“It’s crazy that a laundry detergent product is on the show floor at a design conference,” says Matthew Loyd, the vice-president of brand experience for method (or as he’s known internally, the “Brand Poo-bah.” But really, it’s not that crazy. Dwell on Design is the pages of Dwell brought to life and there are few things as necessarily for day-to-day living in the modern world than cleaning products.
method, a San Francisco–based company known for their teardrop-shape soaps and environmentally friendly attitude and approach, is one of over 200 companies sharing their wares and the stories of their products on the Los Angeles Convention Center show floor at the fifth annual Dwell on Design. Before taking the stage for panels about how to get published and prefab architecture, Dwell associate editor Miyoko Ohtake sat down with the method creative team to chat about the products and the new method Laundry Detergent, which debuted in January 2010. Here is Miyoko’s conversation with method design director (aka “Artsy Smartsy”) Sally Clarke.
What was your role in creating the new Method Laundry Detergent?
The creative team is involved in the development. Rather than being given a product at the end and told to make a label for it, we’re involved from the beginning.
How did this product come to be?
We started doing laundry and had the 3x version. People were catching on but we still thought there was a better way to do laundry. We tried a tablet monodose method but it wasn’t working so one of our designers made a prototype, showed it to Method co-founder Eric Ryan, and it was “Eureka!” We do a lot of design prototyping and experimenting.
What’s the purpose of it?
At Method we try to find ways to do things better. Cleaning doesn’t need to be something you dread.
How does the Method Laundry Detergent make cleaning more fun?
You get to squirt it. It’s so easy to use. There’s no measuring. There’s no mess. It’s just four squirts and you’re done. And the reason we can do this is because of the amazing technology inside. It’s green chemistry plus great design.
People are used to pouring in a good amount of detergent; is it hard for users to get used to just using four squirts?
It’s hard for some people to resist doing an overdose but having the pump still means they’re using much less detergent than the traditional amount. We hear people saying they add one more pump and that’s really okay. We wanted a product that would let people have the control.