Friday, July 23, 2010

Form follows value systems

After extensive rambling in my sketchbook today, I came to the conclusion that designers are no longer focused on conveying a function through the form of a product. They are more concerned that the value system of the consumer matches the values conveyed by the designed object. Starting with the actual evaluation of the cost, manufacturing, environmental and social impact of the essential materials and function, a designer can choose the market segment which they choose to sell to. It would make sense that the design itself would convey the values that it is built upon, but this is not where the job of the designer ends. The value system must then be translated into the visual language of the form of the product. Consumers are attracted by reinterpretations of the signifiers which represent their values, not the values themselves. This is why objects are styled, rather than simply engineered.

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