Course: ID Studio / Year Zero


Structured Ashtray

For this project, I was assigned a word and an object, with the task of designing the object based on a language derived from the word. My word and object was “Structured Ashtray.” I chose to define “structured” in reference to the highly organized, efficient, and logical organization of time and movement. With this design language identified, I eventually decided upon making a speculative design piece that comments on the duality of the freedom and structure inherent in smoking cigarettes. The ashtray sounds a chime and ejects a cigarette every hour on the hour from 7am to 10pm, giving the user 10 minutes to smoke each one to completion. And each minute of that 10 minutes, another chime indicates the opening of a hatch to allow ashing of the cigarette. Day to day, hour to hour, and minute to minute, the process of smoking is highly structured. The accompanying user manual serves to explain the concept to viewers. While this message has been told in many ways before, I hope to cast a different light on the subject with a unique, physically designed take on the subject matter.