The goal of this project is to design and make a prototype model of a electric kettle for a existing brand. I chose MUJI because I admire their no branding strategy and simplistic design. I studied some of their products especially some invisibly thoughtful details.
Here are some preliminary sketches in order to figure out a direction I want to go next. Some more thumbnail sketches for a quick brain stretch. I really like the bottom right ones.
Here are some cad models I did for a specific design. This is a smaller kettle (4″*4″*7″) and supposed to boil a teapot-full of water at once (since MUJI already has a big volume kettle available.)
Pour from both sides for right handed and left handed people. The angled corners make it a nice pour.
Bottom of the base will have space for wire storage when it’s not in use.
I haven’t decided on the mechanism to connect the kettle to its base, but the handle is a separated piece screwed on with set screws. The base and lid mirror each other to create a balance.
With wood accent:Pure white version:I went to make paper models of different forms.
I found out that the handle I had in the CAD file is not the most easy to hold and pour. Also the side pouring idea is more suitable for smaller or shorter container. I also learned from the book MUJI that their designers actually try to use paper models instead of CAD as often as possible so they are discouraged of unnecessary details. In the process of making paper models I definitely felt that I was over designing.
I revisited this idea again and focused on how to make the handle connected to the kettle body in a more “MUJI” way.I really liked the shape with square profile with only one pointed corner to suggest the motion. I made three more models on this idea and this time I was focusing on volume make the handle be a part of the form.
After feeling different models by hands I think the one with wooden handle that’s hidden inside the form is the most comfortable one to hold. The size is good enough for one to two people. When put on the kitchen counter it takes very little space. Overall I think that is the form I’m really satisfied with.
Radius exploration—this one has a more understated radius, which made the wooden handle seamlessly connected to the form.
rough cut clamp 2 pieces to have big enough block of foam to build modelcut into 3 parts, send surfacewet mount them together and sand the whole form
cut the elevation bottom pull three parts apart cut the middle part as well as prepare the dole handle assembly everything together, apply wood glue and clampwait for the glue to dry while apply wood filler
paint the kettle bottle first, cover the wooden dole with tape remove the tape after 2 layers of gesso and 4 layers of spray paint apply wood finishing oil.Here is the final model:
The elevated bottom fits the base.Base as this slot for wireStorage for wire at the bottom
Hand held position
Apply simple graphic on top to suggest the lid position.
After I presented my kettle, I accidentally encountered two kettles from two designers that are very similar to mine. http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/01/05/affordable-water-kettle-bad-economic-times/ and http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/08/17/square-coffee/