How Design Really Changes Lives

Monday, 28 February 2011

IT IS often said that no-one notices good design, but everyone notices when cupboard doors collide, window latches cannot be reached, or games consoles break.  Everyone knows bad design.

It is true that we all put up with badly designed road traffic systems, and we know that cars could be designed better. There are many products, buildings, and organisational structures that could be improved upon with a little consideration and care.

Design — good or bad — is far more important than it gets credit for.  Design affects us all very deeply indeed.  It you think again about the phrase used to open this article —  if no-one notices good design, then it must be the case that it operates on an unconscious level.  So design is affecting us all the time, whether we know it or not.

Design can give us repetitive strain injury, design can help save lives. It is a wonderful thing, and I hope to show here how recent changes in design have changed us into 21st century people, and that it has affected our culture and lifestyles, and that it may continue to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

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When To Stop

Friday, 21 May 2010

[Picture of trophy wave]WE are led to believe that we can finish things.  Indeed we are brought up with the clear understanding that things can only be “done” when they are “finished”.  It might therefore come as something of a shock to discover that this is a silly notion; almost everything we do — and therefore everything that has been “done”, is actually unfinished if you stop and think about it for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Not Forgive?

Sunday, 1 June 2008

[Picture of Angry Man]FORGIVENESS is out of fashion at the moment.

I think it is a great shame; forgiveness is a measure of civilisation, of how far we have progressed, or advanced – how civilised we have become.

Unfortunately, the present hunger is for revenge and retribution. We demand punishment for people who have done wrong, especially when Read the rest of this entry »

Why The Car is Best

Thursday, 8 March 2007

[Picture of off road car]THE car is not perfect, but it is still the best. It really is — and to deny this simple truth can only lead to unhappiness. Facts are facts, and facts have to be faced. What I shall attempt to do here is explain for the record why the car is best (as completely as I possibly can). Read the rest of this entry »

What is Wrong With Car Design

Friday, 15 March 2002

[picture of Model T Ford design]CARS were originally “horseless carriages”, and so the coachwork design was naturally based on horse-drawn carriages. Then came aerodynamic and futuristic, with space-age fins and lots of chrome. You would be forgiven for thinking that we have seen it all from sports-cars to people carriers, from smart-cars to stretch limousines.

[Picture of futuristic car with tail fins]However, the sad fact is that each wave of automotive design has completely overlooked the user. Incredible as it may seem, this is patently true! Read the rest of this entry »