Micheal Graves Kettle

I personally believe that the Graves kettle is one of the most aesthetically pleasing kettles of it times (and in my opinion still is). I also believe that it is very revolutionary for its time (manufactured and designed in 1985). The introduction of the nozel which sings like a bird when the water is at boiling point is ingenius for its times. I also feel in terms of its form (very memphis style) it is again ahead of its period. I mean this kettle is being sold in the masses even today, when we have advanced so much in technology. This shows us that individuals still appreciate simple design and are not merely after the most innovative product (although some may say that they are after a designer kettle).

There’s no aim to this thread I just felt like expressing my opinion on the design of the kettle.


I like the kettle, but I have to disagree with you on some points:

  1. The whistle is not “ingenious for its time.” The “kettle whistle” is a convention that far out-dates Graves, he simply tweaked it in an act of postmodernism. (Even the birdie-whistle outdates Graves–the ancient Greeks invented it as a temple magic-trick.)

  2. Its form was not ahead of its period. Memphis and Postmodernism happened in the early 80’s. It is a classic example of its period.

But Memphis never went mainstream and died quickly–a failed movement that put “baroque” form over function. While it would be easy to see a designer today proudly displaying a 1950’s era modern eames chair, you will never find a designer proudly displaying an artifact of the memphis era.

(Quick, name one other Memphis designer!)

I also happen to think his Disney-sellout version of this kettle ruins its integrity, but I do think its funny how it turns an object that easily scalds into a “toy” any kid would love to pull off the stove.

  1. I would not classify this kettle as “simple” but rather as “whimsical” in the classic Alessi sense. “Simple” would be more like the Starck kettle of two intersecting cone shapes.

PS: Of all the Alessi products I own, 100% of them suck at their implied function (all gifts by the way so stop your snickering!)

said much better than i could have done.

dude, two memphis designers off the top of my head,

dluccii and mendini

I hate memphis more than the taste of dial soap, don’t get me wrong, but I’m glad that a group of people showed the world that things in everyday life can be fun, in fact should be.

The beauty of the Alessi product is that even though it is crap, it wriggles its way into peoples affection, an illogical zone that allows them to love the product even though it doesn’t work (have you ever tried the Stark kettle you mentioned (bring a pot holder or some burn cream with you, the juicer blows too, I still love it {total gift item])

I point it out because there is a lesson to be learned here.

If we could make objects that move beyond there intrinsic value and function to an emotive level, YET still prform their tasks with perfection, then we would have serious job security.

A few companies that are attempting this:

Nike (sometimes)

Anyone got any others?

Remember, comodotization is the death of our field, connecting with people is where we excell. No one else in the production path of a product can connect with the user as much as the designers CAN if they chose to do some extra work.