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Tag Archives: design

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Robin Williams will tell you how CRAP design can actually be made into a good one.*

She is the author of The Non-Designer’s Design Book

*  (When CRAP means Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.)
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http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/gadi-amit/new-deal/just-say-no-innovation

(from the article) –  “Promoted as the “in” word in design circles in recent years, ‘innovation’ has become a mantra devoid of meaning. Glorified by the likes of Bruce Nussbaum of BusinessWeek and David Kelly of IDEO, “innovation” blurs the boundaries between the worlds of engineering and design. It devalues the real strength of industrial design by forcing an analytical structure over the process of developing a non-analytical design. Similarly, it makes engineering play design, while over-selling its value in defining the “right design”.

http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/gadi-amit/new-deal/how-find-design-consiglieri

(from the article)  ” If you wanted to win a market by design, the creed offered two paradigms: The Artist and the Process. Both are ineffective today.    The “Artist” can be defined as the business-model behind self-branded design stardom, with the requisite mannerism to justify the stature. The notion that publicity alone makes products fly off the shelf was defamed long ago as Target aborted Philippe Starck’s product-line. The lesson was loud and clear: Products must deliver far more than mere association with stardom. With that in mind, execs will surely think twice before betting the farm on unruly flamboyance. Against that “unreliable” branded-personality design management, multidisciplinary agencies push the notion of large teams and a rigid process. The message of the process crowd is simplistic, “have a few more disciplines in place and we can create the winning product with the right design.” Here comes the ethnographer and the strategist and the focus-group studies and the 500-page dissertations, and so on. I have yet to see any hard proof that these large processes yield higher rates of success in design. I have met more than a few large organizations that will not take this any longer. The process method managed to stifle creativity and nourish argumentative myopics while exhausting corporate budgets and personnel. The case of Doug Bowman, Google’s just-resigned lead designer and the 41 shades of Blue sounds painfully familiar. As you churn out more creative work, more data-points and more “scientific” validation, your design never gets better.  “

http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/03/googles-data-cu.html

The lead visual designer at Google has quit over frustration over Google’s data-driven engineering culture.

He was asked to provide data in the preferred selection of a line weight of 3mm, vs. 4mm, vs. 5mm.  Google did a test to determine user preferene between 44 different shades of blue, because they could not decide which one they preferred.     The link is to an article in WIRED magazine, which also links to the designers blog describing his experience and reason for leaving.

“When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem,” he writes. “And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_principles_and_elements

When you are struggling, lost in the sea of possibility,  you can return to the basics, as listed in the above link.

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http://info.aia.org/nwsltr_yaf.cfm?pagename=yaf_080820_a_Perpendicularities

This article from the AIA web site, describes the automotibile designer as essentially involved in “packaging” – styling the body in order to persuade the consumer to purchase.   To what extent do architects limit their activity to packaging?

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