Close

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby mo-i » July 12th, 2013, 11:22 am

User avatar

mo-i
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: November 30th, 2004, 5:46 am
Location: Germany
I feel your pain.

On a second note: "you are over-analyzing".

Try to detach yourself from all that moral weight. At least a little
Or become the next Snowden...(or Zippy for that matter)

mo-i
I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby sam hagger » July 12th, 2013, 11:45 am

User avatar

sam hagger
step four
step four
 
Posts: 265
Joined: January 17th, 2007, 8:36 am
Location: Woking UK
I'll come back to this thread another time, you've raised some interesting points which will no doubt lead to some interesting discussion.

However, it's Friday pm, the UK is in a heat wave, and I'm off for a few cold beers with some friends!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby no_spec » July 12th, 2013, 12:28 pm


no_spec
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1023
Joined: February 22nd, 2006, 1:36 pm
this is definitly lower end than the rest of the main GE brand.
It's not bottom of the barrel low, chrome plating on the knobs costs somthing, so it's not the really cheap stuff that ends up in apartment blocks by the truckload.

Whether it's a cheap design trick to sell more stuff to naive consumers, I'll leave that for the philosophers or time to decide.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby iab » July 12th, 2013, 3:00 pm


iab
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2407
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:03 pm
Mrog wrote:This GE-Stuff is just a pure embodiment of everything that is wrong in the design world right now. Yes, this stuff MIGHT drive sales. But that shouldn't be our main concern. There are already enough people thinking about how to trick customers how to spend their money on stuff they don't need.


All in all, I do agree with much of your rant. Nice job. But since it is so long, I will just focus on this bit.

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'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.

If GE makes a buck or two off of them, I won't get upset. And I don't think there is any conspiracy to brainwash and dupe consumers when there are hundreds of choices for them to make.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby NURB » July 12th, 2013, 3:10 pm

User avatar

NURB
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4633
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 1:31 pm
Location: MPLS
Nice first contribution Mrog. Welcome.
Chris Haar

twitter:@chrishaar

Those who define design as knowing how to use Illustrator will be condemned to using Illustrator their entire career. - @monteiro

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby yo » July 12th, 2013, 5:53 pm

User avatar

yo
Administration
Administration
 
Posts: 15767
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Location: SoCal
Mrog wrote:PS: For example: I fully agree that an analog clock is much more charming than the cheap 7 segment display. But does this really result in retro styling? It should certainly not and this is actually the point where the job of a designer starts by asking the question: How can I incorporate an analog clock into a modern forward thinking design in a low-end product? Of course that is a difficult task, but that should be our job.


So do you feel the analog clock should ape some modernist masterpiece just because that is your personal definition of good design? How is that any different? How is this any different from what Ikea is doing other than they chose a different aesthetic veneer? I think if you understood the politics in an organization this large, you would understand that what this designer did was not just styling. There is a tremendous amount of alignment. Unlikely that this directive was top down. More likely it was bottom up, or just one level up.

Judging by the fact that no other GE product has made this community have this long of a discussion in the last 10 years, I'd say the design is at the least provocative and memorable.

As a designer sometimes you need to separate yourself from good design. Good design is not relegated to everything you or I like. What I like is can be seen as a subset of good design... and frankly even crosses over into bad design. I like certain things that I know are not good design... but, instead ask if this is good design for the intended end user.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby Mrog » July 13th, 2013, 4:49 am


Mrog
step three
step three
 
Posts: 101
Joined: July 12th, 2013, 7:03 am
Location: Germany
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".

@iab:

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. :wink:

@yo

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.


Thanks, man :)
I'm already enjoying this board.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby iab » July 15th, 2013, 8:35 am


iab
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2407
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:03 pm
Mrog wrote:
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. :wink:


Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems you are raising design to an ideal. I see design as a profession with all sorts of ugly bits called reality. And I also think that those ugly bits lead to some great breakthroughs. Sure design can be motivated by greed, but there is no reason to believe that someone could not have a great experience with what GE produced (assuming it was based on greed).

I think that is where we differ. I buy into John Dewey. The intrinsic value of an object is not due to the design, the value is the experience the object brings to the user and the experience a user brings to an object. Frilly ornate rococo can appeal to people where the cold Braun look does not. I won't deny people their wants and needs. And I won't even try to explain why some are affected by one thing and not another.

For example, I have an interest with prewar Italian cycling champions and the bikes they rode. Quite frankly, it is somewhat of an unhealthy fascination. There is nothing in my past that can relate, my ancestors were poor southern-German farmers. But yet it is that era that appeals to me and my experience with objects from that era trump any other (when relating to bicycles). If someone took those elements and incorporated them into a modern rig, it certainly could motivate a sale.

For another example, Gloria lugs. Love them. With the advent of tig welding, they are obsolete. But I still have my experience with them. I won't deny it. And you certainly cannot claim I don't have an experience with them either.

Gloria1.jpg
Gloria1.jpg (132.35 KiB) Viewed 4576 times


Gloria2.jpg
Gloria2.jpg (93.5 KiB) Viewed 4576 times

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby hatts » July 16th, 2013, 8:00 am


hatts
step three
step three
 
Posts: 187
Joined: October 2nd, 2012, 10:52 am
@Mrog: Well said. I am in agreement with you that "if we're not the last guardians of meaning and honesty, who will be?"

@iab: I think your Gloria lug example is not totally in disagreement with Mrog. At the time, they were absolutely contemporary and were the method du jour for the joining of frame segments. And the advent of frame welding doesn't make your vintage Italian cycles suddenly burst into flames; the lugs will still serve their function until they break.

Mrog's, mine, and others' viewpoints have not been that making a retro styled product is somehow evil, or that all things need to be futuristic; just that it's a dishonest marketing move.

Styling an oven to look like your grandpa's bulletproof oven from the 40's implies that it will perhaps function as well as grandpa's, and last as long. With a low price point and standardized mechanical components, we can predict that this will probably not be the case.
Matthew Spencer | Jeff Koons Studio

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby iab » July 16th, 2013, 11:18 am


iab
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 2407
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:03 pm
A non-professional designer designs for themselves.

A professional designer designs for the market.

That's honest.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby engio » July 16th, 2013, 3:22 pm


engio
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 798
Joined: October 3rd, 2007, 3:04 pm
iab wrote:A non-professional designer designs for themselves.

A professional designer designs for the market.

That's honest.


That's funny, because at the end of this promo video the designer says "when I design something I ask myself - would I buy this. And this I would definitely buy". Perhaps that's why it's called Artistry series and not Designer?

I also wonder who the makers of the video intended to impress with the designed-and-approved-by-a big-boned mumbling 27 y.o. (no offence if you're reading). The millennials? Good strategy.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby chevisw » July 17th, 2013, 1:57 pm


chevisw
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 634
Joined: May 3rd, 2005, 3:44 pm
When i design, idesign for the market that the product is going to have the most succes in, some times i am part of that market, sometime i am not. But i can still design for either.

If you limit your designs to only being what you would by then you become somewhat of a two dimensional designer who will have a hard time being versatile and developing products for others.

Chevis

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby Mrog » July 17th, 2013, 5:14 pm


Mrog
step three
step three
 
Posts: 101
Joined: July 12th, 2013, 7:03 am
Location: Germany
I think this is going to a totally wrong direction. Saying things like: "I design for markets" and "I make stuff sell" is exactely what I mean by saying that I have the feeling that designers start to adjust to the perception what outsiders think designers have to do/are doing. Designers are not (!) just cohorts of some corporate racketeers. Designing crap doesn't mean you are "versatile"! It either means you are more of a salesman instead of a designer or you are simply in no position to stand up against this kind of bad styling.
And saying things like: "it's what people want!" also doesn't count. People buy lots and lots of crap. Look at all that Chinese plastic stuff that is flooding every single market on this world. People buy that. They just don't care.
But that doesn't justify designing trivial stuff. Almost ANYTHING sells if you do it right. Let me dig out this Henry Ford quotation one more time: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

hatts wrote:I am in agreement with you that "if we're not the last guardians of meaning and honesty, who will be?"


I agree, I didn't want to say it like that, because people here already think I am an overly idealistic nutcase ;)
But meaning is probably the best word to describe what design is all about. It is not about form, nor function alone. It is basically about meaning. What does a product symbolize? iab likes pre-war Italian bikes because of what they stand for and for the emotion they evoke when thinking about that time. Would you still like them if they were mid-war nazi bikes instead of pre-war Italian bikes and Adolf Hitler himself claimed that this sort of bikes are his favourite? Probably not ;)

Honest products are always a reflection of the time they were designed in to the point where they disappear from the markets. From that moment on they represent obsolete values. Their symbolic meaning is shifting. Driving a VW Beetle today says something different about you than driving one 40 ears ago. Another good example for that might be the famous IKEA billy bookshelf. Carpenters built bookshelves like that for decades before billy. But their work won't be remembered. But Billy will. Billy will not be remembered because of its clean Scandinavian lines or something like that. It will be remembered for its representation of the phenomenon of globalization. It just reflects that in every way. The cheap price to make it "for everybody", its genericness that it fits into almost every single home from New York to Stockholm to Shanghai. The industrial efficiency you can see in the way it is produced, packed and distributed. There even is a billy-index to measure the PPP of different countries. All that together makes a product like billy truly contemporary, honest and RELEVANT.
GE on the other hand managed to produce something truly irrelevant. All they are doing is cashing in on the symbolic meaning of other, obsolete products. There is just not meaning, no background. It is like telling a fairy-tale, but in a very very bad and unauthentic way. "Back in my days..."

Just yesterday the verge linked to a very well written article about skeuomorphism in Interfaces that is making points that are quite close to the discussion that is going on here. Worth a read

Authentic design aims to pierce through falsehood and do away with superfluousness. Authentic design is about using materials without masking them in fake textures, showcasing their strengths instead of trying to hide their weaknesses. Authentic design is about doing away with features that are included only to make a product appear familiar or desirable but that otherwise serve no purpose. Authentic design is about representing function in its most optimal form, about having a conviction in elegance through efficiency. Authentic design is about dropping the crutches of external ornament and finding beauty in pure content.
In authentic design, style is not unimportant, but it is not pursued through decoration. Rather, beauty of form depends on the content, with the style being a natural outcome of a creative solution. As Deyan Sudjic commented on the design of the iconic Anglepoise lamp, “How the lamp looks — in particular the form of its shade — was something of an afterthought. But that was part of its appeal. Its artless shape gave it a certain naive innocence that suggested authenticity, just as the early versions of the Land Rover had the kind of credibility that comes with a design based on a technically ingenious idea rather than the desire to create a seductive consumer product.”

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby sanjy009 » July 17th, 2013, 7:40 pm

User avatar

sanjy009
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 867
Joined: September 16th, 2009, 6:39 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia
"Good" design can be just as much about making your boss happy (increasing sales by producing what people want) as it is about making users happy (cheaper/ greener/ better/ bigger/ faster/ smaller etc.)

Personally I like the ideas of honesty and relevance and authenticity, but "Good" design is a spectrum- go too far down the truth-to-materials side and it starts to sound a bit po-faced and fascistic: "You can't have any ornamentation!!!" . Conversely, too much symbolism and cultural references can make it a hot mess, more art-school trying-to-be-clever than something that works.

I get angry at some of the shit I see that sells, I also like some whimsy in what I buy and use. Sometimes I like being in an ivory tower complaining that people are morons, sometimes I'm the moron.

Re: GE Artistry Series

Postby Mrog » July 18th, 2013, 3:16 am


Mrog
step three
step three
 
Posts: 101
Joined: July 12th, 2013, 7:03 am
Location: Germany
"Good" design can be just as much about making your boss happy (increasing sales by producing what people want)


That's the reason I am constantly dodging the term "good design". Stop putting that into my mouth already ;) I have no fixed opinion on what "good design" is. I'm no modernist. I own things that would make Dieter Rams cry.

So is helping your boss getting rich "good design" for him personally? Probably. But does it make that RELEVANT or noteworthy in any way? Absolutely not.

Previous | Go to the Next Page

Return to consumer products