Ridiculous product requests?

February 24th, 2009, 9:14 am

Spizzy
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Being an ID'er I get TONS of ideas from people. Friends, family, acquaintances, just provide me with product ideas or ask me for things all the time; hot-rod designs, random products, i was actually asked to design a house once :roll: . I got one a while ago, and it was on my mind making me wonder... what is the most ridiculous thing you have been asked to design?

I'll try to keep mine as clean as I can, as it was asked to me in incredible raunchy language :oops:

I was talking to an elderly acquaintance who recently had a hospital stay. During said stay he was asked to give urine samples, but being that he was just in surgery his waste system was... testy and uncontrollable. He had to sit on the edge of the toilet, with the aid of a nurse, in order to urinate into a cup and avoid defecating in his bed or on the floor.

So, he asked me to design a toilet for hospitals with a cutaway such that your #1 unit could be free to provide urine samples, but your #2er would be safely hovering above water.

Imagine this being asked by an 85 year old man, who cusses like a sailor.

February 24th, 2009, 2:20 pm

iab
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Condom catheter

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February 26th, 2009, 3:48 pm

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Primo
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Thats interesting, so you did the design right?

February 26th, 2009, 4:16 pm

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Travisimo
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I have a couple.. one was a logo for a shrimp farmer that had set up shop in the warehouse district of a inland town. His angle was to grow shrimp in aquariums in this warehouse, then sell the fresh shrimp to local restaurants - the whole operation sounded kind of crackpot and I never heard how that all worked out

Another was a small PC project, the military was forecast to be a huge client. The ridiculous part was that they wanted a small target on the outside so a soldier could shoot the hard drive and ditch it if he had to

another client wanted to make a multimeter add on for a Symbol sized handheld pda... but the multimeter internals were larger than the pda itself - it would have looked ridiculous! luckily that one didn't go further than sketches

February 26th, 2009, 8:58 pm

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molested_cow
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It's not so much of the "what", but the "why" that makes or breaks it for me.
It's not the cows' fault, stop molesting them!!!

February 26th, 2009, 10:00 pm

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PackageID
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When I graduate from college I had someone ask me to do product illustrations for a S3X toy. Needless to say I politely declined. Not something you really want in your portfolio,

February 27th, 2009, 9:18 am

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bennybtl
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Another was a small PC project, the military was forecast to be a huge client. The ridiculous part was that they wanted a small target on the outside so a soldier could shoot the hard drive and ditch it if he had to
That's an awesome idea. A really low tech, idiot proof alternative to a built-in self destruct mechanism.
PackageID wrote:When I graduate from college I had someone ask me to do product illustrations for a S3X toy. Needless to say I politely declined. Not something you really want in your portfolio,
You missed the boat dude, that's exactly the kind of diversity we all need in our portfolio. And seriously, that is a market that is so overripe for design, it is insane.

February 27th, 2009, 9:27 am

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mo-i
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Why not? SXX Toy?

:oops:

There actually are some high quality toys that are done by industrial designers, as I saw on TV few years ago. When finding a job ad from that company months later I sincerely thought about leaving industrial goods for toys. http://www.funfactory.de/index.php?

For me its a matter of quality. If you are able to develop a segment leading
solution it will always be a positive addition to your portfolio.

What was the silliest thing I ever worked on?

A brush for pets. It was intended for dogs early on, but due to tooling costs
they shrunk our design and in the end it was only good for cats or smaller.

Best thing with that client was his blonde secretary.
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February 27th, 2009, 9:56 am

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PackageID
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mo-i wrote:Why not? SXX Toy?

:oops:

There actually are some high quality toys that are done by industrial designers, as I saw on TV few years ago. When finding a job ad from that company months later I sincerely thought about leaving industrial goods for toys. http://www.funfactory.de/index.php?
This was not one of those. It was a far from being a designer toy. Oh well.

February 27th, 2009, 10:20 am

iab
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Travisimo wrote:I have a couple.. one was a logo for a shrimp farmer that had set up shop in the warehouse district of a inland town. His angle was to grow shrimp in aquariums in this warehouse, then sell the fresh shrimp to local restaurants - the whole operation sounded kind of crackpot and I never heard how that all worked out
???

Image

February 27th, 2009, 10:24 am

iab
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Primo wrote:Thats interesting, so you did the design right?
I may be old, but I am not that old. Condom catheters have been around forever.

I am working on a different type of catheter, but it is way too early to disclose anything about that project. Maybe next year.

February 27th, 2009, 10:39 am

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Travisimo
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iab wrote:
Travisimo wrote:I have a couple.. one was a logo for a shrimp farmer that had set up shop in the warehouse district of a inland town. His angle was to grow shrimp in aquariums in this warehouse, then sell the fresh shrimp to local restaurants - the whole operation sounded kind of crackpot and I never heard how that all worked out
???

Image
heheh.. wasn't that one, but it is ridiculous! My logo was more like a shrimpy take on an earl grey tea logo, trying to read "high quality"

February 27th, 2009, 1:33 pm

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I know you wont like this answer, but starting out in a time not unlike this you learn one thing "there is no such thing as a ridiculous project if they have the cash money to pay for it." What may be crazy, stupid or disgusting in your eyes makes some sense in theirs. This may be due to the fact that they know their market, it may be they as shit house rat crazy but in the end they are a client with money. Somebody wants a cool drawing of a new s3x toy, do it, and if its good put it in your portfolio. I would rather see a bunch of stuff that was paying jobs than pretty pictures of "design prn" any day. It says the designer is a DESIGNER and understands the realities of the business place, and is somebody I can count on.

February 28th, 2009, 4:29 pm

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Design coterie
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I thought this was funny and somewhat intriguing the more I thought about it.

My buddy bought a 10 pound bag of instant pancake mix from sam's club which brought issues of dispensing it. He told me I should design a pancake mix silo for him.

I have another friend who will turn to me when there is some inconvenience or problem and ask me to industrial design it. He asked me to industrial design the time on his dvd player the other day.

February 28th, 2009, 10:13 pm

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jon_winebrenner
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Design coterie wrote: He asked me to industrial design the time on his dvd player the other day.
Sorry to call you out here Design coterie....not intended to be a slam on you personally....


but it absolutely horrifies me that "industrial design" may become a verb. Not sure why...but it is off-putting.

May be the wine.
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