Napkin holders that look like books, bookends that look like worms, a pendant that’s strung like a yo-yo–these are a few of the whimsical pieces in Cinicinnati-based designer and artist Andrew Neyer’s line of housewares.
“My design process is heavily influenced by my art practice and fascination with word puns,” Neyer says. “Combining minimalism with humor is just a natural extension of my personality. When you add whimsy to clean, modern design it humanizes the forms.”
Case in point: Neyer’s Olympic Barbell pendant riffs on the look of gym weights; an organizational valet for stowing keys and mail called the “Helping Hand” is shaped like a hand; a Kleenex dispenser called “Taffy” makes the tissue look like a candy wrapper.
Cuteness may be frowned upon by the design establishment, but it’s an under-explored attribute and one that some believe holds the key to more responsible consumption. “I don’t necessarily think that design is too serious, but rather it’s that seriousness creates wonderful opportunities for surprise,” Neyer says. “It’s the perfect setup to crack a smile.”