30th October 2016
159 Hyndland Road
Trying somewhere new this week. The Epicures have caught my eye on multiple occasions and have been on my to do list for too long. Situated in the heart of Hyndland it appears to cover all basis; with great food, comfortable decor and a warm atmosphere. A window seat here will give you a snapshot of Glasgow's West End as I watch numerous dachshund's and whippets walked by alongside running groups and early morning commuters aboard their fixie's.
When I look at the objects around me that I hold a lot of value to, they all appear to have a common underlying theme.
Their ability to facilitate.
What do I mean by this? When we look at a product, the things that become immediately apparent are often it’s primary functions and it is not until after a period of use that we discover something of greater value. An aspect that we often overlook or take for granted is a products ability to facilitate in other areas of our life; going beyond it’s primary purpose and providing us with an experience that we cherish.
The first product I focus on is my MacBook Pro: topical with the release of the newer generation this week. The MacBook is often accredited for it’s beautiful appearance, breathtaking display, unrivalled power and state of the art operating system. I purposefully use cliché buzzwords here to describe these features to argue the fact that it is when we forget about these, as they work in perfect harmony, that the MacBook is truly in it’s element.
When I exchanged my clumsy Acer for a MacBook Pro a little over a year ago, I had no idea how big an impact it would have on my life. Removing the morning decision of whether or not to carry around my laptop for the day, the instantaneous wake time, the uninhibited workflow and flawless interaction between hardware and software; all force me to solely appreciate the work that I create with my MacBook and not it’s physical attributes. A product that is able to disappear yet still remain beautiful is really the pinnacle of 'great design that facilitates' and is undoubtably one of the most powerful tools in my life.
The second product is one the that I find it almost difficult to express how much I value. Since purchasing my road bike back in early May it has provided me with; a cycling trip across Scotland, a job over the summer as a cycle courier, discovery of areas in Glasgow I didn't even know existed and since being back at university, improved my use of time dramatically. Similar to the MacBook, it removes a decision. I no longer need to give thought to which method of transport will be more efficient as I have learnt that for any destination within about 6 miles, the bike will always be the fastest, cheapest and most practical option. During this current project it is the little things that have really shown me the bike’s ability to facilitate: Making the 5 minute trip to the craft shop to get some materials, experimenting with them and then realising something that wouldn't have been possible if - as in the past - I had been put off by the 45 minute round trip it would have taken me. On multiple occasions I have taken a quick cycle to visit a fabricator to have a face to face conversation that was invaluable compared with an email or phonecall discussion. When this is considered alongside the huge time savings and simple joy that I get from riding my bike everyday, it is hard to find something I value more.
Lastly I will give a brief mention to the pen. Readers of my Lamy cp1 teardown will have realised why I feel it is great design, but here I speak of it in the more general sense. What allows a pen to fall into this category of ‘design that facilitates’ is the fact that there is ultimately no limit to what it can create. So many activities wouldn't be possible without it and it’s ability to be used almost subconsciously proves just how much more we value it’s function than it’s physical presence.
These three products currently have an undeniable importance in my life and their ability to facilitate only allows them to increase in value every time I use them to create, achieve, improve or enjoy something with their assistance. If there is one point that I feel could be taken away from this post it would be that a product’s ability to facilitate is often something that is overlooked when considering value, so maybe just bare it in mind the next time you make a purchase: it is likely that the results will more than pay off.
The Epicures do not dissapoint. Perfectly poached eggs accompanied by a homemade hollandaise combine to give me one of the best Egg's Benedict I've ever had the pleasure of sampling. The coffee unfortunately did little but energise me, but the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice more than made up for it. Really nice to be tucked away in Hyndland, closed off from the sometimes hectic feel of Byers Road on a weekend, although it's popularity became evident as it began to fill up quickly as I was leaving. A little different from my usual cafe-style breakfast but for a brunch venue it was almost perfect.