Monday, March 19, 2012


Industrial Design:  "A combination of applied art and applied science in order to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product". Wikkipedia   
A rubrics cube for the blind
 When one has lived in the same city as long as we have, one eventually runs out of excuses to not visit the damn transportation museum.  Eventually, the Saturday comes when you just can't think up another reason not to, which is what happened to us about four years ago.

The transportation museum was actually rather nice, the O. Winston Link photographs of trains were fantastic, the old train cars and automobiles were pretty and romantic.  What really captured our attention though, was  waiting for us once we left the exhibit area...which we could have  seen without even buying a to the side of the lobby was a room devoted to the industrial designer Raymond Loewy.  OH. My. God.

We stood and watched the short film about this life, then made our way around the room to view photos of some of his most famous (and not so famous) work.  To get to the point...we stood with our mouths open, bought the book, drank the Kool-aid, and were re-born as design nerds.  Really as dramatic as it sounds, the damn transportation museum changed our lives, once you've learned about good design...what it is and how to spot it, you begin the see things differently.

I'll be devoting a day to Mr. Lowey later in the week and you'll see what I mean.  Let's also explore the works of Alvar Aalto (architect who designed household items), Richard Teague (designed cars and bicycles), Charles and Ray Eames, and of course any conversation about good design would have to include Apple Computer.
Let's talk about what is good design and what isn't.
I would like to end the week with examples of good and bad design as seen in our own house.   Please join in the conversation! 

Chair designed by Dmitry Samal

Designer unknown
"Design is the process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state"  Carnegie Mellon School of Design

Designed by Olympic cyclists Chris Boardman
"Practice safe design:  use a concept"  Petrula Vrontikis
Care to guess?  These guys are actually juicers.
"Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete unoffended"  Raymond Loewy
Kate Spade USB charm.  Why doesn't everyone have one of these?
"  Design is creativity with strategy"  Rob Curedale
The Z-chair.
" Design is intelligence made visible"  Alina Wheeler
Fiskars 88 headphone amplifier
"Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood"  Fabian Barral

Whether you acknowledge it or not, you know and appreciate good design when you see it....good design makes life easier and more beautiful.
Care to share an example of really great design in your life?
Please join us this week as we explore industrial design as muse.  We'll learn together.

Have a beautiful day.

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