One of Karim Rashid’s latest consumer creations is a mysterious-looking 18-inch-tall plastic cone that proves, on inspection, to be a Dust Buster. Fortunately the Dirt Devil vacuum—dubbed the Kone—is not just an amusing conceit but a smart piece of industrial design. The shape grew out of Rashid’s idea of slotting the vacuum vertically in a wide charging base; the tapering cone forms a handle that accommodates various hand sizes and allows the vacuum to be used without twisting the wrist uncomfortably.
As an object the Kone—which comes in five colors, none of them Dirt Devil red—is an improvement over its predecessors, as well as a significant departure for a company known more for function than fashion. As a vacuum it has impressive suction. The only major drawback is the noise level—it is quite loud. Rashid tried to dampen the sound but insisted on a powerful motor. “I really forced this issue,” he says. “There’s nothing worse than a beautiful-looking thing that doesn’t work well.”