Some product designs have been around so long that we often take their convenience for granted. We all know that everyday items like keys or forks are designed with specific characteristics to be practical in our day-to-day lives. But have you ever wondered how these same objects would look if they were intentionally created to make your life miserable?
If you’re curious about such absurd design choices, look no further than the subreddit r/AwesomelyUseless. There, you’ll find the finest collection of the most bizarre “upgrades” made by designers. While these product designs may look great overall, they serve no practical purpose and might infuriate you instead. Reflecting on these useless items might lead us to consider how people with special needs might feel when faced with everyday objects that are difficult or impossible to use.
So, next time you reach for a regular old fork or key, take a moment to appreciate the thought some professional has put into designing it to improve your life.
01. I’m Sure You’ve All Seen This Before, But I’m Posting It Anyway
02. This Is Some Platform 9¾ Level Cycle Path
03. You Need A Trolley And An Owl To Get Off Of This Escalator
One of the fantastic designer works we feature in this list is Katerina Kamprani’s ‘The Uncomfortable’ collection. She is behind such works as Slipper Spoon, The Uncomfortable Watering Can, and The Uncomfortable Wine Glass, to name a few. To learn more about these product designs, we reached out to Katerina.
First and foremost, we were curious about the inspiration behind this collection of everyday objects intentionally redesigned to be impractical. Katerina shared: “During my master’s degree, I learned a lot about the terms User Experience which refers to the overall experience of a person using a product, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. And this inspired me to do exactly the opposite! I thought it was funny to think unconventionally, and I was amazed by how difficult it was to deconstruct everyday objects in my mind.”
04. Just In Case You Didn’t Have Enough Trouble Finding Normal Golf Balls
05. Make Your Baby Do The Cleaning – Product Designs
06. This Picture Brings Light To One Of The Most Useless Gadgets Ever
‘The Uncomfortable’ objects challenge our perceptions of usability. We asked Katerina to share what she hopes viewers and users take away from experiencing her artwork.
“I have started this project for fun, so I aim to make people laugh and feel amused! I aim for a brief confusion followed by a surprise. On a second level, I hope this project stimulates an appreciation of the complexity and depth of interactions with the simplest objects around us,” explained Katerina.
07. I Want One Of These
08. It’s A Dog-Eat-Dog World
09. I’ve Been Wondering How I Should Rewind DVDs All This Time
Though Katerina’s creative collection was not meant to be recreated in the real world, she did try to manufacture some of her designs later. However, that didn’t go without a challenge.
“In the first stages of the Uncomfortable project, I was primarily focused on producing very realistic 3D visuals, so my challenges were mostly on lighting and materials in 3D software. The objects themselves were not challenging since I used very familiar forms or existing objects. And since I never thought to produce the items, I could imagine any form!
Some years later, I faced challenges when I decided to produce prototypes. Since the manufacturing part was ignored in the design phase, some objects proved challenging and had structural flaws. The long teapot has never been able to pour the liquid as I imagined it would! The spout design is inspired by small milk jugs just because I found them cute, and now it is impossible to pour correctly unless I change the object’s shape,” the artist shared.
10. Post Not In Use
11. Stylish Diving Is The New Trend
12. I Thought I’d Seen It All… But Nope, USB Pet Rock
And lastly, Katerina shared a funny story of a blind person interacting with one of her items. “Unfortunately, I don’t have many stories of people interacting with the objects. When I do exhibitions, the objects are protected in glass cases because they are unique prototypes, and most are fragile—but a moment touched me in one of my exhibitions in France! When I participated in the exhibition Les Foires at the Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie, we discussed with the curators that we wanted to interact, so I left one of the less fragile objects free to touch. It was the cooking pot which had two handles on one side.
During the event, I noticed a blind person going through the exhibition and having his friend describe the objects in the glass cases, and he was smiling. When they reached the pot, his friend let him experience the object on his own, and I will never forget the surprise on his face and his laugh when he understood what was wrong with it!”
13. The Sole Reason For These $425 Gold Pills Is To Make Your Excrement Glittery
14. What’s The Point?
15. I’m Sure It Has A Great View, But Good Luck Getting There!
16. I Bet They Made Some Serious Dough Selling These
17. Is This A Bowl Or A Spoon?
18. Peel The Potato And Your Skin, 2 For 1!
19. Not Only Is This Useless, It Looks Like Even More Work
20. No More Losing Remotes Down The Side Of The Couch
21. Perfect For On Viewing When You’re Out Of Data!
22. Well, Crap, There Goes My Dinner Plan!
23. I Hope These Never Catch On
24. Take The Goldfish For A Walk
25. Because Cracking An Egg Is So Difficult
26. This Has To Be A Joke, Right?
27. Does This Offend Eastern Cultures Less?
28. Picnic Pants
29. Inflatable Neck Brace?
30. You’d Wine A Lot About It If Someone Bought You This
31. There’s One Key Flaw In This Design
32. Good Luck Doing Any Sums That Involve 1’s
33. I Would Pay Good Money To Watch Someone Try And Water Their Garden With This
34. This Sun Visor That Blocks Nothing
35. You Can’t Even Eat The Cone After
36. “Every Inch Matters”
37. This Door Doesn’t Even Lock
38. What, Why, Who, No
39. I’m Sure These Are Extremely Effective
40. Let Me Introduce You To The Cuecat, The Early 2000 Home Barcode Scanner
41. What Could Be Cooler Than A Watermelon Coo… Oh Never Mind
42. This Looks Like Something Only Lady Gaga Would Wear
43. Because Your Guinea Pigs Can’t Go Around Looking Cute And Adorable!
44. Bingo, But Every Card Is The Same! Merry Christmas
45. A Tool That Can Slice Hot Dogs Into Little Hot Dog People, That Kids Can Then Devour Without Mercy
46. Health And Safety Has Gone Mad
47. Pointless, And Yet I Want One
48. But You Couldn’t Just Use A Bag?
49. You’d Have To Be A Mug To Buy This
50. The Whole Thing Is A Ramp
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