Sunday, November 23, 2008

A tree starts with a seed. A product starts with an idea. I believe that it is beneficial for a designer to be able to explore the artistic side of design without repercussions. Artistic exploration is very crucial to the development of future ideas, especially when dealing with the development of a product. It is this exploration of shear aesthetics that allow the mind to travel freely about the realm of “normal” design. Designers are always dealing with constraints, and it is beneficial to step outside this realm. Design in the artistic sense is a direct representation of the artisan’s unfiltered creative energy.
On the contrary, to confuse these two opposites is something harmful. When a designer thinks that aesthetics overpower functionality, it is detrimental to design. If your intention as a designer is to make beautiful museum one-offs, in a way it destroys the whole point of design. I have a problem with people who mindlessly design objects with no pre-conceived objective, unless it’s for your own inspiration. Philippe Stark is one of the designers I dislike for this very purpose. He confuses art and design to make a product that’s aesthetics override its function. An example of this would be Dr. Skud, from the Alessi collection. I understand that his intentions were to bring comedy and art into a macabre tool, but for 20 dollars? That’s a little steep for the same job as a rolled up magazine.
On the subject of the Campana brothers, I disagree with their design logic. In their Dezeen interview, Humberto Campana said this: “for me design is to bring emotion, to be fun, to bring joy to people; not function or form”. In my opinion, this interview makes them seem less credible. To think that these “famous” designers wouldn’t want anything to do with handling the product after it leaves their hands. It’s easy to design an aesthetic solution when the problem is non-existent. The Campana brothers aren’t solving any problem but their own boredom, and it is hard for me to understand why they are so well liked. They haven’t designed a solar cooker for refugees, or a new car, or even anything that didn’t look like an amalgamation of congested thoughts. With all this said, I can respect what they are trying to do but it is rather hard for me to appreciate their work.
There is one thing that is certain in this realm of design; the possibilities are boundless. There are no real boundaries accept for opinion, there are not facts to support logic. It is in this way, design acts as though it were applied creativity; bordering the universe of the visual and the functional. It is free of any social tethers that force this ideal to the ground. Industrial Design doesn’t need a definition; it is an interpretive means used to describe the indescribable. All that I am capable of is accepting the notion that my skill, like my life, is undefined.

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