Examples of humble designs that tackle small but annoying problems in 2022

It’s fun to see great designers tackle big problems. But we wanted to shout out the masses of humble industrial designers, do-it-yourselfers, and inventors who don’t want to take credit, but still design little things to solve life’s little annoyances. Here are some examples we saw in 2022.

No one avoids buying a table simply because it doesn’t have a place to hang their bag. But designer Hajime Kumazawa designed a bag hook into the legs of this DTN table anyway.

If you’ve ever had to move a fully loaded drying rack, you know it’s impossible to get it through a doorway. So the German manufacturer Juwels Twist 140 rack is designed to be folded, even with all the clothes on, so you can easily transport it.

Dan Stevenson designed the Bago, a fun object designed to hold bags upright on the floor of a car.

Greg Brault designed this 3D printed gadget to prevent dogs from knocking over the trash can.

The Krapp strap makes pooping in the forest easier.

From Sweden comes Zlider, an innovative zipper that makes it easy to repair a broken zipper.

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Industrial designers Lars Wettre and Jonas Forman invented the CableCup, a ceiling cup that you can turn inside out to facilitate the installation and assembly of ceiling fixtures.

This windproof Plasma Lighter XR has an extendable neck to increase reach and prevent burning your fingers.

For those living in icy climes, FrostGuard Plus is designed to free you from scraping ice and snow off your windshield.

Inventor Roy Gelesh’s Trash Can Trailer Hitch lets you haul trash cans up long driveways.

These ZaVarge bed clips are designed to prevent duvets from wandering around inside duvet covers.

Ryosuke Fukusada designed this easy to carry plastic tank for shop owners. If you fill it with water, it becomes ballast to hold shop signs (common in Japan) in place against the wind.

The Wonder Winder provides an easy way to lay out extension cords, then pull up and neatly store extension cords.

The Moki Door Step uses the car’s existing door lock to make the roof rack easier to access.

Studio Extrude makes spare parts for common items: Bicycle fender brackets, feet for clothes drying racks, the knot cover for the cord on blinds, etc.

And as a sideline, industrial designer Peter Szucs 3D-prints and sells difficult Ikea replacement parts.

If you have more examples like these, please let us know in the comments and we’ll write them up in ’23.

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