The Story of My New Herman Miller Tops (by Carla Shettel)

So as not to diminish the seriousness of Shirley Sherrod’s recent experience with the USDA I won’t liken my reaction to my new prizes to that shameful “Rush to Judgment” but it was almost that harsh and that viral . . .

I partly blame my existing collection of miniature tops which caused me to assume that these tops would be equally scaled and easily operable by my experienced – top – spinning – fingers. When the box arrived, I unpacked these walnut beauties with haste and quickly shared their arrival with my coworker. To my great disappointment however, when I tried to spin them they stumbled across the desk without rotation. My coworker Margo tried to no avail, then Fred, then others gathered. I was so disappointed, and shocked really, that anyone would “Design” the sole function out of a simple object like a spinning top and reduce it to an objet d’art I continued to try and spin them in disbelief. And then I thought, and sadly I thought of many examples where the functionality of a design was given over to aesthetics.

Dejected, I returned to my desk and was gathering up the packaging and I read the outside of the box “Inspire your passion for Play!”. “Hm!” I said. “Ray and Charles Eames would not be pleased with these”. And then, along the side of the box, I saw what I had missed – TOP SPINNING TIPS! I quickly read and tried again and Wa-Lah! These are tops you spin with your hands not your fingers and they work, they work really well! Although only Margo seems to have the right touch with Top No.07.

The Moral to this story is: Find and then Read The Directions! No not really, although that one does surprisingly need to be restated more than it should. Maybe it’s more of a reminder of the importance of the adage ‘Form Follows Function’ of which your tops embody perfectly . . . except for Top No. 07 ~

Thank you Herman Miller for this fun re-exploration of Play and Physics and Hats Off to KleinReid for three beautifully designed spinning tops . . . . Even Top No. 07.

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