Start From Scratch
The invention of information storage, in words, stories, written records, and now, computerized data has made technological advancement almost blindingly fast, and seemingly inevitable. Many people are fond of the "don't reinvent what's already there" attitude. And it's probably a good idea, a lot of the time. On the other hand, doesn't just having that rule there make you want to throw everything out the window and start over completely? Well, you're not alone.
Chaos and Sync
Let’s face it, life is spontaneous and random. That’s the only way one can explain how things like this happen. For that event to take place there had to be a combination of circumstances that led to their defining moments; a human scale demonstration of Brownian Motion. In fact the mathematics of Brownian motion has been used to describe and predict everything from the stock market to “the evolution of physical characteristics in the fossil record”. Now one of humanity’s most coordinated activities is being used to describe one of the universes most random. And this coordination born of randomness must cross design somewhere.
Dreams Made Real
Design can be the fountain of pragmatism. Building an understanding of society, making personas which accurately describe users, crafting interfaces for optimal usage, using materials which are environmentally and economically frugal; These are the foundations of our art. And together they work to make our products as efficient and functional as they can be. But this is only the aspect of design that makes the world move smoothly. Just as books, and art, and music can be simply technically thrilling, or something beyond that, good design has the opportunity to challenge what we believe is real and imaginary. Beyond what merely sustains our lives, design can be part of our wonder at the world. Part of what we stay alive for.
Designs that Seem VS Designs That Are
Ever since Enzo Mari's lecture a month or so ago, we've been mulling over one of his many ideal-shaking phrases: Design that is versus design that seems. What the heck does that mean. And, if it's really as bad as it sounds, how can we avoid it? Well, a couple of recent news bits have given us a little clarity on the issue. It all starts with a question: Have you ever burned a body?
The Idea Of One Spread To The Many
If you talk to the leading marketing and product development gurus of the day, they'd tell you that one word is on the minds of consumers everywhere: Customization. Making things the way we want, either before, during, or after the sale is the business world's current favorite method for adding value. The problem is, personal customization isn't nearly as valuable as they make it out to be. And it's being replaced by something better.
Ultralightweight designs inhabit a peculiar world. It is full of unkowns demanding feats of strength from trembling factors of safety; founded upon deceptively simple parameters. To succeed here, we pursue any evidence of excess weight with Farley Mowatt-like persistence. But designers needn't face these challenges alone. This is the time to look for External Support.
Growth is the ultimate desire of modern business. Growth of marketshare, growth of profits, growth of production. As designers, we are constantly pushed by the desire for growth. We get product to market faster. We make more enticing advertising copy. We try to reach a broader market. But growth can be a good goal or a bad goal, depending on who it serves. Designers have a choice to influence this direction. And your inspiration may come from a sushi chef.
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Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team