Meet the maker: Benjamin Millett

Published in FT Weekend Magazine on 29/30th May 2010 Issue number 362:

Meet the maker

Benjamin Millett Co-creator, Kug



What it is:

A mini kettle that doubles as an insulated travel mug

In his words:

“The Kug started as a project at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin to design a product that would make life easier for people with rheumatoid arthritis. One day, at an arthritis centre, we saw some ladies pouring their tea. We realised they were having difficulty with the small cup handles, which they couldn’t grip, and with the kettle, which was too heavy.

We started looking at everything to do with making a hot drink and how we could improve the process. First of all we thought about redesigning the kettle but then we decided to combine it with the mug.

We chose not to put a handle on it because the weight is then further away from your wrist joints. If you hold a cup in your hand, the centre of gravity will be closer to your wrist, so it will appear lighter.

The Kug is like a travel mug, it’s dual-walled and it’s insulated, but it sits on a dock the way that your kettle does at home, and plugs into a socket. The lid is very similar to the lids on takeaway cups but it’s made from silicone, so it’s more durable and flexible.

We think it’s great for students as well. You can have soup in it, you can do noodles in it, you can do hot chocolate. You can do anything that requires heating water.”