Popcorn Monsoon

Function Followed Form in Jolene Carlier’s Development of this Whimiscal Popcorn Machine

‘Of course I believe in the Louis Sullivan Form Follows Function principle,’ Netherlands-based designer, Jolene Carlier ruminates, ‘but I do feel that for some designers, the opposite could result in something interesting.’

The recent graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven, and former graphic designer at Elle Decoration, developed the concept of this popcorn machine through a series of over 120 playful drawings, which she embarked upon with no particular function in mind.

‘Somehow candy machines came to me.’ She told us. ‘My work title was ‘come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination’, a Willy Wonka quote. You might think it was obvious to make a candy machine, but I didn’t see it coming.’

Wooden base
All the yellow is metal

Jolene told us more about her machine:

The Plus: Did you take inspiration from any other products on the market?
Jolene Carlier:
No, just the yellow drawing. It was the starting point, but I made sure I didn’t hold on to it too much, otherwise it would harm the creative process. That’s why the end result looks different but still resembles the drawing. I considered making the glass tube more complicated, but in the end decided the swirling of the popcorn was exciting enough.

popcorn machine
TP: What were the most interesting parts of your technical process?
When experimenting with the hot air, corn and some plastic sheets, it created marvelous tornados, and then I had to figure out what the shape would be, this was fun to do. The metal and glass parts were both harder to make than I expected. The glass pipes were not supposed to be that far apart, what I had in mind proved impossible, but it worked out in the end.

TP: What plans do you have for the popcorn machine in the future?
I’m hoping to find a way to have it produced. But that’s still a work in progress.

TP: And what kind of products are you thinking of developing next?
My idea for the future is to create a ‘Pure Imagination-collection’; products that are created through drawings. So the next product could be a backpack, table, kite or submarine, etc. Also I bought myself a new sketchbook to make more. I’m considering selling my drawings, seeing as people have shown their interest in them.

Film and photography: Daantje Bons