Design: A Very Short Introduction
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John Heskett wants to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, and the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design combines "need" and "desire" in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user's identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behavior in different countries. There are also fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, Heskett gives us an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future, showing in particular how it can humanize new technology.
even idiosyncratic, nature. Tableware, cutlery, and glassware serve speciﬁc purposes while dining, but again can be manifested in a huge variety of forms, often with complex decorative patterns. Perhaps the classic example of our age is the automobile, which, besides having the very utilitarian task of carrying people and 29 Utility and signiﬁcance 7. Toothpicks Design 8. The symbol of achievement: Rolls-Royce Park Ward 2000 luggage from place to place, has from its early years been an
effort by citizens to decipher them and ﬁll out the requisite information, with bureaucratic jargon, tiny print, and inadequate space to ﬁll in answers. An example of how improvement in this ﬁeld can be dramatic is the Passport Application form in the United Kingdom. Understanding the form’s requirements was once a tortuous process, but effective graphic devices now enable it to be easily comprehended and rapidly completed, demonstrating there is no innate reason why designs for governments
of small graphic design businesses catering for local needs, but there are positive aspects from the overlap, as designers reach beyond a closely deﬁned professional deﬁnition of their role and the public becomes more involved in communicative activities. If one of the purposes of communication design is to create a sense of identity in visual terms, the capacity of new technology to enhance mutual understanding between those who create images and those who receive them offers considerable
returning from overseas were employed in corporate design groups, but others set up independent consultancies, notably Kenji Ekuan’s GK Associates, and Takuo Hirano, who set up Hirano & Associates, which for almost half a century have been leading organizations in establishing the credentials of design in the business community. New educational courses and on-the-job learning led to a sustained expansion, so that, by the early 1990s, there were some 21,000 industrial designers employed in Japan.
argued that declining American manufacturing quality disillusioned purchasers who, 21 The historical evolution of design 6. Styling becomes mainstream: 1936 Oldsmobile convertible after being attracted by external style, found products unsatisfactory in use. They expressed concern about the decline of design awareness in American ﬁrms that preferred echoing competitors’ products. As an alternative, they advocated design as a high-level strategic planning activity vital to the competitive