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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Using Bad Design For Good?

Posted by Alex | July 29th, 2010 | Filed under Design


Here in The Thought Kitchen, we talk a lot about the power of good design to create positive change. But what about bad design? Can an inconvenient, awkward, unsightly idea help create a better world?

That was the idea that RISD ID grad Erik Askin wanted to explore with his project Design To Annoy, in which he created a cigarette packet so impractical that it would discourage smokers from ever picking up a pack, let along offering a cigarette to a stranger.


Designed for difficult access, poor ‘pocket fit’, inefficient shipping, concealed branding and awkward sharing, its design is so elegantly bad, it’s good. Check out all the design drawings, and other ideas for inconvenient packaging, at the Design To Annoy website.

(via FastCoDesign)

4 Responses to “Using Bad Design For Good?”

  • July 29, 2010 at 9:20 am | libby says

    This is a really interesting idea.

  • August 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm | josie says

    I agree. Other than nicotine, I wonder what other applications bad design could instigate positive change. Fast food is the first thing that comes to mind. However after the design challenge comes the real challenge; implementation.

  • August 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Syd says

    This is so great and funny too! I actually laughed my way through it while thinking what a great idea it is! I was really hoping for the blister pack as the most annoying followed closely by the individually wrapped cigarettes. Unfortunately both are fare more environmentally impacting and people would still find a way to smoke regardless.
    Love it!

  • September 16, 2014 at 12:39 am | Wee Red Bird says

    Actually, this may help sales rather than detract.

    The UK is starting to hide cigarettes as they think it will stop children from smoking (although branding never crossed the minds of kids buying singles cigarettes from the local shop when I was a kid, but I digress) they are hiding them on the shelves and forcing them to have plain packaging. The only thing left to make them unique would be their shape.

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