I’m scared of this ghost.

Designer Chih Ching Yang created this whimsical trivet in the form of the ghosts the Peanuts gang dressed up as during Halloween. He also gave it a name that closely resembles that of a certain “Friendly Ghost.” Because that’s original. As you can see in the pics, this silicone trivet just sits on your counter, and when you need to put down a pot that came straight off the burner, you just plop it down on the ghost, and he magically spreads flat, protecting your counter from the hot exterior of the pot.

Isn’t that wonderful?!? What roughly amounts to a molded silicone tube or cylinder in shape somehow magically turns completely flat when a heavy object is placed on it.

No. No it doesn’t.

I mean, I get the idea of use. Trivet storage is a pain in the ass, and when you store them, they’re usually not readily available when you need them. And if you’re like me, you realize you need them as your holding a hot and heavy pot in both hands. You can’t exactly go digging around your drawer to find a trivet. So if this thing is sitting on the counter already, looking all cute and ghosty, it would be very convenient to quickly shmoosh this guy down so your big, hot pot o’ baked beans doesn’t mar your countertop. This use scenario, and product context is excellent. However, even someone with the most rudimentary experience with molded silicone products would know that there is no fuckin’ way this form could turn into a flat trivet the way that is shown. No fuckin’ way. It could possibly flatten a bit if the ghost was laying on it’s side; it still wouldn’t flatten completely, but it would be a hell of a lot flatter than trying to flatten it from the top down.

Remember how I talked about things industrial designers should have learned? Clearly point number 4 was thrown out the window. Silicone is often used because the material *keeps* it’s shape, and doesn’t deform completely into another shape. There are a huge number of silicone cupcake liners out on the market. What if those cupcake liners deformed like this trivet is supposed to deform? You would have delicious cupcake batter all over your oven. Mmmm…delicious batter.

And you know what? I actually think the designer knows that his knowledge of materials is lacking, and that there may be issues with this design, because he made a prototype video using some polyurethane paper in the form of the ghost.

Gasper prototype from ChihChing Yang on Vimeo.

Just from this video, you can probably guess that if the form was made with silicone, it probably would work the same, or, most likely, even worse, than this prototype.

I mean, I get it. The idea is good, the use scenarios are solid, but the design? I’m not so sure. There are better solutions. Yes, this is whimsical and fun and blah blah blah. But a) it can’t work as it’s shown and b) see a. A product design that doesn’t work isn’t a solution to anything.