Back in 2011, Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani started working on her Uncomfortable series, which entailed reimagining everyday items into "uncomfortable" versions of their useful selves. Many of these everyday goods pertain to the kitchen: a double-cupped champagne glass, interlinked coffee mugs, a thick cutlery set, hourglass salt and pepper shakers, and even a slipper spoon.
"I started this project for fun, so my purpose is to make people laugh and feel amused!" Kamprani tells Kitchn in an email. "But on a second level I hope that this project helps them appreciate the complexity and depth of interactions with the simplest of objects around us."
Through sketches and 3D visualization, Kamprani has created an entire line that she has previously called "a twisted sadistic design project" that is "a parasite in the world of materialism and design." Some of the designs have even manifested into physical prototypes.
When asked if the emphasis of her project was to be deliberately inconvenient, she says it has to do with self-expression.
"People do not assume these are faulty functional objects, like a mistake happened in their production," Kamprani says. "When I first started the project I felt like a very evil designer that wants to laugh at the expense of the user. But in the end I realized I was only laughing in the thought of myself using them! Maybe there is some self-expression in the project, in the sense that I often feel uncomfortable in various situations."
As for what's next, Kamprani is slowly making new designs — a few each year.
"I designed most of the objects in a period of two years until 2013 when the project went viral and started to have likes worldwide," Kamprani says. "After that I felt quite overwhelmed and avoided uploading any new design in the thought of it not being smart enough for my followers. Since then I only design new objects a few times per year and enjoy the fact that the project has a life of its own and surprises me every time it goes viral again and again."