Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Immaterial excerpts

I was browsing through some of my old bookmarks looking for Karla's requested on kiwi design schools (I'll post that later), when I found one of my old favourite sources on design articles : DDC = Dansk Design Centre. The following excerpts are from some of their articles. If you like to read the article click on the titles.

What is design?
Design means many things. To the general public, design may be about aesthetics, function and user-experience. To designers, it is a craft, a proces, creative expression - a vision. And to many companies today, design is a strategy capable of branding products and creating innovation to boost competitiveness.

Design Needs a New Agenda
Peter Butenschøn - 10 Aug 2004
More than ever we need a common understanding of what design is and whom it is to serve. For this reason, we need a fixed set of principles for our work, that we can agree on and that will give our work with design a clear mission.

Design is solving problems and making cool cars
Interview with Han Hendriks by Maria Lotz - 21 Oct 2004
The world of design is international. It is a handicap for designers from a certain country if potential employers cannot compare their qualifications with applicants from other countries. When it comes to the balance between learning about design theory and actually doing the design, my experience is that there are different schools. There are schools focusing very much on hands-on design, learning sketching techniques, technical knowledge, computer and all of that, doing hands-on projects, and there are schools that focus a lot on theory. I believe that learning about the design process, the different steps, how it fits in the development process, how it is integrated with the other functions in the development process like engineering is extremely important. You can’t focus only on the creative hands-on side and ignore the other things, because you won’t be effective as a designer.

Andrea Branzi: Out with blond and perfect design!
Interview by: Linda Rampell - 16 Aug 2004
“Generally, I find it difficult to differentiate between local and global culture. Although you may act within a local context, whatever you do will also have value in a global perspective too, and vice versa. Local and global are interdependent terms. But a distinctively national design is only interesting if it contributes to diversity and generates counter response and counter movements by other designers.”

The future may belong to designers
Lars Goldschmidt and Christian Fich - 24 Sep 2004
Many designers engage in business consultancy and organisational development and act as catalysts in enhancing corporate skills. Danish designers still experience a tough time making a living from consultancy within immaterial design, but that is about to change. Modern knowledge-based enterprises have become aware that design can be adapted to immaterial design as well as material products. The core skill of the design profession no longer hinges on pure aesthetic styling; it is also seen as representing a method and approach that can be applied in defining a given task and analysing the options available in reaching optimal solutions. In this respect, design has a key role to play in the emerging developments in society, in particular in relation to the experience economy and the advent of ‘creative man’. Futurologists have defined the emerging persona of the future – creative man. What characterises these creative people is that they are involved in designing their own lives – they are innovative and creative individuals who prefer to modify their surroundings rather than having to adapt to them.

Anne Skare Nielsen
The world is full of technological products searching for a purpose. Innovation is the recipe for growth: It took 40 years from the invention of canning to the patenting of the can-opener. The can is the technological product; the can-opener the meaningful solution. As soon as it is there it seems obvious, but one cannot ask people to say “can-opener” as long as the can-opener does not exist.

And the nominees are...
Pernille Formsgaard - 21 Mar 2005
The approximately 450 design solutions to compete for the world's largest design awards, the INDEX: Awards, have now been nominated. The Danish Design Centre and the jury of The Danish Design Prize have nominated their respective selections of design solutions. The INDEX: Award focuses only on designs that offer major life improvements for a large group of people. This places great demands on the design solutions seeking to qualify, as the concept of design that improves life is to be taken literally.

My comment: look at The vOICe project.

Emotional clothes
Designmatters, Press release: Thomas Dickson - 24 Sep 2004
One of the delegates believed that the design profession had had been far too focused on styling and beauty for far too long. He emphasised that the positive or negative experience users have with specific products, brands, services or environments always touch on aspects that reach far beyond aesthetics and include all aspects encountered by customers – from user-friendliness, durability and branding to product packaging, customer service and retail concept.

Here's an example:

Kiss and hug (*) via an interactive jacket
Designmatters: 24 Sep 2004 From: Designmatters, No. 7, 2004
The young Italian designer Francesca Rosella presented a very practical approach to emotional products at the 2004 Design and Emotions conference. Together with Ryan Getz she presented a prototype for interactive clothing where body contact can be exchanged over distance. This may sound far fetched, yet sending a long-distance hug or friendly pat on the back is ingeniously achieved via a number of sensors incorporated in a jacket able to communicate with other users via cell-phone Bluetooth and Java technology. To send a hug, the sender must first hug him or herself. The sensors then relate the signal activating the plastic padding in a jacket worn by the recipient to simulate the hug – provided the cell-phone is turned on, of course.

(*) My comment: i.e. long distance virtual make out.

What is immaterial design?
Designmatters No. 7: Lise Vejse Klint / Steinar Amland - 23 Sep 2004
Design is shifting its focus from material objects, communication and environments towards embracing immaterial values. Whether the final product is material or immaterial, design is a methodology based on thorough studies of user needs, available technology, value sets and other relevant factors. When applied correctly, the design process can lead to radical innovative change. Traditionally designers have primarily worked with tangible products, communication and environments, but in recent decades there has been a rising interest in how the design process can contribute to solving many of the complex problems we face globally which do not necessarily require material solutions. This is how the concept of immaterial design emerged.

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