisons
    -- Soldiers in the field with limited baggage space might appreciate this miniature cutlery set [link] (Fingers crossed it doesn’t embed, apologies if it does)
    -- The inflatable door handle has great potential for child-proofing rooms…

    P.S.: Since you already suggested ‘garden ornament’ the concrete umbrella would make a great murder weapon for the gardener to use. Not sure if that’s marketable but it certainly is a serious application..

  2. Raucous Indignation says

    Think of the aroma you’d get out of that wine glass if you were actually able to drink out of it!

  3. says

    I am getting annoyed on daily basis by objects that were not designed with annoying me in mind, but were designed for their specific purpose by professionals.

    Like a waste basket that travels a few mm back with each openning of the lid, until it hits the wall and starts scratching the paint away. Or a shopping cart with horizontal bars between the wheels, so I have to cart it beside me instead in front of me, otherwise I would be hitting my shins with each step. Or a stop-cap on paint thinner can that prevents the outpouring -- and therefore use of -- a significant portion of the contents.

    I get the feeling (and my professional experience conforms with it) that the basics of design are turned on their head in modern times. Formerly artisans were doing things that were primarily fully functional and subsequently embelished to be beautiful. Today the designers draw something in CAD and then task the engineers to make it work. Which is not always possible, because I have seen designs in my life that would require a different set of the laws of physics in order to work.

  4. says

    I’m with you all the way, Charly. There’s many a time you can hear a rant chez Caine ending with “this is really bad design!” Seems to me that much of the time, design is changed, not because it’s needed or better, but because they think people expect that, so they just do something to be different, and it’s all catering to stupid, bad design.

  5. says

    Raucous Indignation:

    Think of the aroma you’d get out of that wine glass if you were actually able to drink out of it!

    Ah, see, there’s one of Komarov’s serious applications. Market it as ‘The ultimate boquet’ glass, for wine snobs everywhere.

  6. Dunc says

    Those thick buttons aren’t too far off the mark -- in high-end shirting, the thickness of mother-of-pearl buttons is a selling point. My preferred MOP shirt buttons are nearly 4mm thick, which is probably about half the thickness of those. The thickest I’ve ever heard of are 5.1mm.

  7. says

    Mmm, I have some very old MoP buttons, and they are quite thick, unusually so for buttons. Really, there’s little you can’t find when it comes to buttons, and chunky buttons aren’t all that hard to come by.

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