U-Button Iron: Getting Around Pesky Buttons

Although this product has been around for some time, Jun-Kyo Lee and Jin-young Yoon’s U-Button Iron is worth revisiting. The tip of the U-Button retracts into a U-shape so the iron can work around buttons more easily, ultimately fusing functionality with design. u-button-iron-1 From hot coals to fuel to electricity, the technology behind how clothes irons work has changed overtime. The shape of the iron’s flat surface, however, has stayed the same: triangular. The triangular shape helps the iron glide over clothing, press out wrinkles, and iron smaller surface areas. But, as every avid ironer knows, the triangular surface shape can make ironing around buttons tricky. The U-Button Iron can be used as a regular, triangular surface shaped iron; but if the garment has buttons, by pressing the switch on the handle, the tip of the triangle retracts and exposes a U-shape. The iron can work around buttons more easily so every spot on the garment can be wrinkle-free. u-button-iron-5 If the iron is hot but it isn’t being used, it needs to be in a position that isn’t damaging to your clothes or the ironing board. Today, clothes irons are designed so they can sit in a resting position. Classically, irons have a flat base that orients the hot surface upright. The U-Button Iron only has two components: a flat ironing surface and a handle. Although the U-Button Iron has a very minimalist design, it is still able to stand in an upright resting position. Instead of a flat base, it rests on three sharp points: one on the handle and two on the bottom of the flat ironing surface. u-button-iron-2 The shape of the clothes iron is iconic—it’s even a Monopoly game piece. Jun-Kyo Lee and Jin-young Yoon have re-imagined such a standardized, household design to increase product functionality. Clearly, these designers have thought outside the product box. Video:

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