Maybe it takes something as banal as a hair dryer: Why do they all look the same? The sturdy handheld bathroom standby has undergone endless iterations of the same plastic-handled, round-backed and -barreled device since it was adopted by the buying public in the 1920s, but the object itself does little more than serve as a holding pen for the small motor-driven fan and heater inside. But the new Tomahawk hair dryer reimagines the whole hair dryer genre, illustrating in the process that the object is capable of a different typology after all.
Designer Jean-Baptiste Fastrez kept the main body of the dryer relatively intact, and it remains manufactured industrially. But the handle is made out of wood, injecting a new look for a category badly in need of a refresh (recent interest in axes nothwithstanding). The wire runs through a hole in the handle and directly into the barrel, allowing the handle a new type of functionality.
So while the design is a visual counterpoint to the pointlessly homogenous stuff around us, it’s also something even more serious: The reused handle hints at the enormous amount of waste we create when we pass up a chance to repurpose what’s already around us. Just imagine how many opportunities might be found, if some company dedicated itself to making new products from old parts.