Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good design is long lasting

Really interesting little talk tonight in Soho. The subject of Dieter Rams and Braun appliances turned to the topics of craft vs. design, use of materials, and the riots in London.
This is an interesting time in design because the job of industrial designers is no longer what it was when Dieter Rams was designing for Braun. I dont think that there is a future for product designers who try to please everyone in the same way. Universality was the main motivation for the design rules and style of Rams, but people are definitely no longer pleased with a loss of individual identity. Zoe Coombes brought up that this is one of the reasons that the craft movement has gained such a following. And I agree, nobody prefers to have a homogenized market. 
Another really interesting point came up about the value of objects in relation to their lifespan. There Gary Hustwit mentioned that he purchased a 606 shelving unit which he intends on keeping for the rest of his life. Though his value of the shelving is not entirely tied to its cost, there are objects of low cost which could easily last a lifetime which people do not plan to own because they have a low value. What if people were able to buy less often and to take care of their property and make it last? What if short term purchases were designed out of short term materials? How can the percieved value of plastic parts change to make people keep them for longer and grow more connected to them?

All good things to think about.

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