Our world is crowded with bad design (you have heard it before here at David Report…). Core 77 has provided some interesting thoughts about this for BusinessWeek.

When you start with the idea of making a thing, you’re artificially limiting what you can deliver. The reason that many of these exemplar’s forward-thinking product design succeed is explicitly because they don’t design products. Products are realized only as necessary artifacts to address customer needs. What Flickr, Kodak, Apple, and Target all realize is that the experience is the product we deliver, and the only thing that our customers care about.

Quite true. What do you think?

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  1. jkh says:

    Nov 21, 2007

    david, that is ridiculous.
    you know it and i know it too.

    the problem with the design community is
    a) that too many people internationally are still confusing design with styling and then cultivate a rather ridiculous notion of a bad conscience and indulce in self-flagellation
    b) that too few are actually going out there and are looking for the honest and brutal dialogue with clients to really make all the ends meet that are waiting for them as yet unconnected
    c) that if they would have learnt the bauhaus lessons and taken them to heart, they would not meditate over some `paradigm shift´ from products to experience, but they would know that experience – just as functionality just as production cost just as sustainability etc. etc. – is nothing but one single factor in the equation design has to solve. – it is nothing but one single aspect of the daily job.

  2. tim power says:

    Nov 22, 2007

    I’m not sure why the article is ridiculous?

    Maybe we read different articles?

    You do point out some interesting ‘problems’ with the design community but in the end, the design community is part of a larger community and this ‘larger community’ decidedly has quite a few problems of superficiality.

    But, designers should know better, but apparently, as they often don’t, perhaps some teaching on how to look and act ‘deeper’ should begin in design schools!
But, back to the article – the message that I received from reading the article is that ‘good design’ is in fact part of a broad design strategy or system that embeds the ‘designed’ objects themselves into a wider and deeper system – the example of Apple Inc. is quite good, in that Apple embeds and integrates a software experience together with the hardware and peripherals into a broad and deep systems based approach – the article itself mentions that Kodak introduced a similar approach 100 years ago, and as you say, the Bauhaus did something similar a few years later. Ettore Sottsass mentions often that he was less impressed with the design of airplanes themselves than e was with the complex systems of airports, air traffic control etc that the airplanes are embedded into. So maybe objects that aren’t embedded into a larger infrastructure are in fact futile?

I personally don’t find this discussion so ridiculous.

  3. jkh says:

    Nov 22, 2007

    tim, thanks, you are right. – guess the article is good.
    was a bit of an impulsive reaction yesterday. … still, sometimes the talk about re-inventing design makes me explode.
    - because all is there already. – it only has to be done.
    and yes – i am often irritated by the poor standards of design education in general – there are however incredibly wonderful exceptions and a lot of gifted-beyond-belief individuals out there.
    thanks again for correcting me.

  4. tim power says:

    Nov 22, 2007

    well, i wasn’t actually correcting you – you see, to me it’s not about being right or wrong, but about giving support to ‘designers’ and discussions that support design as a life sustaining activity in a truly broad and deep way – there are of course many ways to do that, and many individuals doing that on their own terms……i don’t see the article as right or wrong or whatever but i do think it brings up some very good points, thats all

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