A device that shames lecture attendees with loud cell phones is one of hundreds of sketches in a new book by Dominic Wilcox.

Wilcox is the London-based designer behind such objects as GPS-guided shoes and, here, a strap-on butt cushion.

Variations on Normal is the name of his small, inexpensive collection of drawings.

Calling these objects inventions is a bit of a misnomer. They’re more like little visual jokes, or riddles that give us a seed of insight into the world around us.

A crystal wine glass attaches directly to the stem of a wine bottle, making it a little classier to drink straight from the bottle.

A money-saving fence uses a motion sensor to conceal what’s behind passersby.

Particularly relevant, to me at least, is a name-specific GPS for those of us who have trouble remembering them.

A pair of scissors with a level would make bang-trimming a bit easier.

Air-drying your hair while running the risk of brain damage.

Shoes that making climbing a slope more natural.

A ladder that is also an escalator. Of course.

A family-sized poncho--workable, assuming everyone likes each other.

A table that mirrors the phases of an (unsuccessful) relationship.

Co.Design

Rational Or Ridiculous? A Book Of 100 Brilliantly Absurd Inventions

Dominic Wilcox is back with a book of inventions that will either leave you scratching your head or hitting yourself over the head for not coming up with them first.

Dominic Wilcox is a serial maker. The London designer has invented hundreds of objects, ranging from GPS wingtips that guide you home to a strap-on nose stylus for hands-free smartphone use. Some of his ideas have been prototyped, but many others haven’t. Now, Wilcox has collected over 100 of his best concepts in a book titled Variations on Normal.

Calling these objects inventions is a bit of a misnomer. They’re more like little visual jokes, or riddles that give us a seed of insight into the world around us. A cubicle folds neatly into a coffin for when its worker finally trundles off this mortal coil. A crystal wine glass attaches directly to the stem of a wine bottle, making it a little classier to drink straight from the bottle. “Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn,” says U.K. architect Thomas Heatherwick. “They are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible.”

You see, Wilcox isn’t all that concerned with the implementability of his designs. Rather, he has a knack for seeing the world around him as it truly is, and making observations that reveal the humor and absurdity of daily life. I mean, why don’t all scissors have a built-in level? I couldn’t say.

You can buy Variations on Normal for a very reasonable £8.00 here.

Add New Comment

1 Comments