As a designer I am frequently asked what I'd like to design given the chance. I recently read a blog on the IDEO website aptly called 19 things we were dying to redesign. https://www.ideo.com/blog/19-things-were-dying-to-redesign
Reading the IDEO blog not only got me thinking about what things I might want to redesign but also made me think about some of the things that really get under my skin. The TV programme Room 101 usually provokes some pretty interesting discussions in my house and more often than not I can find something else I would add to my own Room 101 list.
These are a few things that bug me enough to make me want to see them banished forever:
Leaf blowers - a couple of years ago I was at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. A pleasant autumnal walk in the grounds with the family was rudely accompanied by four groundsmen walking around with leaf blowers making a horrible racket. On this occasion the groundsmen were using two-stroke apparatus which exacerbated the issue but the corded variety are no less offensive or useless. What couldn't be achieved with a lawn rake? The ground beneath would benefit from the scarification if nothing else.
Slot headed screws - having bought a 1920's house and removed all the doors for painting I gained a deep loathing for the slot headed screw. They are just plain dangerous. Your flat bladed screw driver tip can skid out without much warning scratching anything nearby it cares to skid across - or even worse stab you if you are really unlucky (I was, more than once). Thanks to newer, more modern methods of manufacture there are so many better (and safer) alternatives. Time for them to go...
Wheel trims - when did it ever seem like a good idea to stick a piece of plastic fakery on a steel wheel and make it look like an alloy wheel? Car manufacturers - make steel wheels look good on their own. Think classic VW Beetles, Alfa Romeo's, Porsche's, Fiat 500's. It can be done!
Garden Strimmers - for much the same reasons as leaf blowers but in addition they make such a shoddy job of butchering lawn edges and border plants. Do they actually save any time over a well-oiled & maintained pair of shears? Probably not - by the time you've plugged in, stopped to fix the broken strimmer line at least a dozen times and attempted to clear up the destruction you've inflicted. Its a classic example of a product that has been scaled down for the consumer and mis-sold as a time and effort saver.
I could add a few more but I'll stop now and let you muse the products that you'd find a place for in Room 101.