would someone please put Product back into Design

edited.

I believe that statement that design schools don;t teach people how to make things is slightly true but in a fantastically good way, instead of telling us just how to make more bits of stuff they tell us how to think, innovate, assess and redesign taking a who new holistic view on how we do things. ID isn;t just about products and bits of mass manufatured plastic its about service and experience, systems and interactions. it about enhancing someones experience of living for the better. I can show many bits of desing that are more than just aesthetics and pretty form that have been featured on this blog over the last few months which have inspired me. even my own work which |I hope shows a valid insight into ID at design school level. Medidome Syringe wins NPSA Award - Core77

some 2nd year desing students winning design

how to’s

amazing and interesting interviews

also at the end of the day if all you can be inspired by is other designers then thats very sad to hear. the desings on this even if you don;t like them have inspired you to write about being uninspired, it should push you as a designer to be better and hopefully post something on this site which is “worthy”. The world outside your window is your inspiration whether its urban landscapes, nature, elements or even people.

I think what we sometimes find in design are that there are do-ers and want to do-ers. the do-ers get on with it while the want to do-ers sit, critic and complain about how the stuff is bad without actually doing anything.

These blogs are great for seeing whats happening in the world of design and the cool little ideas but if you need existing design and desingers for your sole inspiration then you’ll never innovate because you are inspired by the end product after all the work has been done or yesterdays thinking.

I guess none of that makes sence but it sort of does to me.

“think, innovate, assess and redesign taking a who new holistic view on how we do things”…yes that is part, however the “do” part is very sadly lacking, its mostly arm waving and “oh somebody will figure it out”. What is lacking is balance, between dreaming and makeing the dream real. Dreaming is easy, drawing is easy, reality is much more complex and rigorious.

Yes but if you look a bit closer to whatis happening in the world people are starting to stop believing alot of these concepts are dreams and there is a massive push to put these things into production. One of the biggest reasons why designers generate concepts are that they are pushing the boundries of what is possible. And with the right investment a lot of these concepts “are” possible even now, yes they would be costly but they are possible. None of the big design firms design for today they are desinging with a 5-10year statergy, and by the time desing students leave university they will be 5years form now.

Great example of the nice concept but its not possible is when Native design were designing the zepplin ipod speakers. THey were told that it was a nice concept but there was nowhere that could manufacture the rear pressed aluminuim. But after they researched and went to speak to manufactures and they found someone who would give it a go and they engineers a special machine to enable them to produce it.

The best expample of dreaming and dream thinking is the latest move towards gesture, touch screen, and augmented reality interactions. can you imagine the people 20 years ago that were designing computer concepts that people could hold in their hand communticate across the globe, pin point their position and all be done by touching and moving across a screen without the need for manual input buttons you would have had the same people saying it was all dreaming and it could never happen and thatit was impossible. now looka t the iphone.

you don;t employ a new designer now because they can desing for today but that they can desiugn and ensure the future. This attitude of desing for the day is the reason why many giant companies liquidated or have come into trouble as they have kept desinging for today and now have products for yesterday. Atari a big expample. Acorn pc’s, linux. even the big boys such as dell have only just started heavily inversting indesign more and more keeping cost to an absolute minium on the desing side is no longer an option becasue the competition is now so strong.

If you go to china you see many replicas of european cars and products, why? beacuase their companies aren;t forward thinking enough to conceptualise the future and can only work with today.

Young designers have neivity that ensures a constant flow of new ideas and ways of working and this is how there is a unique ability to innovate, as they do not have the constrainsts of the “real” world. which are being broken up year on year.

You also need to remeber that desingers are designers not engineers and it is the collaberation of the two which ensure real moves forward.

talk to me when you have been in the buisness for 10 years, got some products to market, when you have dealt with investors, untill then your just “dreaming”.

Cholden: Now you are bringing up a couple more subjects.

Inspiration at work: I think most designers are limited by what inspiration makes it into their work. We are limited by ourselves, trying to find the aesthetic trends that are most effective for our markets and will reinforce the brand image of our clients. We’re also limited by our clients, who have feelings about the market and their brand that may not coincide with what we feel. Therefore, most of what pops out our factories is conservative and watered down.

This is why I mentioned the arts. Although movies, comic books, novels, music, our environment are all going to inspire us. These domains don’t have the same constraints as our clients, so they can often go further and explore new territory. Sometimes they are beautiful, sometimes they are ugly. That’s part of exploring, you don’t know what you’ll find.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is where can we go from here. So much of our art today is the re-use or commentary on previous art. (see the lamp made with cups, or back packs with seat belts) At least to me, it seems as though there aren’t many people exploring the frontier. My question is, have we, as we have done with the planet, just run out of any new places to go or are we not pushing hard enough?

This isn’t an entirely new thought for me.

Part of the reason I’m rather obsessed by the iAesthetic, is it seems like a final destination. Designers have finally convinced the public that modernism is cool. Now what? We’ve succeeded where Gropius, Breuer and van de Rohe failed.

I kind of feel the same about this victory as I do about the Cold War. Where is the peace dividend? The purpose of modernism was to improve the lives of people, preserve the environment and make our world beautiful. Now that it is accepted though, it doesn’t feel like it is doing any of those things. So…now where do we go?

good stuff 9, was a little curt with the puppy, but you fleshed out what I was to lazy to type. Where do we go from here, same as “we” have for 50 years, where our clients direct us. The changes will come to a extent as new materials and processes come up, because as I stated our “tastes” havent really changed, sorta encoded in out dna but our ability to demand/aquire what ever we desire has changed. In the end it will be more of the same, kitche, geck, the whole gammut all based on that persons perception of “cool”.

talk to me when you have been in the buisness for 10 years, got some products to market, when you have dealt with investors, untill then your just “dreaming”.

I may not have been in buisness for 10 years but I already own my own patents and am currently in development of 2 of my own products with substancial investments from third parties, so I’ve got to admit that i’m not “dreaming”. I have worked in a variety of business across the world and have come across the same people all demoralised by their unablity to generate change. BUT at the same time I have also seen people pushing the boundries of what is possible, so tell me if companies weren’t bothered in forward dream thinking and generating tommorows products then why in the last company I worked in, A market leader in self service, that their biggest design investment is in advanced development looking into future technogies and designs.

I may only be 21, but I understand a great deal and yes I have worked on products from concept to manufacture for major international brands.

Product/industrial design isn’t based on solely what the product looks like its more complicated, its about undertanding enviroments, interactions, experiences, profitablity, usability and services. When you relate back to different art movements they mainly relate to aesthetic not future design. Art movements are the talk of marketing deparments. designers should design on a case by case basis and generate concepts best suited for the task they are to perform.

The reason we have iconic brands is that there are some people out their who understand that todays dreams are tommorows reality. you can;t desing for the future if you constrain yourself to todays manufacturing techniques and technogies.

Cholden: I agree. We are talking about different things. Product design is making big steps forward in terms of the nuts & bolts stuff. Ergonomics, usability, mechanics, manufacturing processes, researching context, etc. That side of the business I have no concern for. In fact, those are the real growth areas in my opinion…that’s why I try to learn and push myself to play in those domains.

However, I’m still a designer. I still draw and love to look at beautiful things. It’s the art side of design.

because as I stated our “tastes” havent really changed, sorta encoded in out dna but our ability to demand/aquire what ever we desire has changed.

Zippy: Not sure if I follow. Do you mean the basic things that we are attracted to haven’t changed? Symmetry, proportion, etc?

You just made me think back to those early plastic chairs. Isn’t it weird that when plastic molding was being developed, a technology that literally has unlimited forming ability, the first designs were square and simple? Why didn’t they do rococo designs with intricate floral decoration? It probably would have been popular at least…

does anyone else see the irony in this thread?

Yeah, sort of…

Cholden, whether or not you derive inspiration from the arts is less relevant that the fact that if we were to make a generalization about design, the art world influences design. You seem like a smart guy and you are well aware that no one is implying that art influences the engineered aspects of a product, or that art impacts the ergonomic properties, or even that what is happening in the art world trumps the clients wishes. Everything really has been done, this isn’t some new profound realization, it has. What is important is how visual language is re appropriated and the relationships between the new presentations and old connotations.

What I think is ironic is that just like in the art world, the arbiters of good design work are also the ones executing it. The users are subject not only to what we call good design, but also what we present to them, which, ironically isn’t always what we say good design is. So when you design something you think is sub par, its like lying.

“Product/industrial design isn’t based on solely what the product looks like its more complicated, its about undertanding enviroments, interactions, experiences, profitablity, usability and services. When you relate back to different art movements they mainly relate to aesthetic not future design. Art movements are the talk of marketing deparments. designers should design on a case by case basis and generate concepts best suited for the task they are to perform”…well that part kid you got spot on, hope for you yet. In sum your just at the start, and its great your working on a product or 2 (patents btw dont mean dick all unless you have the $$$ to defend them, i know i got 14 utlity patents). Substansial investment, ok guess your talking about 1-5 mill there because any less is just play money and wont get you to production or market in any real sense. At 21 we all know EVERYTHING, kinda like the bunny hiding behind the bush, not knowing or caring that its ass is hanging out in the breese for all to see.

Ya 9 form, symmerty, proportion, think of it like this a pretty girl is a pretty girl (with wiggle room for cultural shift) at any time…basic as that.

Good design (like art) is in the eye of the beholder, in consumer products eveybody gets a vote not just a few “toadies” whom mandate that X-Y or Z is ART.

yes, ze goggles, zey do nozthing!

I had started to post a long commentary on this thread, but really just think about this. The availability of content via the web has increased huge with the proliferation of high speed and “Web 2.0” (bleh). Consider what all of it has done for the life cycle of trends and ponder whether or not we’re at a point where trends can’t be set and we must turn to a new type of commodity, an experience based one.

At 21 we all know EVERYTHING, kinda like the bunny hiding behind the bush, not knowing or caring that its ass is hanging out in the breese for all to see.

I never implied that I knew everything, and thats why I am in the design industry. I guess like all designers I’m looking to get as close to to perfection with out being perfect, and aiming to close the loop in every design I start. I have to say if i get to 80 and know 1% of how the world works I would be content. But to maybe push for the best in the future we have to live thinking that tomorrows the last day of our lives, which may mean we have our ass out in the breeze, but with the hope that it looks good when its hanging out there and if it does get stung we make the sting look even better.

for me the differnece with design and art is that art looks pretty and nice but when it comes to it theres nothering there a part form what you see, on the opposite side there is engineering, a giant push for perfect function with a disregard for aesthics and beauty. AND yes sometimes there are happy accidents where arts extremely beautiful and functional and engineerings extremely functional and beautiful but where design goes is slap bang in the centre trying to take the best from both worlds and combine them and taking into account other areas as well like phycology and envirtoments, passion and emotions, business and sustanability etc and produce the perfect balance. Its that perfect balance that makes good design and untill now only a few have got close.

The problem with using art and media as a stimulant for innovations is that you can end up living somebody else life and get to concerned with whats happening everywhere else. As designers we should have a little bit of skill from every area and in times of need have the ability to talk to specialists in the needed area to help with the problems we face but not rely on them.






Think I might have dissertation topic from this.lol

well after all this blather, it seem you do have your head on straight. Stick to real work, dissertations are just for lint pickers and bottle washers, dont talk about it do it, dont render it model it, dont guess research and in the end ask the end user their opinion…but dont take it as gospel.

I have to disagree with you on this one. Design, like Art is a clique field. you are either in or out. Look at pop art, or go to any contemporary art museum. Follow someone who isn’t “in” around for a bit and see what they think of what we have decided is worthy of praise. The phrase “my 5 year old could have done that” comes to mind.

Art is about more that aesthetics, you sound like one of those engineers that says designers just make things pretty.

And you are quite aware that you cannot discount everyone just because they don’t have all the experience you do.

Its eye of the beholder, you said it yourself “Follow someone who isn’t “in” around for a bit and see what they think of what we have decided is worthy of praise.” I am a designer, engineer, entrenpenure, inventor and can tango, so my views are temperd by having a full spectrum of abilties, talents and education a broader spectrum if you will. Remember old leo not only could draw his bronze horse, but sell it to a investor, design the furnace and invent the casting process.

Hundreds of years ago, European royalty would ride through the countryside with the curtains of their coaches closed, and complain about how the stars aren’t organized in the sky. It took the artist selling paintings of the countryside in the city to make them realize the beauty that was there.

In 50 years, people will drop jelly on their floor and say, “I should go get my camera, this is beautiful…it’s just like a Jackson Pollock!”