Of all the tasks we received this week, I actually think this was the most difficult one. We had to apply the SCAMPER method to transform a teaspoon. As mentioned in other posts, SCAMPER is an abbreviation of Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Put to another use, Eliminate and Reverse/Rearrange. Now the problem was that this is such a familiar everyday item, so imagining it used differently, or with a different design or function proved quite difficult. How could one possibly redesign such a simple item?
My initial thought was to substitute the handle, say with a straw or with a fork on the end, both which are not a new invention, but it’s good to let ideas flow uncesored. Then I thought of substituting the material, with plastic for example. I later scrapped this idea, as it would not go well with the next steps and its functionality. In the end I decided that the spoon would have a dark grey color as opposed to most cutlery that has a silvery colour, to possibly make it stand out from the rest of the cutlery.
I thought of combining a table spoon with a tea spoon, by adding a way for it to expand the bowl on both sides, sort of like an umbrella effect. See sketches below.
If the teaspoon were to also function as a table spoon, the handle could not stay the same lenght, as it would be difficult to utilize a table spoon with a short handle (as teaspoons usually have), so I would put a button on the handle that would trigger both the expansion of the handle (lenght-wise), and also the expansion of the bowl (breadth-wise). Seeing as the parts of the bowl that would expand would be located at the back of the middle part of the bowl, the material would have to be rather thin, so it would be comfortable to use as a teaspoon as well.
Put to another use
As mentioned the teaspoon can now be used as a table spoon as well. This could for example allow the consumer to stir their tea, press the expansion button and continue eating their cereal, ice cream, pudding and so on without having to use more cutlery.
This was the hardest to implement to the idea, what could be eliminated from a tea spoon? What about eliminating the bowl or the handle? What purpose would this have? This would probably have been a good idea if you wanted the spoon to have functions other than stirring, scooping or eating with. However, I wanted to retain these functions, so I choose not to eliminate any of these said parts.
I also thought about reversing the spoon, with the handle on the opposite side, giving the tip of the bowl a different shape, but I could not see the functionality in this. Moreover, one could simply rearrange the spoon so the handle would be at the side of the bowl, and possibly implementing a closing effect between the bowl and the handle so you could squeeze teabags in between them. Although I did scrap this idea in favour of the expanding spoon. Perhaps you could have combined the two ideas, but implementing these two mechanisms might have made the spoon too big.
As for marketing, who would enjoy or find use of this product? Knowing myself at least, I am at times rather lazy and would prefer to use the least amount of cutlery. Furthermore, many Norwegians drink coffee or tea, and some enjoy sugar or milk in their beverage. Eating cereal or ice cream is not at all uncommon either, so there would be no problem with finding use for a spoon, and better yet, a spoon that can alternate between a teaspoon and a table spoon.
Now which situations other than perhaps breakfast or afternoon tea/coffee with cake would this spoon come in handy? Say you had a bad day, and as comfort you make a cup of tea and sit down with a bucket of ice cream – the scenario typically seen in western movies. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to bring the entire set of cutlery with you, but simply one item? This led me to the thought, it’s not only a spoon, it’s something more. It is something you can appreciate at times when you don’t have energy to spare.