40 Times Designers Forgot Things Need To Be Cleaned When Creating Them, As Shared On This Facebook Group
To most of us, cleaning is a chore. Something we do just because we have to. So we try to optimize the process as much as possible. Get it done in the fastest way possible, with the least amount of energy required.
However, some people probably haven't picked up a vacuum cleaner or a dust wand in their entire life.
There's a private Facebook group with a pretty self-explanatory title, called 'Things designed by people who don't have to clean them', and it has about 40,000 members, all sharing pictures of objects that absolutely terrify Monica Geller and Adrian Monk. From an amethyst sink to a dollhouse PC case, continue scrolling and check them out for yourself.
Please don't treat your fish like toys! Goldfish need a 500l tank, and need a group of atleast 6 goldfish. They are intelligent and beautiful animals
The founder of the group, Will Feetham, created it out of his passion for the design world. "We spend most of our time in spaces designed by other humans, and sometimes subtle careless decisions during [the design process and construction processes] cause a huge amount of hassle for the people that use the space," Feetham told Bored Panda.
Currently, the group is private and you have to answer a few political questions to get in. Feetham has had pushback from the applicants about this as the group seems anything but political, however, he believes that the design and maintenance of our spaces are deeply political. "The entire point of 'Things designed by people who don't have to clean them' is that those who design and those who maintain are not the same," he said. "Because we spend most of our time in spaces [designed by others], this disconnect has a huge impact, especially on those who traditionally don't have power in society."
"Looking at bad design helps highlight the importance of good design, and thinking about who will clean what we design makes us focus on the importance of inclusion in the design process. As a tag group, we can inject a bit of thought about these issues into a lot of different conversations which makes me so happy."
If we were to get specific, Feetham got the idea for the group from a picture of a topographical relief sink modeled after a lake, which he has been told is in the California state library. "It's beautiful, and the concept is both insightful and educational. In the execution, though, the designer didn't consider the people who would have to clean the installation. Clearly, a lot of thought went into the concept, but that thoughtfulness doesn't seem to have extended to maintenance. 'Things designed by people who don’t have to clean them' just popped into my head."
As you could guess, Feetham himself doesn't like cleaning. "As a cisgender man in our patriarchal culture, I have been allowed to do less than my share of household chores at many points in my life," he said. "Equality is deeply important to me, and I have come to understand the many ways, large and small, that the caring and cleaning work that forms the foundation of our daily existence is minimized."
According to him, our society tends to devalue the invisible service class, who are often women and people of color. So they are left to pick up the pieces, literally, and tend to the performative aesthetics of our consumer culture.
Feetham describes the content of the group as design-focused critical analysis. Some of the things that get submitted a lot are carpets in places it shouldn't be, crafts that involve gluing shells and rocks, and impossible to clean windows. "The start of the group was more focused on public infrastructure, but we also have a lot of content about consumer goods and home decor that create a maintenance nightmare."