Easy Rider vs. Transporter



gotta scroll down a bit there.

I realize that everything’s been designed…and probably the person who designed transporter has never seen the easy rider that was done 2 years ago…and there is probably a ton student projects that combine a suitcase with a scooter…what a ridiculous idea ( in my opinion)

But I’m still bothered by the guy in the studio who likes to “borrow” ideas. Or is it called inspiration?

the idea may be same but solution is different. if your bothered by that you should get out of ID profession. you’ll be doing alot that bothers you.

You’re right…

My signature says it all


but does it mean that at school one can get away by “borrowing” an idea and slaping his/her name on it? and i am not talking about taking an iconic piece of design and openly messing with it like Crasset and Benson do.

There is a broad grey area between plagarism and inspiration. I can see it when it is in front of me, but I can not describe it. However, on another design forum we discussed this and, just to take the devil’s advocate, I suggested that we set up a government bureau to investigate design plagarism. There would be a design police who would study the aesthetics and solutions of every product made and would enforce innovation and creativity. I hope by this point everyone is laughing.

This is just one of those areas of life where we can either accept the freedom to be lazy and copy things, but also allow interesting reinterpretation or we can set up a police state like the Soviet Union and dictate specific solutions. The USSR remember made the same cars and motorcycles for nearly 40 years after WWII. How many of us would really like only being able to buy a 1948 Ford sedan with a puny engine that belches smoke?

The Soviet Union produced the same car models for 40+ years not because it was a totalitarian regime, but because the competition there was absent. There was the demand, and no competition….why innovate, why make stuff pretty? People would buy it anyway no matter how ugly it is or how bad it works, as long as it works. The same thing was happening in the USA right after WWII, actually… virtually no innovation was happening in product or car design. The demand was tremendous with all the young guys coming back home and starting up the new families. The companies didn’t see the need to redesign their products up until almost mid-50s. Before that a bunch of stuff was still on the shelves that was designed right before the war at the end of 30s.

Yeah…the governmental design investigating bureau idea of yours sounds pretty ridiculous, but I’m surprised by how many of my fellow students are choosing to ignore the plagiarism that happens in the studio. There’re no laws in design, but I believe there are…maybe morals? They are also vague and you can’t describe them, though.

You should be flattered if they are copying you! And hey why not have a conversation with them about it and then they may fire something back at you which they cant see, but you can and then you got ideas and friends!

You can do one of two things.

  1. Become secretive and hide your ideas from everyone. Stagnate your thought process and always worry about if someones gonna steal your work. Look at people as enemies to defeat.


  2. Engage with those that take interest in your work. Find out what it is they like, share ideas. Develop a few different versions solving the same problem and have fun and a laugh with those around you. Create allies.

Why be worried by copying? You are a designer, you will think of a better way of doing it tomorrow…and the next day and the next…


Actually, there was alot of innovation in the US post WWII. I believe the ball point pen was all the rage in '46…it being the first big post war innovation. The Tucker was around '48 (hey it takes awhile to develop a whole new car), and I recently saw a modular steel housing concept that came out in the late 1940’s as well.

The Soviet Union did lack competition, but I think it was the planning that kept innovation down. Their mission was to plan an economy of millions of people from their housing down to their portion of rice for dinner. When you do that, you just don’t have time to think about improving something as mundane as a car. Which brings me around to the design police. If we spend billions of dollars policing design plagarisism, we will limit our resources for actually designing…and we would probably end up with companies not innovating in fear of accidentally trampling another’s idea.

As for plagarism in school, I knew someone in my graduating class that was downright paranoid of people “stealing” their ideas. Remember, first of all, that your teachers have seen a hell of alot more than you. If they REALLY just copied something, the teacher will see it. Secondly, when these people graduate, their potential employers will certainly see a copy cat and avoid them if possible (I know of a firm that had a graphic designer that literally scanned a logo design from a book and presented it to a client as their new idea! Can we say fired?). Lastly, sit down with one of their designs are really examine it. Rip out a sheet of paper and write down all the things you think are a total rip off and then write down the things that are a little different or unique. I’m betting your lists will be no worse than 50/50 (feel free to prove me wrong).

I’m not going to attempt to prove you wrong. I agree with you.

The industrial design field in Russia is screwed up by the 7 decades of endeavors to build communism, but it is not the only cause of its continuous failures. There are cultural reasons also, because of them, despite the rising economy, only a couple of places in the whole Russia actually do industrial design.

Students who plagiarize don’t just hurt themselves, in a way, I feel, they hurt me also. I’m working hard, but to get better I also need to be surrounded by the people who are working harder than me, who are better than me…I’m an ambitious and competitive person and working in the studio is one of the most important parts of my education. I’m just trying to get the most out of it. Got to have more brilliance there.

Hai, i’m a new guy here. Basically from my view each designer has their idealism, which makes up what they are, and how their design will be. It depends on the moral of each designer. I agree with AMC, you should be porud. These things usually happen when there’s quite a big gap of design kenowledge between you and your friends. This thing also happens between my friends. There’s this one guy who’s really good, and because of that, there are many of my friends, who kind of follow his design, some peaople are jealous, some just don’t care. And this guy still become the best around my friend, he likes to share his knowledge, I like yhat too.It is a nice thing to keep friends, even though their borrowing ideas. Well just a suggestion. Once you have made a good idea, you can make another, and it will be better! Well for “melovescookies” the people around, are not just them in the studio right, there’s more people in this forum!

that research i did on ergo handles (other thread) helped me better understand design history. WWII looks like turning point for the worst imo. at least for ergonomics. maybe worth discussing in different thread.

theres an old issue of ID (May/June 89) with good article on Soviet ID. author is Constantin Boym. interesting read. might find it or similar online.

on topic. get over idea stealing. thats gonna happen at school. and happens every day after. how many Walkman copies, iPod copies, transluscent plastic copies, etc etc are there? most ID jobs are not invention. sometimes its just marketing saying We need a product like the competition and we need it for a Wal*Mart meeting next month or we lose the account for the ENTIRE category. that’s ID life too. it’s not just doing cool, research-driven, category-creating stuff. last checked, didnt see any truly new transportation concepts - Detroit still using 4 wheels (and skateboard chassis and interior compartment ideas are both old. one named a Best of by PopSci last year - ha - one getting slowly added to every new vehicle in sight)

Oh, I wish someone would steal one of my ideas…so far frankly, they suck…none wants 'em.

It’s funny that you mentioned Konstantin Boym! A couple of minutes ago I just talked with one of the professors about him. I was carrying a porcelain shade that just got out of the kiln this morning, and the shade reminded him some of Boym’s works.

How ironic…here I am getting all pissy about some guys in the studio, while I myself am guilty of it.

Time to get over it.