Article by Raine Blunk
Dustpans are cheap. They crack after a week’s use which is fine -- you hide them somewhere when not in use anyways. In the more eloquent words of “Sweeper and Dustpan” designer Jan Kochanski, these utilitarian home products are usually sold at a “low aesthetic value.”
There’s something sad about the tackiness of some of our needs-based home products. Take, for example, the constantly ‘new and improved’ Swiffer which comes in a variety of neon colors and spacelike designs. Whatever happened to the beautiful simplicity of the dustrag? While we think we’ve outgrown the natural side of organization and cleanliness, the “Sweeper and Dustpan” design argues that we have a lot to reclaim from the over-commercialized and over-sanitized experience of cleaning.
Kochanski’s renovation to the design of commercial sweeper and dustpan sets might underestimate how much dirt we actually have in our houses. The brush and dustpan themselves aren’t meant for heavy cleaning. But even if all the dirt won’t fit, it’s hard to deny that the pan’s built-in funnel to simplify dirt disposal would simplify our cleaning experiences.
Outside of the redesign of the dust pan, the brush (made of natural horsehair and beechwood) just makes sense. Why did we ever switch to those stupid synthetic bristles that go haywire after a week of use anyways? The combination of the streamlined, evenly-weighted brush and the streamlined dustpan make for a simple experience that feels more intuitive -- and looks a whole lot better.
And Kochanski’s award-winning “Sweeper and Dustpan” design makes sense within the bigger picture of his working portfolio. From the “Radar” clothes drying rack to Fiu Fiu, a foldable, mailable bird feeder, Kochanski’s designs seek to simplify our daily tasks without sacrificing the inherent beauty of the product. For those of us who have been waiting to throw that tacky dustpan into the trash, we’re grateful for “Sweeper and Dustpan.”
Images courtesy of Jan Kochanski