Dinner alone in front of the TV, ironing board in the hallway where you always trip over it, and a laptop in constant use with the remains of last week's greasy pizza still sticking to the keys: Valentin Engler, Daniel Grolimund and Marius Morger know the problems men face when they live alone. Not so much from their own experience but from thorough analysis. For their graduation project in industrial design the three students at Zürich's Academy of Art investigated the phenomenon of living alone Swiss-style. After all, this is a situation which applies to every fourth urban household in the confederation. And for the most part success at work goes hand-in-hand with living alone. The much-touted bachelor existence is a cliché and in addition to the more bizarre, darker sides that emerge all too often when it comes to the bachelors' homes, it also offers advantages and liberties. The graduation project presented concepts on how the bachelors can live these advantages.
The three Zurich graduates filtered out a total of eight practical everyday helpers from the original 70 concept ideas - various objects which facilitate the routine of living alone. These consist, first of all, of crockery - dynamic noodle-soup bowls with raised sides so that no daring balance acts are required when eating quickly in front of the TV and so that no little mishaps occur. With large practical handles this piece of equipment makes it easy to manage TV dinners on the sofa - and is guaranteed catastrophe-proof. The three designers also came up with an ironing board which lurks invisibly inside the coffee table. Just fold it out, and Hey Presto!, a flat surface and an iron appear. And they can be stowed straight back into the table leaving no trace of the bothersome task. Of course it goes without saying that if you live alone you need an additional all-round table to serve all your other purposes simultaneously. Valentin Engler, Marius Morger and Daniel Grolimund consequently designed a large table which can be used as a desk, a poker table and a decorated dinner table for festive occasions. The various levels do not have to be completely cleared away - they simply stay put with one layer pushed above the other. The table consists of two layers which are can be used parallel, the one over and concealing the other. The dining table's top simply conceals the worktop-and-laptop.
The list of bachelor objects would not be complete without the indispensable keyboard serviette which can be positioned over your keyboard using two detachable adhesive strips so that you do not even have to take a break at lunchtime. Protected from splashes and greasy fingers, yet always there to use - allowing a bachelor computer to come fully into its own as a part of daily life. Compared with the other concept ideas in this graduation project this is without doubt the highlight! It is yet to find a producer however. Should a woman unexpectedly visit the bachelor pad - a situation for which every man should definitely be prepared - then this is where the "woman set" comes in: The throwaway range of hygienic articles includes a toothbrush, makeup removal pads and shampoo - everything the dames may needs for a quick visit. And so that the bachelor really succeeds in living alone the designers have developed an e-business concept for him as well: An Internet portal which manages your shirts, not just the bespoke tailoring, but also an ironing service. Delivery and pickup times can be comfortably organized at home via the computer. What more does one need? And what are the bachelor inventors up to now? Valentin Engler works as an event co-ordinator for Swiss TV and is on the look-out for a job in the media or advertising. Daniel Grolimund is about to graduate in Design/Luxe at the ECAL in Lausanne, and Marius Morger works in a studio for direction signs and visual communication. The bachelor ideas of the three Swiss designers are still theory. But it might all happen: Some of the objects can undoubtedly be put into practice without too much fuss. And they would surely establish themselves quickly in everyday bachelor life.