Thursday, September 13, 2007

A stariway to design heaven...

Some objects are cast so deep into the mind that we fail to realize they could ever look/feel/sound any different. Their universal design of some objects--similar even under extreme cultural isolation--is not only recognizable, but iconic.

For instance, if you take a Yanomamo man from the rainforest region of Southern Brazil and show him a modern, aluminum ladder, I'm 99.98% sure he'll know it's for climbing. The materials might be different, but the symbolic shape is obvious (be careful though, that .02% is wrong quite often).

You see, a good friend over in the shirt and tie sector sent me a video that's been popping up quite a bit (thanks, Deena), making its way from blog to blog. While it seemed insignificant at the time, it got me thinking (and we all know that nothing good can come from that)....

...because every now and then a designer will throw me for a loop, creating something so outside the realm of traditional usage and form that it makes me wonder what else can/will be changed. Basically, I'll just sit there staring at my computer screen like a Yanomamo man staring at an iPhone. So i was wondering if I woke up 100 years from now, be it it by time travel or tequila hangover, what would I recognize?

You can bet your black framed glasses I wouldn't have known this is a ladder!

From the Cima Ladder website:

We built the ladder around 3 major inspirations:

Lightness: strip the ladder from the heavy look, from the complex assembly of a standard ladder to a simple and light shape. Functionally the weight of a ladder is a main factor. From our calculation our ladder weight is less than a kilogram.
Paradox: between the outside shape and the inner shape, between the strength and the lightness, between the pure functionality and the pure aesthetics.

Climb: like climbing a tree, brings us closer to the basic nature of climbing up to reach the top, climbing as a metaphor of growth and self elevation in life.

The material used is a carbon fibre composite.

The continuous shape and the closed frame spread the forces in all directions.

This study of form added to the high strength of the carbon fiber and allowed an extra thin and light ladder of only 1 Kg.

Alas, if I ever got to the point where I was rich enough to afford/need a carbon fiber ladder, I'm afraid I'd already be dead from champagne poisoning.