Cool but lame sink?

Cool but lame sink? image 1 proxthinkriver.com. IMG_0615 1100pxmax

Cool but lame sink? image 2 proxthinkriver.com. IMG_0614 1100pxmax

This hip sink is sort of like fashionable shoes that hurt.

I like being hip and cool as much as the next guy, but not so much in the bathroom.

I stayed at an Aloft Hotel in Dallas recently, and there it was, an uber-cool sink.

Cool, that is, until you try leaning on it when you’re shaving or brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth.

That’s when the sink cuts into your hand or your arm.

That’s when you know the price of being cool.

I’d like designers to relate to a wider variety of constraints. Why can’t a sink have a cool shape AND be ergonomic? This sink is like a monoculture, being mainly a geometric design, but monocultures are not very sustainable.

Where’s the ProxAwareness? Did they test this on androids or people? Did they try it themselves? They needed to honor the integrity of the hands and arms that will interface with this sink.

They needed to use the Core Idea of proximity thinking: In a situation, change elementsrelationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.

Next time, they might want to ProxThink that.

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How to make an ergonomic pillow from a blanket when you are traveling.

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I didn’t create this innovation, but I helped trigger it through the use of two ProxPatterns. It also illustrates how it can take multiple people to innovate. I’ll tell you the story first, and then mention the proximity thinking involved.

I use an ergonomic pillow at home, but don’t travel with it. I’ve never found a hotel that offers them. I was in Denver at a hotel, needed an extra blanket, and went to the front desk. After I got the blanket, I thought, hey, it never hurts to ask, so I said, “This is going to be a crazy question, but by any chance do you have an ergonomic pillow?”

The front desk clerk said, “What’s an ergonomic pillow?” I explained it to him, and drew a shape in the air that shows the side of an ergonomic pillow. And he said, “Oh, I know what those are. Those are cool.” Then he went back into the supply room.

When he came back, he had one of those foamy blankets folded inside a pillowcase. He said “Would this help?” I said, “Yeah, maybe, thanks so much! That’s a great idea!” It wasn’t exactly the right shape, but the basic idea was born.

In the hotel room, I experimented and tweaked it. I found that with a different blanket, and a different way of folding it, I could mimic the shape and firmness of my ergonomic pillow at home.

The photo you see is after four nights of sleeping on the pillow. It was the best four nights of sleep I think I’ve had in a hotel. I thank that hotel clerk and the Drury Inn. I wonder if they encourage this kind of customer service from their staff?

Obviously, my tweaking of the clerk’s idea didn’t take any great talent. But asking him the question about whether they had ergonomic pillows was the result of two ProxPatterns I often use. One is seeking greater ProxAwareness. The other is allowing some uncertainty in asking a dumb question.

This led in turn to examples of two other ProxPatterns. The front desk clerk was seeking to honor the integrity of my request. He did this partly by ProxAwareness of the available resources. And partly by relating a wider variety of elements than normal, those elements being pillowcases and blankets. Normally, blankets don’t go inside pillowcases, but the clerk was able not only to consider it, but try it too, which is a great example of relating a variety.

Of course he didn’t consciously use those ProxPatterns. But I have found that useful and/or interesting ideas and processes often exhibit ProxPatterns.

Enjoying this post, or using it? Consider a proxri. Thank you!