Note to Donald Norman:
After reading your Good Design page, I just wanted to make a comment about Tygs. I made a Tyg in a pottery class a few months ago, and while I think it’s a nice idea, the reality is unwieldy and takes up too much space in the cabinet. One handle on a mug is bad enough, why have two? In fact, why have one? Consider the zero-handled mug.
Thermal issues aside, the sharing of a zero-handled mug with someone would be a more intimate, emotionally positive experience for both parties than a one or two-handled mug. The transfer would be simple, too. You might have to briefly touch the other person’s hand, though. You might have to get physically intimate with your friend, this person with whom you’ve been discussing gardening or the Super Bowl. You might even accidently share lip space with them, if you’re not careful.
Is that so bad? Maybe in the late 1700s it was, but today? Today we are frequent bathers. Today we have anti-bacterial soap, and it is good.
So I’m proposing that in the modern world, Tygs are not for sharing a hot drink with friends, they are for sharing a hot drink with enemies. People who you want to keep at mug plus arm’s length. People with communicable diseases. The Tyg is a social, physical, and emotional barrier, while the mug with zero handles is exactly the opposite. It builds intimacy and connection. And we need more of that in this cruel world.
Here’s a zero-handled mug I purchased last week, which I want to propose as a Tyg alternative for urban dwellers with small cabinets who don’t mind touching their friends on occasion:
He wrote me back and said I had convinced him to buy the Bodum mugs.