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Successful Steps

Stepladders are an item the average person wouldn't probably think too much about in terms of design. But it's often precisely that type of item that is in the direst need of good design, either because it's been neglected or because you use it regularly and a good design could make work more efficient and more of a pleasure.

Well-Designed Modern Stepladders

L to R, Nuovostep stepstool designed by Andries & Hiroko Van Onck, the Tiramisu stool by Andries Van Onck for Kartell, the Flo stepladder by Marcello Zliani for Magis, available at Unica Home, the Museum of Modern Art store and elsewhere

A good stepladder is an engineering challenge because it should be collapsible to the smallest size possible, offer sturdy support for a large amount of weight, look good, reach as high as possible while maintaining its small footprint and be durable to withstand constant use. The answer is modern materials that are both light and strong. There are ways in which our world keeps getting better and one of them is in the development of materials that can accomplish difficult tasks with ease. Pay attention to the height of top steps and the top support bar is a good feature for safety and comfort.

The Great Z Rack

Great engineering and great design go hand in hand. These ladders remind me of another product that is a fine work of engineering: the “Z” garment rack. Features that distinguish this rack are that it is exceptionally strong and exceptionally maneuverable. When I moved apartments, putting clothes on this rack saved a lot of time packing and sorting. I used it again this December at a party and it allowed me to store many coats in a small space with no organizational problems. Its parts are easily reassembled. The “Z” base allows it to turn corners where other racks are clumsy. Using well-designed and engineered products changes your life. 

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