I used to think of design as being about frills: the fun, the beautiful, the quirky little extras you only have time for when the basics have been covered. But working with people with disability has made me realize that design is so much more than fancy flourishes. It’s also about how things work best, about applying thought to the things people do every day and making it easier, more graceful, and, even, in some cases, possible.

I live in a family of newspaper-holics. We subscribe to eight different papers and Ravi and Mummy can’t function until they’ve read their favorites each morning. I read The Hindu at work and The Times at home, and I don’t mind waiting my turn till Mummy is through with it.

Except that by the time I get my hands on it, it’s a mangled mess.

And I really can’t blame her. She reads it in bed, her arms are short and she has arthritis so it’s painful to turn the pages. For many years, I have just straightened it out as best I could and carried on (aren’t I brave!).

Then, on a recent trip to Bangalore, I was waiting in a shop for a LONG time. To amuse myself, I picked up a newspaper the management kept available for other similarly bored customers. It was evening, and one would have thought the paper would be wrinkled and in tatters by then. But in fact it was as neat as it had just been delivered. As a connoisseur of pristine newspapers, I was intrigued. How did they manage it?

Design. Using the simple and elegant tool of staples and imagination in a preventive strike, some very clever person in Bangalore had solved the messy newspaper problem. I brought the solution home and was greeted with universal acclaim (well – almost: Ravi thinks it’s a waste of staples).
Mummy loves it the most, which made me realize that for her, the messy paper was not only unpleasant to read but, considerate soul that she is, unpleasant to hand over to me.

Design Zindabad!

Showing 4 comments
  • kanica

    You won't believe it,even i have undergone a similar experience athome.By the time i get back from KV the newspaper is all upside down!A simple quick fix like this is a wonder in itself!

  • Sree

    Wow…this is ingenious!! Thanks for sharing it :-)…
    And yes, you were brave all along 😉

  • ~*~Patty S

    oh my
    my first comment did not seem to take

    Your simple solution to the untidy newspaper is brilliant!

    I Love the pretty posies on your table!

    Happy Weekend to you and yours

  • imadeitso

    oh, have you heard of the staple-less stapler? it folds the paper in on itself… i have one handy for keeping school order forms and such all together. though i don’t think it would help your situation, being a connoisseur of pristine papers (i learn something new about you every day) :)

    also, i haven’t forgotten the link you sent me. it’s in my to-read pile.

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