1900s service design

I was at a National Trust house a couple of weeks ago, and found this great little bit of early 1900s service design in the kitchen. I say “the kitchen” as if it was just a kitchen, but it was a collection of 4 rooms, used on a daily basis by 15 members of staff. Clearly the challenge with so many people making use of all the kitchen supplies, it was very difficult for the supplies manager to keep tabs on what’s in or out of stock. This Household Wants Indicator is a very nifty solution. If you notice something is running low, you find the product in the list and flip the indicator from white to red. Simple, effective and far neater than a scruffy blackboard.

I used it as stimulus when I got my colleagues to redesign the office kitchen, which holds a limited range of supplies. Could you image how big it would need to be for a domestic kitchen, with the massive range of products available these days?

Anyway – a cool bit of service design…

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