Anyone having fun in product design

I’ve been working for two years in product design and not having much " fun ". I am designing products that get to the market place and have some creative voice but still feel that in the end it really does not matter. Just more plastic and metal to pile up at the dump. So who is having fun designing products and why do you find it " fun " ? I need some inspiration to make a change.

Oh heck yeah! I… um… love.

…no not really.



In short, heck yeah! I spent some time thinking about this same thing last weekend. I had a sort of reflection on my life if you will. I can’t imagine doing anything else other than design, no matter what level or impact.

It sounds like you are not very invested in your work.
It happens to me once in a while. At times I can be very focussed and happy with the process and results, other times it can seem futile and trivial. I think its important to assess how your work reflects your values, not only when you are disgusted but also when you are satisfied. It helps if you keep a journal. You can reference your changing attitudes over time, maybe gain some perspective about what you really want.
This is just a wild guess, maybe I’m projecting:
You mention landfill. Is it weighing heavily on your conscience that the product will eventually be trash? Do you fear that you are simply employed in the busywork of commercialism? Trying to eke out a few sales before the fashion changes and your efforts become irrelevant?
If thats the case, the challenge is to either rise above, or embrace, disposability. You could pursue design in a less ephemeral medium, like architecture. Or you could stay on product and work towards minimum impact as your top priority.
Whatever the case may be, you sound unhappy. I would find another job. The people around you can have a profound impact on your working attitude. If your team can’t prop you up, they are probably dragging you down.
Good luck.

I know exactly how you feel brother (or sister). It’s all just junk really. I thought about architecture for a while, but you have to figure most architects are just designing strip malls and McSuburbs. More recently I’ve been doing some small scale production stuff on my own, which is vastly more satisfying. Trying to make something that might actually get passed down to someone’s children. Maybe that’s the answer for you? Use the proceeds generated by designing landfill fodder to do what you want, how you want, and maybe make something good and valuable.

That’s cool. What is your distribution channel and how did you get into it? I am very interested in making an environment friendly product but seems like distrubution is the hard part.

Also wondering about other ID work environments. Mine is pretty much to sit at my desk and turn out form with some human factor study. The people here are also keep to them selves and is focused on doing there own work. Wonding if the ideal of a team invironment where people share ideas and can enjoy each others input is out there and if to get an idea what that is like.

I live design, well, for the past eleven years. Both in product and architecture. I do agree with the disappointment of the reality of manufacturing and the corporate retail world. What keeps me going is that I am very competitive and enjoy competing head to head with the ‘other designers’ at the competing Brands. I just like to compete and the front line of retail is where I do it. Lets compete! How much market share can you steal from me?..We’ll see about that.

you know what though…all this talk about ID, product and slave to commercialism etc…the money doesn’t seem to filter down to the design staff…?!..we IDers do most of the work (crappy or not) and lets be honest: generally speaking we are not a well-paid bunch, compared to coporate paper pushers…

here ends my 1 minute whinge…

I always think that the industry design is a very lifeless matter, but feel now also place of have the interesting.

Mostly web, some minor wholesale. It’s not much at the moment, but it’s more interesting and satisfying than work. They key I think is to focus on high margin, big ticket products. You might have a great idea for a toothbrush, but you’re going to have to sell tens of thousands to make any money. And you’re going to need to worry about distribution, tooling, etc. If you’e selling beds or something, you only need to move a few dozen to make a nice little profit. And it’s not hard to handle such low volumes yourself.

Designing as a career is typically only 10% creavite. Enjoy it when you have it.

I left my last corporate job because I felt like no matter how hard I tried I was still producing crap that was destined for the landfill. But in reality most modern jobs are like that, designers just happen to be more cognisant of their place within the lifecycle.

I think part of the problem is that technology has enabled us to do things when and how we want. This push-button gratification makes us all value things less and crave the next big thing, the next thrill, the next iPod, and so on. All these things that we think we need don’t add any real value to our lives but we are obsessed with the notion that they do.

Today, if given the choice between making office furniture for the biggest, glossiest furniture conglomerate in the world or making handcrafted heirloom pieces in a small backyard studio, I’d take the studio without a second thought.

The present product design all very much vanguard, the personalization
design still seized the human eyeball.