Saturday, September 25, 2010

Design for Life: Starck finds his British protégé

Ilsa the college lecturer in 3D design from Liverpool wins a place on Starck’s team. Her walking aid Flo for the elderly impressed the judges. In this the last episode of the program Design for Life Mike and Ilsa had to finalise their designs and work on an advertising campaign for the products.

Advertising posters needs

  • Product name

  • Logo

  • Tag line

  • Images

They both met with an advertising team. Advertising is all about letting people know the product exists and promoting the benefits of the product. Mike and Ilsa are instructed to design a poster. They need to have a product name, logo and tag line.  

Advertising is all about letting people know
Ilsa appeared to be all over the place. She continued in her style of complicating everything. She confused the advertising team by changing direction a number of times. Ilsa found it hard to stay focused on the project.  

Mike decides he wants his product (dining setting for the visually impaired) to appeal to the general public as well as the blind. The advertising team like his product name ‘Stable’. He explains Starck was unimpressed with the name. They convince him to use the name as it sums up in a word the main features of his design. He also has to redesign six items. Starck wants his intelligent design to be elegant. 

Comments on design

  • Design touches us in our daily life

  • Design is about solutions to problems

  • Design is not easy

  • Great design requires work work work…

  • Designers need to think bigger

Ilsa and Mike present the advertising posters to Starck. He is impressed with both. Ilsa had selected an image of Charlie Chaplin as part of her image. Starck thought she should find a modern image. Mike did very well considering he had to design six items. Starck was impressed with his design particularly the knife. Ilsa impressed Starck with the sculptural design of the Flo mobility aid for the elderly. He said it was the most beautiful object he had seen in a long time.

The budding product designers had impressed. Starck considered both joining his team. In the end Ilsa won because her design was ambitious and completely new. She won the six month placement with Starck’s company in Paris.  

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Decoration of House Continues

In chapter two of her book ‘The Decoration of Houses’ Edith Wharton encourages designers to consider the purpose of the room to be decorated. The tastes and habits of the people who will occupy the space also need to be taken into account.

Wharton stresses the importance of individuality as a priority of the time (late 1800’s). She believes people should have their homes decorated in a way that will allow them to be comfortable in their own way.

“It seems easier to most people to arrange a room like some else's than to analyze and express their own needs” Edith points out people can also be caught up in the traditions of the past. These unconscious tendencies need to be put aside. Comfort and convenience should be the main consideration she states.

When decorating a room consider:
  • The purpose of the room
  • The tastes and habits of the occupants
  • Convenience
  • Needs
  • Individuality
  • Design principles
However Edith does caution the reader against going the other to extreme and discarding things because they are old fashioned. Using the Golden Mean as a guide will make it easier to furnish rooms. The Golden Mean sometimes referred to as the Golden Section is a measurement used by the Ancient Greeks.

They believed using the measurements in building and design create perfect proportion. The ratio used 0.618 to 10. A rough example is to use 1/3 of 10 =3.3, 3.3 x 2 = 6.6 which works out around 2/3rds. The what some call the perfect number is thought to have been used in various buildings, The Parthenon,  Taj Mahal and the Great Mosque of Kairouan. If you visit this link you will find information on the replica of Parthenon in Nashville

“… to penetrate the mystery of house furnishing it is only necessary to analyze one satisfactory room and notice, wherein its charm lies” 

The era in which Edith was writing this book was a time of great change. The new rich middle classes had money to spend. They wanted to appear cultured and accepted by the old moneyed families. To achieve this they used cheaper imitations of past styles. The higher classes held on to the traditions of the past. It was against this trend Edith spoke out.

New decorating styles were emerging; Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movements. Edith appears to have wanted to bring balance. A lot of what Edith had to say is still relevant today. Are people still following fashion trends at the expense of comfort, individuality and good design?