why is american design so crap?????

any ideas, i was at milan london and NY design weeks. i was so disapointed at the level of design coming out of the us the onaly interesting thing in NY was the dutch village event!

whats rong with the American design work at the moment, is it the type of education or just a lack of creativity??

any ideas??

It seems the more “high design” companies are in Europe - not sure why that is, but maybe there is more of a legacy there of privately held manufacturers doing smaller production runs of designs from big name couture designers.

With that said - much of the high designs I see are somewhat impractical - the furniture and products often are very cool but are not comfortable or as functional as a like product selling at Walmart.

It is a lot to ask that a large manufacturer have it’s focus on the newest couture designs, when their main reason for operation is to make money, you almost need a designer to found the company or be the CEO - and that’s usually not the case in the US.

what are you talking about?
what is design?
get out of your head.

americans are the best at sports equipment and medical product design. some computer peripherals and footwear are o.k. at best. i think design in america has not fully matured yet. there was a golden era in the 50s and 60s with streamlining and there is a return to those aesthetics now, noticably in automotive design. some americans think big and chunky is beautiful, like hummer, s.u.v., american football costumes, size of people etc… contemporary american design rarely exhibits the beauty and sophistication of subtlety in product design, it tends to be much more exaggerated and dramatic. maybe thats just their ‘style’ for what it is.

I think the design with americans is an education problem. Our progrms are cut each year so people can score better and better on reading and math. and yet they don’t score better. Where did the Music go? To teach a person about harmony and beat, rythem. that they can create something that is alive and possibly enjoyed by others. Where did the Art classes go? where they used to learn about colors and different mediums. again harmony and balance. Shouldn’t designers be taught art history? Architecture, textiles, and interior design.

secound thought… I just want to say that medical design from the US is awsome. Its interesting because the primary mission of the equiptment is to provide a service or function. the design is secoundary and functional. I have spent half an hour examining a hospitol bed and on a differetn visit being blown away by an xray machine. I was looking at how the design was comfortable to the eyes and touch. The attention to detail and for thought amazing.

but with medical equiptment nd other such things, a firm historical understanding is not needed. Lets be honest we all stand on the shoulders of great men before us. and Yet with functional equiptment You design things that suit a purpose first before an etertainment or asthetic value. so know the difference between Tuscan and Milon is not needed.

it’s coming.

Dutch design just didn’t happen- it was a concerted effort between designers, local industry (mostly craft), schools (DAE was completely revamped out of obscurity), publishers, and a whole lot of taxpayer’s money. And it took about 10 years to make it work.

Look around at places like Williamsburg Brooklyn- OK it’s a bit clunky right now but the important point is that they are building the infrastructure to make it grow. And grow it will. Americans have a story to tell in design (in addition to Nike, Apple, and HD) and you will see this in the next 3-5 years.

Medical sounds like big money too me… they have money to spend on good design vs. the churn out designs as fast as possible for as little $$ as possible philosophy

As far as the education of american designers I would have to say that the problem lies not in the educators but within the students them selves.

It has to do with the number of students that come into these schools when the flood gates open so that the school can get the bills paid.

Sorry if that sounds rude but when you open the flood gates there are no filters.

so there are many people graduating with design degrees that shouldn’t.

For those students that are in design because they understand its potential for communication, influencing change in lifestyles, and helping the way we live those are the young talent that is coming they are the infrastructure.

It’s not so much American designers as it is American marketing.

I never thought american design is crap. What is design? Is it just making things look cool?
The only diffrence between Amercian and european design is maybe what they focus on. In my opinion, while european focus more on aesthetic, american focus more on functionality. That’s what their market wants.

to augi-

I think it’s more about the focus of education rather than the amount of unprepared students, because Europe produces many more designers than can possibly find a job after school. (The Dutch have at least 5 major schools and almost no industry to support it.) This may also be the effect- new graduates are much more likely to try to start their own studios rather than go right into the corporate/ consulatancy track.

Our schools emphasise portfolio. Their school emphasise students being able to position themselves as a brand.

(I realize I’m being overly general)

no! the good design in europe focuses on ideas, this approuch means thay can take a critical, ideological, aesthetic or funconal. this gives a much more diverse and open approuch to design. where as american design is much more closed never streching the bounderies of what design is or could be.

forgive my spelling im dyslexic and couldent be bothered to spell chek

Guest it is true we focus strongly on portfolio but if you don;t put in the time because you look at your time spent as relaxing, your portfolio will show that.

you can’t polish a turd

I do agree about the focus though.

nice tread

So it would be safe to make a distinction between couture and mass market design - couture being cooler, concerned more with an idea or new process, without comfort/manufacturability/function as the main focus - think Starck, or Droog.

I think what someone wrote about the design going on in Brooklyn sounds right (shout out to fellow Pratt kids!!) - there are a lot of unemployed talented designers there, just like Europe, who are taking some risks and working on couture design - trying to make the big time - that is sweet - and that’s how big name designers get started - maybe there wasn’t enough unemployed designers in the US until recently.


God ALmighty

Yes, it looks like a school project, from one of the untalented students :laughing:

very untalented

Well, since we’re calling American designs or designers crap, how 'bout we just go ahead and say all Asian designers are fantastic at designing endless staid cell-phone designs and europeans are just good at designing…well…whatever looks good with their stylish shoes.

Come on! Give me a friggin’ break! :imp:

As long as some people feel content to be mediocre, you’ll have bad designs. Or maybe you see them as bad because the result was dictated by marketing. Or what, how ‘bout this? Maybe, just maybe, that’s what the fat, lazy american consumer WANTED? Yes, maybe cell-phones need larger buttons for their fat fingers. Maybe that chunky-looking Hummer H2 appeals to the good-ol’-southern-boy looking to prove to his other farmer buddies that’s he’s a tough guy. Just because YOU don’t like it, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t. It’s still gonna makes some cash.

American designers to as they are told. They are not on a personal crusade to save the planet, like some of the idealist hippies on this board feel is proper. The marketing department, engineers, production and sales force say how it’s going to be, or at least give a pretty concrete direction to go in. So, dont’ say american design is crap. Instead, say I don’t care for some of the stuff american companies come out with. I typically don’t either as I personally find myself attracted to euro stuff. Why?

It could be because of their ideals over there. Everything is smaller and is only the size it needs to be. No fluff. Every detail seems to be thought about and taken into account when developing the overall shape and feel. That integration is attractive to me, as well as the compact size to everything.

The division also comes from how the areas are set up. America is massive. I mean, flippin’ huge. We have the room (or at least we thought we did) to sustain having enormous cars, homes and bellies. We have so much room that we can waste it. Not so with european flats and asian homes. Space is at a premium there and products need to be designed in accordance to this.

I will say - on that wooden phone, the fact that they can overmold wood with plastic is pretty impressive (I have no idea how they can pull that off, due to the fact that you can’t make carved wood identical - props to them if they can) but yeah, why does the phone look so lame?