First of all: I guess you guys know that I am acting a little over-idealistic. I think there is not a single designer out there who hasn't done something he didn't fully agree on design-wise because someone paid him for it. I really don't claim any moral high ground. But I do believe that it is important to spark such conversations and that we really should try to put things we do in context. The bigger picture of what we do might not be as immediate as sketching, model building, target group research and what not, but I believe it to be equally important and that we definitely should not leave those thoughts to "time" or "philosophers". In the end such reflections are what makes us more than just "blue-collar designers".
First, what you claim to be what is wrong in the design world right now, has always been and always will be what's wrong with the design world - bad design is bad design. GE certainly didn't invent it and they will be not the last to put it out there.
I fully agree. I wasn't precise enough there. In fact haven't people like Peter Behrens
fought for the exact same causes over a hundred years ago? Abolition of classical ornaments that have no real meaning to the industrially produced product anymore.
I thought we are already over that, but I guess it is just a constant struggle design has to go through. Latest example of that is certainly the removal of skeuomorphism in digital interfaces.
I'd go as far as to say that this isn't necessarily bad design. It appeals to a certain market segment. And that market segment doesn't give a single rat's crap if it is honest or not. I could even take it further by claiming your attitude about what is "good & bad" design is the pure embodiment of everything that is wrong in the design world right now. While I might not agree with that segment's idea of "good" design, I will not deny them their convictions, they are just as legitimate as mine or yours.
But I don't agree with this one. That implies design is just something to earn some quick money. Like design is something you do to make technology sellable. But I rather believe design is something that makes technology (in it's broader sense) usable. And it doesn't make it any better that the potential customer doesn't realize that he is lied to. And no, I don't have a specific opinion on what "good design" acutally is. I am very tolerant. But I do have an opinion on what bad design is. And I simply cannot imagine a scenario where something like metalpainted plastic parts or fake retro elements are a good thing. To me that just reflects carelessness and thoughtlessness and a pinch of greediness (all not necessarily on the designers side). This kind of design is a little bit like Justin Bieber music. Yes, it is music. And no, it doesn't make you a bad human being if you listen to it. But please don't try to tell me it is relevant in any way.
So do you feel the analog clock should ape some modernist masterpiece just because that is your personal definition of good design?
No, that's not what I was saying. Not everything that isn't bad makes it good design. I don't even know what good design is. I don't know what I want, but I know what I don't want. I wasn't asking GE to just design modernist stoves and fridges. The opposite is the case. I want designers to develop completely NEW visual styles. I don't want them to say things like: I design something "modern"/"retro"/"minimalistic"/"scandinavian"/whatever. I want them to say: "I design something good". That will result in a design that isn't just a rehashed mashup of irrelevant style elements. You can name it afterwards.
And it is not really important if it is top down or bottom up. We don't know who was involved and what motives they had. So in the end we can just look at the design and judge it by what it is and what it will probably do.
but, instead ask if this is good design for the intended end user.
well, I did and my conclusion was, that GE is trying to sell a bag of air with shiny chrome painting.
NURB wrote:Nice first contribution Mrog. Welcome.
I'm already enjoying this board.