Designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin – better known as Industrial Facility – have been collecting curious examples of inexpensive industrial design for years. You've seen the results in Icon's regular "Under a Fiver" – now here's a taste of the new book of the collection.
When soaked in water, this cotton brick measuring just 13xx8cm, expands to become a complete set of emergency clothing. The set includes a T-shirt, a pair of pants, a pair of socks and a towel. The brick can also be "broken up" by hand and stretched, if adding water is not suitable for the conditions. What is also magical is that the process of manufacturing the cloth brick allows the packaging graphics to be "moulded" into the cotton, meaning that the object and information can never be separated.
This disposable and biodegradable urinal is a good harmony of form and material despite its use. The paper does not dissolve immediately, but leaves just enough time for its contents to be emptied into another receptacle before being thrown away.
This can of tomato juice was one of the first items in the collection. It's very beautiful, and was even when it was in the vending machine. The packaging graphics not only reflect its contents so well, but the can literally becomes a tomato.
Bic gas lighter
An ingenious gas igniter that extends and converts a disposable Bic lighter in order to ignite the gas on a stove. The lighter slots into the plastic holder and, once pushed across a roller, turns the flame on well away from the hand.
Obtaining the temperature of a baby can sometimes be quite stressful, just by the mere fact that you need to take it when the baby is unwell. So using a dummy (pacifier) as a carrier for a digital thermometer has certain relevance. What is intriguing is the normality of finding a baby's dummy implanted with two electrodes that sit between the tongue and the roof of the mouth – in an average pharmacy.
Watering can and spray bottle
The watering can/sprayer combo is evidence that a lot of manufacturers present something to the marketplace that appears incredibly optimistic, however, in practical application, doesn't work very well. The spray from the nozzle is far too distant to actually hit the plants, because the spout gets in the way. When something comes along that has a certain oddity to it, people do get excited and buy it. There is an attraction to it; however this is not necessarily in line with the manufacturer's intent.