Professor rants Part 2: McAdams mocks product designers


Jazmyne Thomson

The spotlight for this week’s rant is focused on the unique, eccentric, one and only, art professor Shane McAdams. Anyone who knows McAdams knows that he is gifted with a personality that perhaps only he can manage. Despite his uplifting, energizing personality, Shane still has his fair share of complaints. He even described coming up with rants as “a special talent.”  

For those of you who have taken his class, you are probably all too familiar with the many things that trouble him. For those of you who have not, however, perhaps this article will help you capture insight as to what goes on in Shane’s mind. This week, McAdams’ rant is all about the people who have one job, and seem to fail at it – product designers, interestingly enough.

McAdams explains how he bought a snow shovel, and how the sticker came off in pieces; a frustrating aspect of such a simple object. “A snow shovel is not that hard to design. There’s not that many aspects to it… So there is some industrial designer out there that’s working for this company and they have like four responsibilities, and they just totally f***** up.”  

Besides shovel issues, he also deals with this sticker struggle as an artist. He explains how he uses wood to make panels, but the wood always has a sticker on it. The sticker then leaves a residue, which means that McAdams must sand the wood. 

“The thought is that it’s lumber so it wouldn’t matter, but did you ever think that maybe someone’s using this for a decorative finish? That I can’t have a big gummy sticker on there,” says McAdams. 

This rant then led into a larger argument about how even products as simple as a whisk don’t seem to work quite right.  

McAdams says“I have a whisk and it’s made by KitchenAid… It’s real solid, ergonomically designed, and when I set it down when I’m trying to go do something else, it’s too back heavy and it flips over backwards.” He goes on to explain how if he sets it on the lip of a pan, the entire whisk will slide right into the pan. 

 “It’s a whisk. It’s not like you’re designing a new Jeep Cherokee with a trillion moving parts… It’s the most simple, basic, already designed thing. You are in charge of whisk design, and you blew that?! says McAdams.  

Surely, this frustration must be shared by others. If this topic is something you feel strongly about and would like to rant to McAdams about your troubles, leave it in the comments. He also says he has more rants in store, be sure to look out for those. McAdams says, “This is all I do, complain about stupid things that no one else thinks about.”