why we design..

Why do we design? There a million reasons, vision, skill, pride or for some of us to hone our talents to such a high level that we create something that elicits the emotion, passion and legend that this icon has.

“There seems to be a confirmed trust now, between me and the jet; she will not hesitate to deliver whatever speed we need, and I can count on no problems with the inlets. Walt and I are ultimately depending on the jet now - more so than normal - and she seems to know it. The cooler outside temperatures have awakened the spirit born into her years ago, when men dedicated to excellence took the time and care to build her well. With spikes and doors as tight as they can get, we are racing against the time it could take a missile to reach our altitude.”

I didn’t hit the link, but did this article start with, “Dear Penthouse, I never thought it could happen to me, but …” ?

no its a homage to the Lockheed sr71 and its creators from its pilots.

Really? Because the paragraph you posted reads as a threesome between some dude, Walt and a lady nicknamed “the jet”.


It was, with one being a designed, engineer, constructed product the other two humans…hence the correlation with “why we design”. Its the emotional connection to this particular “inanimate” object that is the goal (or should be) to all of the things we design.

The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds


:mrgreen: Great!

There seems to be nothing more intimate than the relation of a soldier to his gun. Please grow up finally, little soldier boy :unamused: The “goal”, all of this sh** follows, is to kill people.

The sr71’s and crews likely did more to prevent the cold war from going hot (and you being a radioactive pile of ash) than all the peace marches, and Bono utterances combined.

relegation to the off topic section here we come.

It is pure power po.rn for certain. Amazing stuff, difficult not to get a little chubby for going faster and higher and blacker and hotter and more titanium than anything else in the design world. Outrunning missiles of the invaded countries airspace is penetration without consent or consequence. The design products of a true superpower at it’s height.

(the nanny filters on words in this forum su.ck )

Ya ordering the bombing of a 474 and a disco will cause some bad things to happen.

I wonder if any Libyan oil was used to fuel one of the SR-71’s or it fleet of air tankers?
It seems if you have enough oil reserves, the countries addicted to oil and big cars will eventually forgive you for bombing 747’s and discos. You also get to rule your tiny country for your entire life, (likely near its end), hang out with female bodyguards and Italian models and get four Ukrainian nurses to look after your wellbeing.

Hard to say, and most of the developed world is “addicted” to oil. That all said I stand behind the use of intelligence gathering to make informed decisions how can one not be? The main point was this, we should strive to produce items that can have deep meaning to their users and hence long lives, rather than crap that is destined for the land fill in 18 months.

Thanks for bringing it back around, Zippy.

No problem, one of the things that chapped my ass no end was when I was doing fitness equipment…stuff turned into a expensive clothes hanger, then a garage sale item then off to the land fill.

[OT] gym & po.rn ->perfect comedy show Franz Eder(lustig).avi - YouTube [/OT]

Buying fitness equipment is for most (I guess) customers like buying a letter of indulgence. But when the equipment is standing around at home unused, it reminds them of their sins and forbearances.

I’m always happy using thoroughly functional and appealing equipment in everyday life and of course it’s my goal too, to create items that meet my own expectations.
In my eyes, cheap, ugly and malfunctional stuff blames all parties involved: the designer sells his professional ethics, the manufacturer wastes material and energy, the retailers fu** over the customers and the customers waste their money.

Does anyone know how much ID is involved in the creation of these types of ‘products’? Im just curious as to how involved a designer is when it comes to objects that seem to be based purely on engineering. I look at the ‘dashboard’ (dont know what to call the cockpit area with all the buttons/switches) and it seems like stuff was just stuck where it would fit. Granted, I dont think I would want my jet functioning/operating like the Ford sync, but I look at that mess and think there has to be a better way. Even though I am not a pilot, it seems like there are too many opportunities to make mistakes.

For pilots that probably makes perfect sense. Keep in mind they need to keep an eye on a lot of info at the same time, and be able to trigger multiple controls within a blink of an eye at any given time during the flight. It is for trained pilots, not a casual iTunes user. I’m pretty sure all of it is Designed and human factored to death.

Still, there’s always room for improvements. I wouldn’t be surprised if human factors is #1 cause for accidents, usually is. Would be interesting to compare the first 747 with one that just came out.

Then maybe the title should change to “why I design”.

I, for one, don’t buy into the connection of what a designer does and an emotional connection between a product and its end user. That emotional connection is created by a unique experience between the user and the product. As a designer, I have little to zero control of the infinate possible experiences an end user can have with a product. Will the fishing pole I design be the one a granddaughter catches her first fish with her grandfather or will it be the one of many of an avid fisherman?

Need proof? A lot of horrible products create an positive emotional connection. The recent thread about the cramp, noisy, tin box known as the original Mini is proof. You have probably seen The Gumball Rally. What’s one of the best lines? Its about the Jaguar. - “Beautiful car.” “I wish it ran.”

More proof? How about great products with no emotional connection. I had a 15-year-old Honda. Had no problem selling it, no tears at all. I Still have a 20-year-old TV, 15-year-old microwave, 15-year-old lamps and a whole bunch of other crap I will replace and not shed a tear when the time comes.

Why I design? To create the best value for the end user and the company producing it. If that means an 18-month cycle because technology is obsolete or it is a disposable item, so be it. Emotional connection may be desired, but it is nowhere near required to create value.

That’s a bold statement.

Really, you don’t see any value in creating an emotional connection? I’d argue that all those things you would toss away in a heartbeat are not as well designed as they could be because of the lack of emotional connection you mention. If there is the added benefit that things don’t end up in a landfill and they are more loved, isn’t that value right there?

I had a 40+ year old Mercedes. Sold, it and missed it since. Replaced it with a 07 BMW coupe. Great car, but didn’t have any emotional connection. Now have a 20+ year old BMW that I love. I’d almost trade the 07 BMW for the 97 BMW, even though the new one is worth more than 6X more. That’s emotional value for you.


I had a 40+ year old Mercedes. Sold, it and missed it since. Replaced it with a 07 BMW coupe. Great car, but didn’t have any emotional connection. Now have a 20+ year old BMW that I love. I’d almost trade the 07 BMW for the 97 BMW, even though the new one is worth more than 6X more. That’s emotional value for you.


As i am a caring person, I will happily drive to your place of business and relieve you of your burden, at no cost to you.

As for why I design… it helps to quite the voices in my head.

Chevis W.