Serendipity.JPGSerendipity is what makes product design so satisfying.

Earlier this week, I was asked to design a custom wastebasket enclosure which would be aesthetic and which dogs could not easily open. That’s the kind of open-ended requirement that gets my creative juices flowing.

I came up with a design using laminated pine that was rugged enough to stand up to many years of hard use by a family with children and dogs. I made it tall enough so that it could be opened without stooping and made it simple to use. It also has a disposable plastic bag liner.

While taking this picture, I realized that the enclosure is desktop height. I put it next to my desk and it looked like a smart-looking accessory for the office. The top of the enclosure is flat, because the lid has a recessed handle, so I could even pile magazines on it. I am sure there are others like me who can easily fill every square inch of desk space, even on a desk the size of a conference table.

The wastebasket lid is big enough (11″x14″) so it can be modified to hold a shredder. Custom shredder enclosures are a smaller market than custom wastebaskets, but marketing craft work depends on finding niches not yet saturated by low-priced imports.

I am sure that more applications will present themselves, once this enclosure gets more use.

The cat occupying the desktop is Sherman and he has already inspected the new product. At least he marked it thoroughly, which normally signifies approval. With a cat as product inspector, you have to take what you can get.

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