I thought that good cutlery was almost completely defined by ergonomic
considerations. The tine curvature of forks is dictated by the way shoulder,
elbow and hand movements allow the fork to smoothly relinquish food in the
mouth and allow the fork to be removed without pressing into the roof of the
mouth, the tongue or clanking onto the teeth. Different curvatures are
required for different people sizes. The profile (taper) of the tines is
determined by the physical properties of the food in terms of it being
retained after stabbing it with the fork and being easy to release in the
mouth. Their thickness is partly determined by strength issues. The handle
shape is required to fit the hand not only when holding food down to be cut
and picking food up, but also when rotated to insert food in the mouth.
Similar considerations apply to spoons. In addition, spoons have to have
appropriate curvatures so that their profile matches with likely bowls so as
to enable users to 'scrape' their bowls clean. Good spoon edge profiles
offer several well blended curvatures - it is important. Knives are simpler
in some respects except the blade profile need s to be shaped to how much or
how little you want them to cut and which materials they are intended to
cut - and whether they are intended to do other things like spread butter.
To some extent these issues are also determined by the detail of eating
habits - some early Victorian knives and forks I've seen imply a relatively
brutal approach to food.
For a long time I've noticed that there are substantial differences in
'pleasure of use' between cutlery sets. Some 'designed' sets are
particularly problematic. The above factors imply a convergence and the
development of a family of ergonomically best solutions.
Assoc Director Innovation
Edith Cowan University
From: [log in to unmask]
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
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Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2000 5:56 AM
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Subject: Please fwd. Bioplastic info to ID Forum
Please could someone - Rob Curedale? fwd my previous email to IDForum - as I
stopped subscribing to it.
Have you recently tried drawing cutlery?
I think these are the hardest things to 'make' elegant - it is an exercise
itself. It is not the control of a drawing implement - it is just as hard or
harder in CAD.
The tynes of the fork are the toughest test.
What training/education would ensure the ability to do this? 2D/3D or merely
If plagiarising is an adequate means, then taste or elegance (as a mental
filter) is probably invoked for reasonable success.
How is taste formed during our mental formation - as it directly impacts art
The knowledge kernel used to circumvent or articulate design problems might
in a different mode when selecting this capability.
I don't recall many lectures on the subject, which is curious by omission.
The answer (if there is one) may answer why we actually believed in avocado
bathroom suites and kitchen goods.