Puma, Nike, and Pyrex...

I tell most people that I am an Industrial Design major, and I usually get the “oh… so that’s like, buildings right?” response, or the smile-and-nodder who tries to pretend they know what it is… that’s always funny. Every once in a while there is that one person who knows what I am talking about.If the conversation continues I go on to give as brief of a definition as I can about industrial design. It’s actually pretty fascinating when it finally clicks for someone, because most people don’t normally think that it was actually someone’s job to think of the way the shoebox would fold together or how their coffee cup would fit in their hand.

Industrial design seems to be something that is so, shall we say, “behind the scenes.”

But recently - just through random internet browsing - I’ve noticed how companies are beginning to expose the creative process to the consumers. I think a lot of this stems from the recent effort to ‘save the planet’ and ‘go green.’ By revealing the process behind the final product, companies are showing consumers how the company really have put a lot of effort into making something ‘sustainable.’

For instance, there’s the Nike Better World site, which includes a post about their shoebox [which was already cool, from an ID standpoint, being cardboard origami and all]. Now their new design cuts down the materials -making a lighter weight/easier to ship package, cuts costs for the business, and oh yeah, they’re saving trees. Consumers = happy.

Puma also transformed their box - which is really no box at all, launching the Clever Little Bag. In their video clip they include some of the concept sketches and stress that the final product took them 21 months to come up with.

Also, Pyrex even subtly demonstrates the ID behind their products as well on their website. The intro video clip shows a pencil writing out the phrase “New Thinking, New Products” while sketches of these new products are simultaneously being drawn out. They then transform into actual photographs of the images. This layout just seems to discreetly connect the consumer with the idea that these products started out in someone’s sketchbook, and that a lot of thought and energy went into their creation.

I just find it really interesting how this ‘Go Green’ trend [or epidemic??] has started up a new trend within the business realm of being transparent with consumers.

I also posted this as a blog on my Design Museum Boston page

These are just my thoughts, feel free to share your own ideas…

I think it’s also interesting how companies such as http://www.habitat.co.uk/ have started adding technical / materials information about the products as sales copy… “Powder coated metal table lamp with a single jointed slim stem. The adjustable angular head and single joint allow light to be directed where required.”.

More on Pyrex;

@ Whippy: yeah… that is interesting. I’m not really sure what that adds for the consumer asides from it sounding smart. what do you think? hmm… for the average consumer, I feel like it’s complicated. But then, for the person that actually understands what it means… I’m sure they appreciate the details.

@Scrotum: I will def check out that blog… pyrex seems to be quite interesting.