It’s an unforgettable sound. A slow scrape against the wall punctuated by a high-pitched clank. The broom didn’t stay balanced where you’d left it. Now you’ll have to pick it up and attempt to balance the broom again. It could stay put for six months. It could stay put for six seconds. No one knows.
Poh Liang Hock is in the process of building a better solution that’s already won a Red Dot award for its concept. His idea is a self-standing broom.
"My friends and I rented a house a few years ago. Like every other tenant, we had to clean our house from time to time. A broom, dustpan, and mop were all necessary tools in the process. However, amidst the cleaning process, the broom kept falling to the ground whenever I leaned it against the wall for some fresh air," Hock tells Co.Design. "As a result, I came out with the vision of solving this problem once and for all: how could I keep the damned broom from falling down?"
His solution is decidedly simple and, in hindsight, painfully obvious. Rather than locking a broom’s pole to its bristles at the base, Hock’s broom pivots, repurposing the bottom as both a platform for the broom to stand upon and a weighted anchor to keep the broom vertical. While the precise implementation is still in development (and, we’re told, in need of considerable refinement), Hock has brainstormed a better broom that will likely need either no or very few additional components to realize. In other words, Hock’s broom has the potential to be a premium product through clever design alone.
"I just cannot believe my luck because such an idea is so simple that I believe even a normal guy would be able to devise such broom," Hock writes. But the thing is, a normal guy clearly couldn’t. If he could, none of us would still be dropping brooms in 2012.