Tea Kettle/Pot *Critique My Final Presentation*

In my studio class, we are currently designing tea kettles/pots. The focus of this assignment is using tropes (figures of speech like antithesis, personification, etc.) to give direction to a story-driven, emotional design.

After the initial group brainstorming (thinking of tea-related tropes), I selected the metaphor of the tea leaf as my trope.

The story:

  • The translucent glass tea kettle mimicking the extracts steeping out the tea leaf
  • Adding color to the tea kettle experience (it already has strong audio and aroma)
  • The coming convergence of technology and nature.

I would essentially like some feedback on the concept (from a tea enthusiast’s point of view) and also feedback on the form (from a designer’s point of view).

The materials would be stove-safe glass, & an embedded metal (or silicone?)frame extending into the handle. I don’t know if I want the metal to be veins in the leaf or if I want to make it more of a single complex surface with an organic pattern of holes cut in it (inspiration from Chinese architecture).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I’m presenting in a week :wink:

Technical difficulties - my form ideation sketches will be up in two hours or so…

I like the form idea. I would need to see more to give you any kind of useful feedback. Also, don’t stick to one idea. Get another sheet out and do a completely different concept (and repeat 9 times).

I like the idea. Try abstracting it to the extreme… also do what 914 said!

Okay, my form ideation page is up now. Feel free to share your favorite forms so far. I agree that I haven’t abstracted it enough yet, it’s a lot tougher than I thought it would be. At the moment, my favorite is the arrow-shaped one in the bottom left. I’ll probably pick 3 and do an hour or two more sketching from those 3 ideas, and then decide on the final to take into Alias…

Thanks for the feedback Yo and Mr. 914.

First, nice ideation sketches. They don’t read so well in the thumbnail, but once viewed full size, they pop a bit more. I agree with what has already been said to try and abstract the tea leaf form you are working from.

I really like see-through glass tea pots (the bodum tea pots always appealed to me) The color tea can be very beautiful, and there’ no need to obscure it, “decorate it”.

Is this a tea pot, a kettle or both? One doesn’t steep in a kettle, as kettles are only used for boiling water (which is then poured into a tea pot) I think you’re going for a hybrid dual purpose? Boil the water, then add a tea basket? I’m not convinced this is ideal for you’re delicate glass leaf form.

I think you are going in the right direction with the more faceted tea leaf on the lower left. I’d encourage you to explore some natural materials instead of the metal/silicone, as you say “The coming convergence of technology and nature” (bamboo, hemp, stone, etc). Possibly a sturdy stoneware tea kettle bottom, and a delicate glass top??

I’d suggest doing story boards of your developed concepts before jumping to CAD, (or make rough foam-core mock-ups and take photos while you act out the process of making tea with your tea pot) as you may learn something.

It is intended to double as the kettle and the pot. From what I know (could be wrong) it’s okay to put certain glass on a stove…

The material choice was due to the Tea-Off competition constraints. I agree with your suggestion though, I might abandon contest hopes in order to have a stronger concept. I still like the translucency of the glass, though. Thanks Benny!

I might abandon contest hopes in order to have a stronger concept.

This is the easy way out… :sunglasses:

No you’re right, glass cookware is common, but it tends to be visually heavy, unlike your leaf concept. Just wanted to encourage you to clarify.

I don’t understand? Do you mean, by making it more viable, it’ll be less likely to win? I would think you could do both…

Well I don’t agree with their narrow-minded approach, especially for a design contest, but the rules say that the main materials can only be metal, glass, or ceramic.

from the rules

A design for a tea kettle that: demonstrates innovative problem solving using glass, metal or ceramic as the primary material; builds on the heritage of tea kettles; and proposes fresh ideas for their form and function.

glass, metal or ceramic as primary material.

I’d say as long as 51% of your design is glass, metal or ceramic, you’re good! :wink:

Neat idea with the tea leaf, i agree with previous posts, looks like you’ve got 20 sketches of the same idea, only slightly modified.

Come up with 40 completely different ideas, pick a chunk you like, and then start modifying and refining those maybe on a slightly larger scale/

Sometimes you sketch something you like within the first page or two, and then you cant get your mind of that idea, its rough.

Do you mean 40 different ideas with the tea leaf as one? or 40 different tea leaf ideas? Because I already went through the 40 different idea phase before deciding on the tea leaf (I would continue but I have to present on Monday). After going back and sketching different ideas, I actually came up with something I like more. It’s a piece of sheet metal with glass on top. Here are some quickie solidworks screenshots of where I am now. The glass body is the construction lines you see. The infuser will also be rhombus-shaped like a leaf. I haven’t decided if the lid will be sheet metal again, or glass…

One more…

I like your concept of tea leaf…

You need to put more efforts …translating idea into ur faceted design…

At this point, I’m either going to take this current concept all the way or start over. I’ll post some renders later that are further along to give a better idea of where it’s at…

The latest… by tonight I should have the solidworks model complete and hopefully some final renders.

As a MASSIVE tea drinker im gonna throw in my two cents.

On a practical note first be careful that you dont have too large a surface area on the tea kettle cause this will make the tea cool down faster (especially if youre using metal on such a large portion of the kettle) and no one wants that. Actually the temperature of the metal on the base and in the handle might be an issue especially if it being heated directly on the stove. Also theres no lid on youre render but I assume there will be one.

In terms of form I think you should be carful that it doesnt end up looking like a gravy boat. The elongated shape looksand the handle design look as though it would be difficult to balance when pouring, but im not sure of the scale of the kettle, is the handle held with a gripped hand or with finger tips.

sorry if this post comes across as harsh cause i really do like the design, just have to make sure the practicality isnt being compromised.

Yeah, along the same lines as Shelliestar, it looks hard to handle. Looks great as an art object, not so much a great form for practical use. I think you may want to re-explore forms before proceeding to a final model.

I do not think that was harsh, but constructive. Shelliestar posts many of the things that I see. The first thing I think about with an elongated shape like that is the handle and balance. I think the two most important things about a teapot/kettle is how it pours (which is effected by the handle) and how the contents stay hot. If design is about experience how do you think this design will pour?