Roly Poly Iron Part Two

I’ve been watching BBC’s The Genius of Design and it has totally re-educated my perspective of the Industrial Design profession. The genius of design is in offering solutions to a problem in such a way that they don’t compromise on our routine habits. The other aspect of designing that I understood was that it’s not wrong for designers to try and improvise an existing solution, with their own perceptions. Usually I disregard a design submission that is very similar to a published post, but this time around I want to bring out the two and spark a debate on the design challenge.


The clothes iron is a fantastic invention and the technique dates back to the ancient Chinese people using pans filled with hot coals to iron out clothes. With electricity and modernization we moved on to regular and steam irons. However one situation remained constant with the advent of new technologies – burning clothes due to carelessness.


One solution that we recently saw was the Roly Poly Iron designed by Wonkook Lee. It worked on the rocking principle where weights in the handle pulled back the iron into a standing position, when not in use. A simple enough idea that was worth exploring!

Ironically, I have stumbled upon another similar solution and what’s really weird is that this iron too is called the “Roly Poly”. Like I said we don’t usually publish repetitive ideas, but what makes the second version different from Wonkook’s is derived from my first statement: “offering solutions that don’t compromise on our daily habits.” Roly Poly II has a form that we are very familiar with, it is intuitive and basic. It solves the problem of being careless while ironing by rolling back to the upright position, but in a very logical way.

Would you call Part II a genius of design or are we mature enough to break the mold of conventional norms and adopt designs that are form beyond function?

Designers: Sangyong Park, Jungmin Park & Sunwoo Hwang