Fix it

by admin on March 23, 2011

Last semester I adopted “ship it” as a mantra to encourage breaking through those nagging inner voices that say “it’s not good enough,” or “finish it later,” or “I wonder if it’s been done before.”

I’ve been somewhat successful. In any case, today I thought of a new project in the spirit of doing. As designers, separate from muggles, we have a responsibility not just to point out what’s wrong, but to offer solutions. As Benjamin Franklin said “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” Even better, Michelangelo challenges us to “criticize by creating.”

So every week I’ll seek out something in the world and fix it…literally and physically. By fix, I don’t mean I’ll take an old broken radio, for example, and make it work again. I mean I’ll take things that are probably functioning as designed, but need fixing nonetheless. Or I will add something to a situation that is not running as well I imagine it could.

The key idea here is the making. I don’t mean to change the world (in any big way anyway); these will be simple things. I also don’t claim my fixes will be the best solution; in fact they may just make things worse. This is really just an exercise in doing rather than thinking.

For example…

Drain filter with fix

For the longest time, while doing dishes my sink would fill up with soapy water. This is not a situation I ever intended for. It happened because the drainage filter would inadvertently go into plug mode. So I added a little rubber band which keeps that little black cylinder raised.

Drain filter underside

The cylinder is attached to the plug underneath. Thus the plug is kept from dropping down and covering the drain. Problem fixed.

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