But instead I want to tell you about my routine. I can envision this routine, the actual making of the coffee, happening in the exact same way when I’m in my eighties. There’s no need for improvement, innovation, deviation. This works and it works perfectly. The liquid result is brown going on black and sits in a cup with regal dignity. When I take the espresso maker off the stove, where it’s been sitting all night, and carry it over toward the sink so that I can begin to make the coffee, I’m filled with the greatest amount of anticipatory satisfaction I’ll find in my entire day. This is one of the only pieces of my life that feels completely figured out. And the way the coffee maker has wedged itself into my being and my memory is the best testament to the object’s iconic status that I can think of.
We lavish so much of our time and attention on things. But this worship tends to ebb once the object has hopped out of the photograph or into our shopping basket. So it’s not always apparent what’s meant by ‘good design’ until an object has been truly sifted into our lives.