Bamboolarule by Baskerville Studio



Designer James Cadogan of Baskerville Studio in Cornwall, UK, has designed a bent ruler that's easier for people with arthritis to pick up.


"It was inspired after watching my arthritic grandfather having trouble with his flat ruler whilst drawing evevations in his architectural studio,"says Cadogan.


"Also, needing to use a little bit of pressure to press it down reduces slipping when drawing along it," he continues.


The prototype is made of steam-bent bamboo; Cadogan intends to develop a stainless steel version for cutting.


Here's a bit of text from Baskerville Studio:


A prototype ruler from Cornwall based designers baskerville studio, made from vertically laminated bamboo and then screen printed, it was inspired after observing the difficulty arthritic sufferers have in picking up flat objects. The ruler allows fingers underneath for an easy pick up, rather than relying on nails that you may not have.

Posted on Tuesday June 9th 2009 at 5:46 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • yo

    this post is a waste of space and time
    out there there’s recession but to post something decent doesn’t cost any money…?!?

  • andy

    is a nice product but i’m sure some japanese guy has beat you to the buzzer. Not that i can find that version.

  • Paulo

    Mmhh, those look very nice, for kids in school. But i dont think they are very useful in a real working place

  • William

    yeah ive seen this before, i think it was on but not sure, it was a plastic version though, i like the wood though, its got a prettier finish.

    and shut up “yo” , you’re post was a waste of time

  • clay

    How many people with severe arthritis are using rulers and to what end…..An novel invention without an end user. utensils or playing cards might be more useful application

  • wow what a bunch of negative people.
    lets not bother to look at the fact its an interesting way to try and help a simple problem that lots of people (not just arthritis sufferers) face with the standard steel/plastic rule design, or the fact its solved with a cheap, environmentally friendly material. This article isn’t a waste of time, the short sighted arrogant people who have posted about it are!

  • FG

    – ah! This is cute, an interesting idea.

    – “Yes, but I don’t think they are very useful in a real working place.”, mumbles Paulo.

    – Are you ? Besides, what’s is a “real working place” ? Measuring tapes must make you cry.

  • rek

    It’s a great idea that will likely spawn dozens of other applications. My father had arthritis so bad in his hands, he needed surgery to fuse his joints together in usable poses so he could pick things up.

    “yo” should get banned for his hysterics.

  • james

    what a great idea.

    its a simple solution to a common problem. the most simple solutions are always the best. it looks much better than those rulers that have handles attached to them.

    also it sits beautifully on a table and is completely unique.

    i agree with chris – whats with all the negative comments?

    paulo – why is it useful to kids and not in the workplace? i can’t figure out your logic.

    clay – why would the product only be useful for people with arthritis? anyone can have problems easily picking up a ruler. also i dont think curved playing cards are a sensible idea.

  • miike

    i laughed out loud when i saw this curved straight edge. then i realized how often i, (as a totally arthritis-free user of rulers) am frustrated trying to pick up a perfectly flat ruler off of a perfectly flat table in the hours before a deadline. i can appreciate the humour, the minority user, and the usefulness of such a design.

  • Brian

    Dude, great idea.
    How many grandpas are in their woodworking shops? I know my grandad is!
    So…. there are your arthritic end users silly!


  • Hayden

    So let me get this straight, people with arthiritis only measure things with curves ? What about the force needed to A) straighten the ruler and B) Hold it in place while measuring ?

    I really challenge the usability of this solution – how about showing some people USE it over the boring depth of field photos.

    A solution nevertheless but I’m not convinced. What about a soft silicone version, with some subtle work? Try and not pick that up with arthritic hands. Would even work when it’s wet !

    Heck – there’s my idea there !

  • Pony the Trap

    Clay, you tedious fool your comments do make me chuckle. As does the way you answer your own pointless questions.
    There are probably not many people with severe arthritis or similar disabilities using rulers or indeed indulging in creative activities because they are unable to do so. With arthritis, one of the most frustrating things for a sufferer is not being able to continue to do the most basic tasks (for which there are many solutions available to help improve matters). However more frustrating and annoying is the inability to continue to pursue the interests you love which would be able to provide some level of distraction from your condition. You cannot argue against a bit of design which is seeking to enrich a life in this way when there are, on this site alone, countless examples of the most incredible pieces of pointless landfill?

  • oh dear hayden did you actually read the article, its a straight ruler when you push it flat, and im pretty sure even a toddler would be able to flatten it

  • Beatnyc

    I’ve always liked this idea. This iteration is not the first, but a nice choice and understanding of materials. Here’s one the dates a couple of years back…played with it at ICFF this year as well.

  • With the grooves at each end it makes a good bow to shoot an arrow. You just need a string with two large knots. This should adds millions of kids as end users. Maybe a little hole at the 15 cm mark would add precision?

  • yo

    it’s BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  • di

    sorry guys i agree with yo. show us the real stuff dezeen. please. not some wonky ruler thats adds more diffuculty to draw a straight light jsut becuase one doenst push it down correctly- very arthritis unfriendly actually. you guys ever used a ruler in the first place?


  • anonymous

    yeah, i’ve seen it too. found a link

  • OPC

    I think it’s an great example of a simple, honest and elegant solution to a non user friendly product. The comments about it being difficult to hold down whilst using it are utter rubbish. I’m sure it requires no more force than holding a normal ruler in place. The fact that it’s made out of bamboo is an added bonus.

  • pat j

    this is a nice simple idea and the designer should be applauded for actually trying to come up with a product that actually helps people with a serious condition, of course it should be in dezeen, well done

  • dingding

    Brilliant design!

    I can see myself needing one of these in a few years time.

    As for some of the negative comments above, I’m shocked and saddened to find out that so many of you miss the point of design solutions and seem to have flat and stiff brains with room for little else…

  • pat j

    well said dingding, some of the negative comments here and in other articles are pretty shocking, it seems that some people can only bring themselves to write nasty things instead of trying to be positive

  • Ambrose Vevers

    James, well done!, amazing idea. I will buy one at some point. I need to get into this blogging. We need to step it up in the 3rd, get are names out there. see you around falmouth.