Rashid's Kone abusive test

Since I’ve seen it, I been intrigued by the Kone handheld vacuum by Karim Rashid, let’s say that the form itself, the way you hold it and the size of the object were bringing a lot of questions in my mind.

I ran across that video on youtube :

showing an abusive test between the Kone, Black and Decker pivot vac and the Dyson root 6.

The results are quite funny I think.

I wonder how much Kone Dirt Devil sold.

Original Kone publicity: - YouTube

they should sell Karim’s vacuum that only kinda sucks with Stark’s juicer that only kinda juices.

match made in heaven.

these guys (don’t get me wrong, some of their stuff is nice) don’t seem to realize that when you try to make an emotional connection with a consumer, it will be lost in a heartbeat when it fails to live up to expectations functionally.

but hey, at $40 they prolly sell a ton and people don’t feel too ripped off when they throw it away or convert them into knick-knacks for their bookshelves.

In Karim’s defense, he didn’t engineer the motor, fan and recepticle inside the Kone, that was Dirt Devil’s fault! The thing that struck me most when I saw the Kone in the store recently, is how huge the thing is! I might as well just buy a Dyson DC7 and put it on my coffee table! Plus, I have some serious comfort concerns on the handle of the Kone. Humans are not geometric, so it’s a bad idea to make them grab something that is.

That video was great, VanDeBar!

There’s so much that’s wrong with the Kone in many levels. It’s a shame that ‘designer’ objects like that get so much publicity, sell, and lead to disappointment to the user who then mistrusts so-called ‘designed’ products.

Good to see Black & Decker did so well in that test. The difference is obvious; Karim was not involved in the engineering decisions (or ergonomics apparently) and the B&D product was built by a team of engineers, industrial designers and marketing.

Dyson’s vac came a close second. I appreciate his entrepreneurism, but personally I can’t stand the way that vac looks. IMO it looks like a student project from the eighties.

its funny, because i thought that at first too, but then I watched the ad for the Kone. They are using Karim to sell it big time.
I know that if I were ever get to a rock star level and people were selling products based on my name as a brand, I would make damn sure the thing worked. What if dirt devil’s in house ID team did the concept, would it be ok to say its not dirt devil’s fault, the engie group (or maybe product marketing forced the issue in order to hit the price point) didn’t do their job? i would think you would blame dirt devil as a whole.

I appreciate his entrepreneurism, but personally I can’t stand the way that vac looks. IMO it looks like a student project from the eighties.

i couldn’t agree more, the exposed ribs as a design detail has always driven me nuts, its so visually spastic.

Makes you wonder if they even tested the Kone before they put it on the market. That’s the kind of performance you’d expect from some $9.82 Chinese OEM POS on the end cap at Walmart.

That second video is great. Karim: “We’re going to break the paradigm.” By designing a vacuum cleaner that creates no vacuum and doesn’t clean. I want to change the world!

And that Dyson looks like an unused prop from Ghostbusters. Props to B&D- I’ve bought several of their products in the last few years, and they have all exceeded my expectations. Their design and engineering team is clearly working well.

Dude, im just loosing more respect for KR by the day. Even in the diret devil video they mention that KR did the form and dirt devil slapped some motor in it (not exactly word for word quote).

Is he wearing white nail polish in that video? wtf? And I cant deal with his designer gay voice knowing he doesnt speak like that in real life. “a new paradigm”? It s a hand vac!

dont mean to turn this into ta KR flame war, but I honestly believe that designers like this give design a bad name in usability, quality ,value, etc.

best thing ever… another video on the same youtube thread titled “Thinking outside the closet”. Indeed. Nuff said.


You mean that you had respect for him? Sorry, other than his great personal marketing skills.

well 0 to -10 i guess would account for it.

Not that there’s not a place for nice looking stuff that doesnt work (art), but I have a hard time respecting what should be usable object ofr mass consumption.

Only “superstar” designer I really like is Marc Newson. Some good thinking plus nice looking stuff there.


From a review of the “design your life” book by Mr.Rashid :

“Karim Rashid’s whole book is about himself. It is a manifesto for using his gorgeous, jet-setting, large-scale life as a model for your own.”

How can someone so disconnected from reality as him can design for the regular guy? As someone said earlier, sometimes marketing seems to be everything…

When I grow up I wanna look as natural as this:

oh that poster is awesome.

“…to release themselves from nostalgia and meaningless kitsch.”

he’s so generous. i get it now, he rescues people from other kitsch and gives them his kitsch, genius.

I wonder how much he made for that intensive hour it must have taken to do his part of the design. Wow.

you mean the hour his unpaid interns did…

RK, I am starting to get the impression you aren’t a Karim fanboy.

not a fanboy, but nothing against him personally. Just kinda bored with all his products that look the same dispite the function. Too easy and doesnt appeal to me. Some of his stuff I do like, though.

Hard to get past some of his persona though…although I dont really see it as 100% serious, its a shame that many do.


PS. Where’s Deez when you need him?.. he’s usually right on these KR threads!

The thing is disgusting in person. It has interesting touches that are executed poorly like internal LEDs that make the plastic glow locally. However it is made out of cheap plastic and vaguely reminds me of a toilet brush when docked.

I didnt try the thing with the vac on but Like everyone here said-its an ergonomic nightmare. Its a tapered handle with a smooth finish. How comfortable is that going to be? Gives the profession a bad name.

I think tearing into the design’s ergonomics is going a bit too far. Not to defend the design as a whole (since i’ve never used one), but a handvac is only used for a few minutes at a time - to pick up crumbs and dust. On an upright vacuum, you need an ergonomic handle. But not on the Kone, in my opinion.

I don’t think Karim was wrong in trying to make something more beautiful when the object isn’t a heavily used. Do you guys think all flatware should be round, or that your sink handles need rubber grips so you don’t slip using them? At some point, its just too much.

I don’t think Karim was wrong in trying to make something more beautiful when the object isn’t a heavily used.

I agree with what you’re saying -a design may take certain necessary shortcuts in areas like ergonomics to make a beautiful design. However, this is only justified if the end result really IS aesthetically pleasing.

The cone format could have been a good one -it’s a bold statement, but the execution of the details (or lack thereof), cheap materials and finish make the designer’s statement IMO null and void.

I’m not saying Karim gave them the wrong choice of finish and details, I think the problem is probably that he either
a) Didn’t supply them with all the details (Philippe Starck did this with Target)
b) Didn’t push hard enough to make sure the end result was wholistic.

Either way, the designer is a large part of why this design fails.

This might also be a reflection of the type of designers employed by KR.

Apple’s designers devote up to half of their time with their manufacturers, pushing, but also learning.

I’m willing to be that KR’s designers do not.

I heard KR speak a few years ago at a local interior design show.

He was discussing how prolific he was and mentioned that he had designed over 300 products the previous year. Perhaps this is the type of quality you get when you only devote a day to each project…

What I found most humorous was that he was literally wearing “rose colored glasses”.