Polder Products, lead by Cal Scott and Kerry Cooper, is as likeminded a product development organization to MGA&D as any we have come across. We have collaborated on products for the Michael Graves Design brand and the Polder brand for more than a decade. When we are together talking about new products, the conversation quickly gets deep down into the details. When discussing materials, we love to talk about gram weight of plastic or durometer of rubber. When the conversation turns to manufacturing process, we can compare injection molding and gas assist injection molding all day long. Nothing makes us happier than finding a tool safe change to improve a product. Said another way, we are a group of product design nerds that believes there is no such thing as an inconsequential detail. Together, we have been able to utilize our shared passion for improving peoples lives through well designed objects to develop products that seem simple, but that are infused with design innovation, and hit the right price point to be successful in the market.
Polder Kitchen Composter
Simple and intuitive, keeping hands clean, the thick wire frame relates to other kitchen sink organization products
When we developed the Polder Kitchen Composter, we wanted to improve the first step of the home composting process. Always tracking trends in the kitchen, MGA&D spotted a product opportunity gap and we teamed up with Polder to solve it. The Polder Kitchen Composter is lightweight, portable and designed to live graciously on the kitchen counter adjacent to dish drainers, sponge holders and other countertop products. Designed to facilitate the first stage in the composting process, we determined 1-gallon capacity to be the ideal size that allows waste contents to be kept on the counter before being easily transferred into a larger, outdoor composter, or community composting program. The truly innovative use of silicone allows users to empty the contents without scraping by easily inverting the flexible bin. Simple and intuitive, keeping hands clean, the thick wire frame relates to other kitchen sink organization products, fits any décor and makes an elegant counter top statement. In addition, by improving the composting experience, the Polder Kitchen Composter will encourage wide spread use and contribute to a reduction of food waste in landfills, one of the largest contributors to global warming.
We love when people are introduced to this product and they say things like, “why hadn’t this been done before?”
The most unique and innovative design decision is the first of its kind use of flexible silicone for the composting bin. The flexible push-through silicone bin inverts to empty contents without hands ever coming in contact with the food scraps. The non-stick interior surface rinses clean and is dishwasher safe. People trust that composting is worthwhile and until now, have had to accept that it’s going to be stinky in the kitchen and messy to empty. These drawbacks explain a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the National Waste & Recycling Association, the trade group representing America’s private-sector waste and recycling industry that found that while 72 percent of Americans do not compost their food waste, 67 percent of these non-composters would be willing to if it were more convenient. Understanding this predicament, MGA&D journey mapped consumer use and designed the ideal counter top composter that addresses each pain point along the way to richer soil and less food in landfills. To help create rich compost, the adjustable lid easily rotates to control just the right amount of ventilation necessary for proper decomposition and odor control. The hole configuration on the lid was designed to keep small fruit flies out of the composter. Other common drawbacks to kitchen composting are the costly compost bin liners and charcoal filters required by most other systems. Through the material specification and the design of the lid vent, the Polder Kitchen Composter eliminates the need to purchase and replace compost liners and charcoal filters further improving user experience and always keeping the composter useable, active, and economical. We love when people are introduced to this product and they say things like, “Why hadn’t this been done before?”
Polder Under Sink Storage Caddy
Following the success of the Kitchen Composter, Polder brought a product opportunity gap insight to us. Everyone knows that storage space in the home, and specifically the kitchen, is coveted by everyone. The storage space under the kitchen sink is infamously one of those places that is a catch all for a multitude of cleaning supplies, sponges, rags, plungers, paper towels and untold other items. The result of trying to put these goods in this area usually ends up a cluttered mess. The space also suffers structurally, having a sink pipe hanging directly in the center of the space. Overtime, the market has introduced many forms of storage for this area including modular shelving, sliding trays (which need to be hard mounted), and caddies which attempt to handle potential storage and offer solutions. Polder thought we could bring a new perspective and develop a truly unique item. We took on the challenge and developed Polder’s Under Sink Storage Caddy. It takes the approach of a classic tool box form as the basis for an innovative new solution in accessing, viewing and carrying supplies in this under sink space. The one-sided handle leaves the inward facing side of the caddy open avoiding interference with the sink pipe and any other items. We integrated other improved user experience design details that provide easy access with minimal bending or reaching. Normally, a user will open the sink doors and need to bend down to see into the underside space, then reach inside to get a desired article. The Polder Caddy has a distinctive knob at the end of the caddy that sits at the top of the handle, allowing the user to simply grab it without bending and then lift and pull the caddy towards them for easy visual access of the contents inside the space. The caddy is also more than a storage item as it can also be lifted out with its contents and carried by its well-balanced handle to the task at hand. When done, it is simply slid back in place. The structural steel wire supports, which underwent extensive value-engineering to optimize price and performance, allow users to hang spray bottles providing even more space. The caddy is designed with a snap on bucket for sponges, hand tools and rags. It also has a wall divider insert that offers three placement locations. This stops items from sliding around or falling while being carried. The inside surfaces are gloss finish for easy cleaning.
We think our relationship with Polder is a great representation of today’s modern business world: two likeminded organizations that come to the best outcomes via the expanded diversity of thought that comes through collaboration. Mutual respect and shared passion make both groups the best they can be.
About Michael Graves Architecture & Design
MGA&D is recognized as one of the leading design practices in the world. We provide product design, graphic design & branding services, design research and design strategy consulting, as well as architecture, master planning, feasibility studies and interior design.
Polder is the solutions resource, making items for everyday living throughout the home. We focus on universal daily tasks, apply our user-centered design philosophy and create products that are useful, beautiful and better. Whether it’s Kitchen, Laundry & Home Organization or Bath items, we are passionate about products and the evolution of how people live at home, every day. We’re also committed to quality and customer satisfaction, and we work to make items that perform and deliver on their intended promise.