More Design in a Less Designable World
SHIFT: The theme of FutureDesignDays 2005
“Ever more design in an ever less designable world.” These were words repeated throughout the FutureDesignDays from the lips of introductory speaker, Lars Denick, Professor of Social Psychology and Head of the Research Committee of the Department of Psychology at Roskilde University in Denmark. How does one cope with the multiple ‘shifts’ the world is experiencing? What are the shifts? What do we need to know as design professionals? FutureDesignDays sent us on this journey of knowledge and Trendease is here to share what we observed.
Thought provoking expressions from the event included:
- Lars Denick continued with, “Experiences for the sake of experience itself creates instant culture,” which sounds a bit like a yeppies’ mantra. And “‘bio’graphy replaces ‘geo’graphy as a social glue.”
- Gert Volker Hildebrand, Head of Design at MINI, shared some of their design guidelines: form follows function; cars are emotional sculpture; there must be a transfer of human element to the car via the human body archetype. Before talking about the theory of aesthetics and limbic space, he mentioned the psychology of perception – important to any product. The team works with the five senses (although the taste factor is still unclear) and has created a scents feature where four different aromas waft through the air of the car depending on the music the driver listens to. In a nutshell it is all about traveling in style; and MINI is doing something right because the production of their cars which are an ‘exclusive mass product’ will increase by 30% next year (200,000 in 2005 to 260,000 in 2006).
- Ignacio Germade of Motorola looked at “humanizing technology” and how people relate to objects around them. “[Now] technology and design are dancing together, who is leading?”
- Revelation: High tech is becoming hide tech.
- Andy Chen of Carat International discussed the changing communication paradigm. “Online advertising is the fastest growing media in the world.” Andy predicted that “by 2007 50% of all media will be digital.” Competitive advantages lie in the speed of delivery. It’s about interactivity, accessibility and the survival of the quickest. The definition of time and place is changing. There’s a focus on behavior rather than solely demographics. The Internet gives the consumer control. It is a reflexive media, the more you use it the more it changes and improves. We are in a state of “ME-Urgency” where personalization is at a new high and brand democratization is key. In cognitive marketing Chen noted the generation of “i-Existentialism” with the rise of consumer generated opinions, blogs and peer to peer reviews. Key trends in media consumption include customizability, accessibility and portability.
- Nicole Lazzaro of XEODesign, a gaming consultancy, talked about the Brainball game where one has to de-stress in order to win. Gaming at its best.
- Johan Forsberg, Lunarworks, discussed the shift from an information society to an interaction society where the consumer is becoming the prosumer (consumer + producer = prosumer). And he posed the question, “is networking moving to decentralized design?”
- Industrial designer Satyendra Pakhalé believes that “creation is more important than ‘design’.” He aims to explore material in a different manner such as making a chair out of ceramic, baskets of glass and a chair that resembles a fish.
- Donald Bates, architect, looked at cultural infrastructure and the architectural effect of space producing new social relationships.
- Isle Crawford, founder Elle Decoration, stated that we need to relearn our right brain and integrate it with our left.
- Naoto Fukasawa the creative brain behind Muji (meaning “no brand” in Japanese) believes that good design dissolves in behavior. He spends his time watching people and how they interact with the world around them before designing a product creating a solution to issues at hand.
- Clare Johnston, Head of Textiles, Royal College of Art, tried to open eyes as she talked about the Chinese as the customer and not just the threat. She commented on Fabricant, a new spray-on fabric and how titanium and nickel, which retain their shape, are being used more and more and clothing. She spoke of “The New Puritans” an emerging group that is not into smoking and drinking or taking part in promiscuous behavior.
- And finally design duo Julian Roberts and Sophie Cheung fight creative claustrophobia.
For up close and personal exploration click on the photos to the right featuring products from the exhibition at FutureDesignDays.