The best designers of the red dot award: product design 2006: Daniel Brown
Well-designed tools harmonise with human motions – as does, for example, the “Bionic Wrench™” by the US-American designer Daniel Brown which received the award “red dot: best of the best”. Daniel Brown opened up to us about his views on the “constancy of a good form”:
"For me, “the durability of a good form” begins with the user’s initial reaction to your design. Strong positive emotional experiences validate the designer’s effort in creating a distinctive product that is both attention-grabbing and potentially enduring. The best designs are built upon problem-solving strategies that creatively blend innovative function with universal aesthetics. Classic examples of these designs stand the test of time. They elicit a strong emotional reaction from users and encompass a purity and simplicity of form and function that differentiate them from their competition. At the beginning of a project, opportunity and creativity unite to create a vision in the innovation process. Optimising this relationship is the creative evolutionary practice that must be mastered to exceed user expectations. When achieved, these visionary distinctions sustain themselves over time and lead to enduring emotional connections with one’s audience. Ultimately, the best of these design efforts become iconic winners in the marketplace, and examples of “the durability of a good form.”"
One-handed – designed logic
Well-designed tools harmonise with the movements of the human body – they correspond to the logic of the body and complement them. We use tools after all because there are certain things we cannot complete with our hands alone – unlike machines, however, tools cannot be set to operate independent of human control. The Bionic Wrench™ is a functionally designed wrench that combines a movement of the body with highly self-explanatory tool logic. As an adjustable all-around wrench for the household, it conforms and adapts to a variety of nuts and bolts that require tightening or loosening and, in doing so, prevents the corners of the bolts from shearing off – a common problem with other pliers and spanners. Moreover, this tool is well suited for removing fasteners and bolts that have already been damaged, thus solving yet another problem. When the handles of the tool are squeezed together, six hardened steel jaws converge and firmly grab a nut or bolt on all sides. In operation, the functional mechanism of the tool achieves an almost organic appearance and provides the user with a strong gripping force. Due to its innovative technology, this gripping force is effectively multiplied, allowing the tool to grip with much more surface contact area than is the case with other wrenches. The Bionic Wrench™ has been designed with a high-value appeal and clear language of form, and manages to impart a new aesthetics and functionality. The ergonomics are also an essential aspect in the design of this tool: it sits comfortably in the hand and the handles facilitate an easy, almost effortless transmission of force. Due to its design as well as the materials used, the wrench is also highly durable.
About Daniel Brown
Daniel Brown graduated from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 1978. In 2005, he earned a Masters degree in product development from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Early in his career, he succeeded in commercialising a number of patented new products in a wide range of markets. In 1991, he established his own consultancy, Consul-Tech Concepts, focusing on new product design and technology commercialisation. In 2001, Daniel Brown embarked upon a “case study” project that would encompass the “concept through commercialisation” skills of Consul-Tech. This project led to his U.S. patent for the Bionic Wrench™ in 2005 and the establishment of LoggerHead Tools LLC, a Chicago-based designer and marketer specialising in innovative hand tools, to commercialise this technology. Daniel Brown has created numerous products in his career and holds more than 25 U.S. patents. He has received many international awards, including the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award, the red dot design award, the “iF design award” and the Good Design award.