what is design?

What is a good design and why?
is there such thing as innovation in furniture design anymore? All I see is innovative stying. is stying not real design? why is it bad?

come on guys. fundamental stuff but I 'm still not sure. what do y’all think?

adaptive furniture?
there’s a lot more than styling going on in that area.

furniture for kids? I just looked through a book dedicated to kids’ furniture and there’s been a lot of improvement over the years…

There’s a lot of design potential in, for example, designing a crib or a changing table for a mother with cerebral palsy and her baby…There’s also a lot of potential in designing a better chair, because a lot of them suck…and the ones that don’t suck don’t come in colors that match my living room…joke…ha-ha…i have no living room

not many people complain that fashion is only styling…there’s innovative use of materials, there’re new cuts and technologies. But after all it’s still just a jacket that functions and looks almost exactly the same as a jacket designed and made 20 years ago.

I also wouldn’t consider using new and innovative materials, or using old materials in a new way as only styling.

thanks, Meloves,
I guess I’m sot sure where to draw the line between innovation and styling
of course there are rooms for innovation in specialized fields like for the disabled or automobile seats, but what about the 99% of “normal” furniture? (no offence to anyone I hope)
What I meant was that it seems like most of the furniture designed by recignizable names seem to be concerned about styling before “innovation”(I’m not sure what this word means anymre).
I am pretty sure I am familiar with most of the well-publicized chairs out there. Lot of them are beautifully designed, but few are innovative to my standards while many are “innovative styling”. I mean innovative styling as in “it uses new ideas regarding forms and structure, making me go “oh, I’ve never thought of that, that’s really pretty!” but does not show improved functionality or efficiency in usage or production over preexisting design” (like those Newson’s hollow curvy chair among many) A new form that does not do something new is not innovation, and I see many of this in highly regarded furniture. (Am I understanding the style and innovation right, or am I completely off?)

It seems like a designer’s ability to style counts as much as, if not more, than to innovate to make it big, at least in the furniture world. I think this is completely fine, yet, why does it sound less than “noble” to style than innovate? I mean…the star designers of my dreams do it all the time.

I’m just starting out furniture design- Please enlighten me with more a y’all’s insights. thanks

furniture design is a very broad field. in order to scale your potential in furniture innovation or design you have to first remember that you’re dealing with a wide variety of materials and manufacturing processes.

a while back it used to be just wooden furniture. now there’s more than just one category:

plastic / stainless steel / fabric
leather / sythetic leather / foam / frame
cabinets / bookshelfs
entertainment / electronics
wooden indoor /outdoor
aluminum cast / extrusion indoor / outdoor
wrought iron

if you study all these you’ll find that they have no stylistic common point other than what is available as an industrial base product like mdf or aluminum extrusions.

the material dictates to a great extent how the production is going to come out. most of the time it’s a matter of cheap manufacturing and easy communication with the factory. so innovation in an economic / inventive / stylistic sense rather than just stylistic is very important because you’re creating a form that satisfies all the aesthetic and design formulas including the process.

however things can get tricky if you don’t have a good design team because as easy as it seem to design a chair or a table the concept is definitely much more complicated when you’re dealing with mass consumption market. that’s why a lot of companies that don’t have innovative or design oriented products rely on some established brand name or other marketing schemes to save them from the vacum of misdirection.

personally i think it’s totally wrong to leave design direction to just one or two people in a furniture company. there’re too many factors involved specially when it comes to future development of the line of product. in such a tight environment you just can’t rely on some weird instinct or idea. there has to be a research environment and when i say reseach i don’t mean just simple straight forward design or trend research.

going back to everyday design, all companies whether extremly market oriented or extremely style / innovation / art oriented rely on good sensible design. and if they screwup their whole share of the market will start going somewhere else. but as a substitute for their lack of design they claim their furniture is always the best looking most innovative design in the market or something like best quality or best priced while in reality it’s the same piece of aluminum used by another company, infact in the same factory in china.

the market share is not decided by the designer. it’s the consumer that picks up a piece of furniture and right then the market is created.

most consumers look at their budget, and advice from decorators or interior architects. sometimes they don’t even see the piece in person- just what they’ve been shown in a catalogue is enough! let’s face it the majority of the consumers don’t even know how the chair they will purchase next monday feels to sit on. that’s why most of these furniture companies have great looking catalogues and ads in major publications while most of it is actually the same shit!

ask any professional designer who has spent his life in the field and they’ll tell you they feed off the market and not vise versa. so forget about innovation or styling if a piece of furniture is outside the market’s realm it’s not considered design.

that’s why i think individuals who design just by themselves are just designing a concept to present an idea. this is very different from commercial design. it might be considered innovative, stylistic, or artistic but it’s certainly not something you would display at a place like an ethan allen or an herman miller showroom.

----btw something funny happened to me when i was working for a furniture company. a lady called and asked if we can make her dinning table a little bigger!! i said sure bring it here and we’ll fix it in a minute!!---- i just laughed so much.

Design is like a lover, a lover who has syphilis.

Design is like a lover, a lover who has syphilis.