Good design, quirky or just a design crime?
Good design can be viewed as purely subjective and often what one person loves is hated by others. As an interior designer I view hundreds of products each week and the distance between good design and a design crime seems to continue to grow!
I personally would split the design of products into 3 categories. The first category is Good Design, these are the products that are generally universally loved and admired by all. Next we have Quirky, the products that we might not all like but we can appreciate the appeal – the growth of Union Jack branded products falls into this category. My third category is Design Crimes, products that should never have been manufactured and whoever ‘designed’ them is not worthy of the title ‘designer’.
Dieter Rams who designed the Vitseo shelving featured in this month’s Design classic questioned how you could define good design – this was after he asked himself the question “is my design good design?” He wrote a list of principles, that are often referred to in the design world as the 10 Commandments, and state:
1. Good design is innovative
2. Good design makes a product useful
3. Good design is aesthetic
4. Good design makes a product understandable
5. Good design is unobtrusive
6. Good design is honest
7. Good design is long-lasting
8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
9. Good design is environmentally friendly
10. Good design is as little design as possible
All of the products featured here have been found on the internet by me and my colleague Kent Griffiths, and we both think they all belong firmly in one of my three categories above. But as I’ve said design is subjective so what do you think?