written by:
May 18, 2009

Calling all designers, inventors, and people who are tired of wrestling with unwieldy ironing boards! Just nine days remain to send in your submissions for Dwell's Innovate It! design competition. 

ironing bored1

We selected three winning suggestions from the Dwell community for objects that need updates and improvements. Now we're asking you to select one (or more) for an innovative redesign. The candidates are: 

Don't-Drop-Your-Pants Hanger

Surely there must be something better than the clip hangers that leave marks on a perfectly clean cuff or the bar hangers that add an undesired crease at the knee.

"Why I continue to spend money for this ramshackle device is a grand mystery," laments Steven C. Brady, "They should call it the "dropper" instead of the hanger. Every time I reach into my closet for my nicely pleated dress pants I discover that they have mysteriously disappeared. Where have they gone? They are on the floor, crumpled up, lying haplessly along with my other pairs of misrepresented pants."

Submit your ideas for a hanger that hangs on to garments like it's supposed to, and keeps them perpetually ready-to-wear.

Not Yo' Mama's Ironing Board

The age-old ironing board possesses a laundry list of failed features. From the moment you wrangle open the folding legs to the moment you coax them back in place, the entire process is an akward chore.

"The shape and functionality of our modern ironing board is pretty much the same as when it was when invented in the late nineteenth century," says Sejal Parekh, "Problems with the current ironing board design include the iron's electrical cord getting in the way while ironing, an unstable two leg support structure, board covers that don't stay in place, storage space issues in small homes, and an overall very dated and uninspiring look."

Draw up a proposal for a smarter ironing solutions and submit it to the competition.

A Great Coffee Cup that Doesn't Leave a Ring

Sure there are saucers and coasters, but why not expect a cup to keep its contents completely contained?

"Most of us love our coffee or tea, but the slightest spill rolls down the side of the cup and leaves a ring on the table," says Mark Lenox, "In fact, the whole table coaster industry sprang from this need!"

If you have an inspired idea for banishing circular stains from your furniture with a fresh cup concept, send it in.

What to do now

You have until June 10 to send in a redesign (illustration and explanation!) for one, two, or all three of these objects. Be sure to include:

- 3 images of the design concept, including a front, back, and side angle

- a 500-word explanation of how your proposal meets the criteria for the competition and improves upon the old design

- A new name for your redesigned product that suits its new and improved identity

Dwell editors and several experts will jury the competition and select one winner for each object. The three winners will receive a cash prize from Volkswagen CC and VIP tickets to Dwell on Design 09 in Los Angeles, June 26-28. See remaining details here.

Illustration by Tyler Johnson, Nomad Ink

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