My parents have an ordinary kettle as long as I remember and they don’t seem to think about replacing it. It is a simple and timeless kettle and was bought at a typical Dutch warehouse, namely HEMA. HEMA is famous for its Dutch simplicity, medium price and quality. HEMA has famous products like their typical Dutch ‘rookworst’ and also the kettle from my parents, called ‘Le Lapin’ (the rabbit, see figure 1).
Figure 1: The HEMA kettle ‘Le Japin’.
You might think that some brilliant product designer from HEMA designed Le Lapin in 1989, but that isn’t the case. This timeless kettle, is the result of the 1989-1990 design competition from HEMA. For the last 30 years HEMA organizes a design competition for Dutch (industrial) design and art students . In the early 1980s, the Dutch education system needed more practical training. At that same time, HEMA chose a more trendy approach towards their designs and packaging. Together it resulted in the first HEMA design competition in 1983-1984. In 1990 the competition became a yearly competition because of its success and Le Lapin was the first winning design that actually got into production (1).