The Dyson vac I use to clean up my dogs' pet fur is awesome, but one thing about it drives me nuts: It's made from polycarbonate, so during the vacuuming process the unit itself attracts, through static electricity, pet fur. This requires you to vacuum off the unit itself after you've finished vacuuming the floor, and I always asked myself why on Earth they'd selected polycarbonate.
Well, now I know: durability. The frame can withstand some serious abuse, to the tune of a 30-lb. weight being dropped on it. Being made aware of the thinking behind a particular design decision can actually change your perception of that object; while having to vacuum off a vacuum is bothersome, I'd choose minor inconvenience over short lifespan any day.
In this rare and informative look inside Dyson's R&D facility in Malmesbury, we see their machines being put through the paces—and compared side-by-side with competitors' models—while Director of Engineering Alex Knox [who we interviewed last year] walks us through specific design features. Aside from the weight-smashing test, it's neat to see exactly what the designers expect of the machine, from a user standpoint, and the specific solutions they devised to enable those things.