We spend much of our time maximizing form and function, whether it’s tweaking Search Engine Optimization or adjusting graphic designs for maximum impact. We are all about looking good and working perfectly.
Occasionally, however, the pressures of unparalleled excellence reach critical mass and we feel the need to let off some creative steam. Enter Chindogu.
We were introduced to Chindogu by Jonathan Gundlach and Claire Chin, our estimator and director of operations, respectively. They also happen to be cofounders of the Midwest chapter of the International Chindogu society. Chindogu is Japanese for “weird tool”. Essentially, a Chindogu is an invention that is technically functional but ridiculous in execution to the point of near-uselessness. For example, a fork with a large integrated fan to cool your food, or a mistletoe hat. The idea is to have fun as opposed to inventing something useful. A Chindogu is described as almost useless.
We held our first annual Chindogu-rama at the end of August with some hilarious results. Contestants were judged on how well their inventions adhered to the ten vital tenets of Chindogu, which you can see here: http://www.chindogu.com
Our winner was Bill Prange, with his chopstick condoms, which of course enable you to reuse wooden chopsticks without so much as washing them. For his trouble, Bill received the coveted giant Hello Kitty pen.
Another crowd favorite was Rusty Borkin’s tree disguise for dog-walkers. It’s designed to shield you from the embarrassment you face greeting passers-by as your dog poops with the worst possible timing. Of course we have photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hansondodge/page7/
We have no doubt that our annual Chindogu-rama will grow beyond its humble beginnings to elevate near-uselessness to new levels of near-futility. If you just can’t get enough Chindogu, you can find more mostly useless info here:a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chindogu" target="_blank">http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chindogu