What is good design?

There is a story behind every object. The journey, materials, and the purpose. Alice Rawsthrone a british design critic claims that ‘Design is taken for granted people don’t think of it as being designed, what they don’t realise, is from the moment they wake up almost everything that fills their world has been designed’ (Rawsthorn, 2009). The objects that surround us, we forget that it has even been designed. As if the object just appeared there one morning. The items that surround us become such a habit of our everyday lives that we now could not live without them. The designs help our lives to be much simpler. For example, a potato peeler, Karissa states ‘The best examples of industrial design are thing people don’t think was design at all’ (Rawsthorn, 2009)

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The famous German industrial designer Dieter Rams believe that the ten principles of what he believes are a good design, I feel many of us will have similar perceptions on this matter. The ten principles being, ‘Innovative, Useful, aesthetic, understood, unobtrusive, durable, honest, environment, detail, and little design as possible’ (Rams, 2016). However, some disagree and do not apply these rules to their designs. The industrial designer Karim Rashid mentions ‘all our everyday objects should be well designed, inexpensive and accessible to the majority.’ (Draganic, 2013) Yet he doesn’t reject the expensive luxury items, for it to be classed as a good design.

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The documentary I watched called objectified, had helped me to come up with my conclusion. I feel a good design should connect with the customer, the object should be meaningful. Like Karim describes ‘a design should be an extension of us, where we have a strong relationship with the design.’ (Rashid, 2009). However, there is no informative answer because everyone having their own perception on the matter. As a result, I personally agree with Dieter Rams ten principles to comply in my way of design thinking.



Braun and Vitsœ, Sfmoma presents less and more: The design ethos of Dieter Rams, 2011 – https://www.sfmoma.org/press/release/sfmoma-presents-less-and-more-the-design-ethos-of/ SFMOMA, 05.03,17

Dulce Bella, 2013, Tag archives: Innovative designs –  Photograph https://dulcebella2013.wordpress.com/tag/innovative-designs/ 07.03.17

Gary Hurist, 2009 – Alice Rawsthorn, Objectified – http://documentaryheaven.com/objectified/  Documentary Heaven, 05.03.17

Karissa Rosenfeild, 2012 – Dieter Rams 10 Principles of “Good Design” http://www.archdaily.com/198583/dieter-rams-10-principles-of-%25e2%2580%259cgood-design%25e2%2580%259d – Arch Daily, 03.03.17

Sanja Draganic, 2013 – Talking Design with Karim Rashid http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/gorenje/blog_posts/talking-design-with-karim-rashid-20541 my news desk, 03.03.17


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