what SHOULD drive the industry of product design?

writing my dissertation around this question

Striving to be the best should be the drive of design. If everyone had no money concerns then there would be a constant competition between companies with hot designs beign the result of this.

Striving to be the best should be the drive of design. If everyone had no money concerns then there would be a constant competition between companies with hot designs beign the result of this.

For me there are two key tennets I try my best to uphold.

  1. it has to be better than what came before: function better, be constructed with less waste, last longer, be manufactured in a more efficient way, be more sustainable, comunicate all of these things in a more clear way to the consumer…

  2. it has to be beautiful: knowing that people don’t live in Frank Lloyd Wright houses with Picaso’s up on the walls, product is a way to bring beauty and the appreciation of beauty into people’s lives, for me the product must make an iconic statemnt to this end.

That’s pretty much it. I think, if you break it down, the best design’s have both of these. There are lots of other people who’s responsibility it is to worry about the other stuff, but no one else really is held accountable to these two things besides design.

Good luck

Improve the quality of life for the user, economy, culture, and environment.

Product design is not an “industry”, G_d help us all when it becomes one. It is a profession for most, a lifelong vocation for a minority.

  1. Selflessness. The best designers, like the most interesting artists, scientists, architects and others worth remembering are always GIVERS before being TAKERS. To create is to give.

  2. Empathy. For the common folk, for the plight of others maybe less fortunate than we are, for the most minute and seemingly irrelevant daily moments we all live but few others notice. People merely tolerate and suffer through most manufactured products believing somehow they “have to be” that way, it’s like the power of the written word for some. Products are unilaterally imposed on people, who have problems to solve, not necessarily something to buy. Designers must stay on the side of the often-trashed “consumers” given that their money alone oils the system.

  3. Improve. Engineers are allowed to just validate and analyse, approve and certify. Designers have a singular duty to question anything and push to improve everything, as nothing man-made is ever perfect. A product designer is by definition restless and unhappy with the status quo, no matter the level achieved.

  4. Problem-solving. Goes without saying. Synthesize enormous amounts of disparate data to gradually spiral down and converge to a solution. Any product is a series of compromises, a good designer only choses them more wisely.

  5. Perspective. Environments that truly value product design make the designer into an architect of the product, with all the responsibilities that come along. Unlike some big-mouthed prima donnas selling their own image over any semblance of puposeful real-life design, “changing the world” one disposable plastic trash can at a time is unrealistic, or if it is you won’t live to see it. Stay real, be generous to others, take the time to live the moment and just enjoy the trip.