From a design perspective, it's fun to see categories of object where no single form factor has emerged as dominant. An example: Automatic pot stirrers. Although the pioneering Stir Chef was invented way back in the '80s…
…there's apparently still no consensus by competing manufacturers on what the thing should look like. For example, look at these four selected by Best Reviews as their top models:
The StirMATE (rechargeable, multi-speed) runs $68. Apparently none of that money goes into a design budget; this thing looks like it was designed by engineers. It clamps to one edge of a pot and can be extended to center the stirrer on pots of different diameters.
The SAKI automatic pot stirrer (rechargeable, multi-speed), also $68, looks a bit more elegant; industrial designers were definitely involved. This design rests on opposing edges of the pot for "perfect balance." The adjustable arms will accommodate different diameters of pot.
This Ardente Gourmet Stirrer (battery-operated, single-speed), $28, is so unattractive it makes the StirMATE look like a design award winner. The arms pivot from off-center hinges to accommodate different pot diameters, which I have to admit is clever, but the execution looks so cheap.
The design of the Üutensil Stirr (battery-operated, multi-speed) $39, deviates quite a bit from the others. It solves the support problem not with arms, but with legs; the stirrers ride along the bottom of the pot as they rotate. Assuming the thing stays balanced, this is an intelligent innovation that vastly slims down the form factor.
Another clever design feature is that the Stirr breaks down into two pieces, allowing you to invert the top and insert it into the bottom. This saves even more space.
I don't cook enough to warrant buying one of these, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with the Üutensil Stirr because it seems to have had the most design attention paid to it.
Join over 240,000 designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter.
Test it out; it only takes a single click to unsubscribe