Q: WHAT IS GOOD DESIGN?
In the evening time, when I get back home I always catch myself looking through a cover of a book laying on the coffee-table called ‘’Designing Design’’ by Kenya Hara.
‘Unfortunately, nobody reads books these days’, I smile to myself.
The book has so many answers and thoughts connected to design in one way or another. It’s both, simple and interesting. Not complicated. Kenya writes that design isn’t a form of self-expression and believes that it is a solution to any problems, as design’s roots lie within society. Design is a way of locating a common problem and trying to solve it while looking at it from a different, designer’s perspective.
‘But what is good design?’ I ask myself again. ‘Is it a good solution to a problem?’ I knit my eyebrows, resembling of an angry bird.
I’m slightly irritated.
Just over a month ago, I received Mahabis brand slippers and I can’t wear them anymore. IS IT A BAD SOLUTION? Or footwear, we so call ‘slippers’ is only meant to be worn at home and tear apart once we step outside the door towards the pool area (few floors down)? Sad, I believe I bought myself a problem. But on the other hand, there’s another pair of slippers made in collaboration by Starck X Ipanema 2016, in my closet. Even when one of them ripped, I still can’t stop loving them. I made a knot and I keep on wearing them. The knot actually makes them more interesting, more unique and even more mine.
I keep on questioning, analyzing and searching for the answers.
But why a pair of cheap, but chic shoes from Charles & Keith lasts me for a month or two. And if I invest in more expensive brands (Burberry (http://agnevei.com/my-dear-sneakers), MSGM, Stuart Weitzman etc.) - I don’t need to stress for at least few years. On the other hand why Marius’ limited edition FILA X NOOKA 2013 shoes, in which he walked through a lot in Asia, today (2017) still looks like new? Finally, why his another limited edition pair of shoes PUMA X HUSSEIN CHALAYAN 2011 - ripped and were thrown away within exactly two weeks.
‘Google Dieter Rams’ my partner looks at me.
‘Dieter Rams – Industrial German designer and retired academician…’ I scan through the text on Wikipedia. Suddenly I stop by the question, he once asked himself, ‘Is my design good design?’ I feel my heart filling up with warmth when I read his ten principles of GOOD DESIGN.
Rams’s Ten Principles of “Good Design”*
Good Design Is Innovative— The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Good Design Makes a Product Useful—A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
Good Design Is Aesthetic—The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Good Design Makes A Product Understandable—It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Good Design Is Unobtrusive— Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Good Design Is Honest— It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept
Good Design Is Long-lasting— It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail—Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly— Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible—Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
“SFMOMA Presents Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams”. Sfmoma.org. Retrieved 31/3/2017.
P.S. Since I’ve read it, once I’m about to buy something, this list pops in front of my eyes.
Photo “Charles & Keith” by Agne Vei
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