Commit c1bc6aee authored by Carla Barquest's avatar Carla Barquest

few more quotes

parent fd0cacb6
......@@ -56,3 +56,16 @@ It is important to note that a manufacturing firm where design and the design de
14 Does it make an action or activity on the whole more complicated or simpler; is it easy to operate or do you have to learn how to use it?
15 Does it arouse curiosity and the imagination? Does it encourage desire to use it, understand it and even to change it?
[p342-3]
Being a product designer, insists Rams, has nothing to do with being an 'artist' or a 'decorator'. It is more about being a 'Gestalt-Ingenieur', an 'engineer of form' or 'technically orientated designer'. Rams explains: 'He sythesizes the concrete product from given specifications laid down by technology, production and the market. His work is predominantly rational in the sense that the formal decisions are substantiatable, verifiable and understandable'. It is a hard and uncompromising viewpoint that leaves little room for the softer, more artistic sensibilities involved in design, but this too can be seen as the result of a need to establish and maintain an authoritative position in a complex hierarchical workplace.
This rather strict view of a designer's work is not the whole definition, however; a designer must also take notice of cultural and social values and developments in society, as well as thinking of individual users, and integrate them into their designs. 'The designer who wants to develop a function-appropriate product must think/feel himself into the role of the user... the designer is the user's advocate within the company.' says Rams. Thus he or she needs to be rational but sensitive and empathic at the same time.
As if that was not enough, a designer in a manufacturing company must also understand everyone else's position and needs (especially the customer's) and communicate with them all through the products he or she designs. This means that an industrial designer is perhaps above all a commuinicator, someone who is fluent in a variety of expressive languages, ranging from words, modelling, drawing and technical specifications to the ergonomics of form. [p344]
'Design cannot just be about speculative leering towards better sales opportunities,' says Rams. 'It is a far more comprehensive task that can only be realized through a candidly and confidently implemented overall concept. Once a firm has sit itself this goal, it affects the entire enterprise, its standpoint and its objectives'. The safest way to make new products is to look at the market, see what sells well and make something similar. This 'me too' approach is conservative and market-driven. it does not encourage innovation nor user-orientated design.
However, coming up with new designs that are outside of the established system is a rist. It is also time-consuming and expensive to research and develop good products. The commitment in the company needs to be across the board. 'The decision to try to generate good design must therefore be a company-wide decision,' says Rams. 'That means it cannot be the design department that imposes it and who are made ultimately responsible. It has to be an integral part of the fundamental objectives of the company and finally it must be underpinned by a specific oranisation and decision-making structure.' It is the role of the company to give their designers the space within to make good design, he adds, and it is the role of the designers to come up with designs and then repeatedly defend them. [p345]
This need to defend design innovations and decisions, combined with the complexity of considerations involved in developing new products, encouraged Rams, the Braun design team and the communication department to outline an in-house order system or set of guidlines for good design -- what Rams called the 'grammar' of Braun design. These guidelines proveded the backbone of the design-driven brand identity by outlining two related design strategies: suggesting how the company's products could belong to a characteristic family and aiding company members to stay in touch with priorities as products were developed. 'Good design is not only a part, but to an ever-increasing degree the nucleus of what is today considered to be "corporate identity", and this is ultimately expressed by the products themselves which are offered to the public,' says Rams. This constantly evolving set of guidelines, which covered innovation, quality, utility, aesthetics, modesty, honesty, comprehensibility, consistency, ecology and longevity, was also the inspiration for Rams's ten principles for good design developed in the 1970s and 1980s. [p346]
Rams is often reluctant to talk about aesthetics, not least because of the subjectivity of the issue ('beauty is in the eye of the beholder') and just about everyone, qualified or otherwise, has an opinion on the subject. For him the design of an industrial product is 'aesthetic if it is honest, balanced, simple, careful and unobtrusively neutral'. In other words, the aesthetic appearance of a product does and should not play a primary role: 'design is not merely and certainly not exclusively there to feast the eye like a work of art or to be decorative'. For an object to be beautiful, says Rams, it must also do its job properly. When products are well -- that means usefully -- designed, they have a kind of beauty that is inextricably related to their function, 'like a tool or the exterior of an aeroplane'. Thus the aesthetic beauty of an industrial product is bound to its utility. [p346-7]
Rams makes an interesting semantic distinction between users and consumers when he talks about the people at whom his products are aimed. The general term for consumer in German is Verbraucher, which can literally be translated as 'one who uses things up' or 'consumes' things. However, Rams prefers to use the term Gebraucher, which translates as 'one who makes use of something' -- the user. This distinction is related to his belief that a product has to be designed to last. If it is good design and does its job well, if it is a useful tool, then it needs to last as long as possible. Rams's approach has always been to persuade his company's customers to be users, and it has worked: Braun customers choose the brand and often pay more for a product because they expect it to fulfil its function well and to last a long time; they expect quality. [p350]
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