For Sarah Quan, Dieter Rams' design principles are not only relevant in theory but in practice. To get a place in her apartment – furnished with selected furniture and vintage finds – a few criteria for meaningful, aesthetic design must be met. In her experience report, design-savvy Sarah Quan explains why hot summers in old apartments can be unbearable, what the design principle "good design is honest" has to do with our table fan and whether Peter little does more than just serve to provide refreshment.
For those who can recall, living in an "Altbauwohnung" (apartment in an old building) in the middle of the city center can be tricky. I am the first defender of old apartments don't get me wrong. I love to hear original wooden floor cracking under footsteps and the high-ceilings, higher than ever. If you got the kitchen and the bathroom renovated you might have won the jackpot. It's truly charismatic and each apartment has its vibe. The only minor detail is that often old buildings have bad isolations and windows, which means that over the summer it gets really hot quickly.
Last summer, there was a heatwave in Zürich and it felt like our apartment was melting, it was hot during the entire month of August. When I write "hot", I meant burning hot, even though, we had opened our windows most of the night to create some sort of natural ventilation. During the day we usually closed the blinds, to avoid letting the warm temperatures entering the building, as well as direct sunlight. Well...despite our efforts, it did not work. It did not feel that bad at first until it lasted for weeks and slowly got heavier every evening.
This year, Switzerland is forecasting a hot summer which is exciting due to the current delicate situation, regarding traveling around. It will be a great summer, nights out, and days by the lake or at the badi, however, it won't be as fun in the apartment without a fan or AC. In the past weeks, we could already feel the hot temperatures and realized that our apartment heated up at night, even though, the temperatures outside were lower.
So, we got ourselves a table fan, Peter little from Stadler Form, a Swiss innovative brand. Naturally, you know me and my appreciation for unobtrusive design, yet highly functional and aesthetic. Yes, indeed, I am a big follower of the German industrial designer Dieter Rams and his ten timeless design principles which include innovation, style, long-lasting, and easy to understand, just to mention a few. Well, guess what? To me, this fan Peter little represents the ten timeless commandments of D.R. and good design pretty well.
I love the minimalist design of the tower. His small size enables us to place him anywhere in the apartment, on a table, in our living room next to our "Togo" low sofa or in the bedroom. Plus, his lightweight allows us to move him easily from one room to the other in a second. The clean and modern aesthetic works well in any designed environment. In our "Altbauwohnung" there is a lot of wood as well as vintage furniture. We are a big fan of flea markets and vintage finds – so, we like to combine both contemporary with midcentury design pieces. Peter little slips perfectly into the landscape and brings tech and innovative touch in the apartment. We don't have a TV monitor or any big technological device, except our hi-fi system and small gadgets including now our Peter little.
Easy to use, once plugged in you're good to go. You can choose from the four different speed levels, use the swing mode to refresh the room adequately, and also imitate natural wind effects with a dispersed breeze as it occurs in nature. The button, invisible as on a "touchscreen" is intuitive and highly reactive to the skin touch. Simple and efficient, that is commandment number 6 from D.R; "good design is honest" which requires that the product does not pretend to be more innovative, or valuable than it is. It is what it is and delivers the exact promises to the consumer.
The first time I used him I was happily surprised by the table fan. I was not disturbed by the fan at all and even forgot about him. I chose the second speed level and applied the swing mode, enabling the entire room to get refreshed. It was a perfect and natural breeze without a loud sound. I remembered the old fans we used to have when I was a teenager and realized how much innovation there has been since. He was refreshing yet subtle and discreet, something you usually don't expect from a fan at all. Naturally, the fourth speed level would have created a stronger wind if needed.
Peter little will be our perfect summer acolyte for this upcoming summer and help us go through workdays at home, support my current and future readings and definitely will allow us a good night's sleep.
We warmly want to thank Sarah Quan for her honest and well-founded experience report of table fan Peter little! If you are as excited as we are, let us know in the comments below.
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