Nearing the end of a four leg part-business/part-pleasure European trip, from Helsinki to Tallin to Berlin to Luxembourg. Sure, I could post about all the marvelous and beautiful things we’ve seen, but I’ve never been much for travelblogue.
Instead, let’s talk design. Because Scandanavians are renowned for it, various slight adjustments that either prefer the aesthetics or functionality of things that might otherwise have seemed to be working pretty well as they were.
When I was in Oslo last year, the hotel where I was staying included these wrapped toothpicks that were slightly thicker and curved on one end and included, on the packaging, why this design was superior to the standard toothpick. And, you know what: they were right, and excavating stray bits from my teeth with an ordinary toothpick has felt substandard ever since.
In Berlin, we stayed at a Scandanavian-themed hotel, which also had various tweaks of design. The bathroom door, for instance, was a sliding panel that doubled on both sides as a full-length mirror. But that led to the curious design consequence shown here:
So we’re clear (tee-hee), this photo is taken outside the bathroom taken with the bathroom door closed. In other words, when you are in the bathroom, conducting whatever business you may be conducting, you are visible to anyone standing in the area outside the bathroom. Moreover, at the very same time, the view from the inside of the bathroom is a mirror, so when inside you have the pleasant illusion of privacy that one normally associates with bathroom doors. Suffice it to say that our own discovery involved parties on opposite sides of the door and somebody shouting whoa!
I recognize that Scandanavians are a bit more liberated from some of the more prim aspects of American culture, but, still: my presumption is that this is a design flaw, and not some reflection (well, or lack thereof) of differences between Scandanavian and American principles about the sanctity of one’s time at the toilet.