Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Now has the design stuck?

So I found out that the idea of the NED Sticks. Fred Perry, oversized tacky gold jewellery and Timberland Boots stick. It's a look. And its associated with crime, Buckfast aka underage street drinking, causing trouble, graffiti and the likes. This affects the environment these people live in. This affects where others choose to go, work and live. This affects workplaces, living environments, different types of people having different needs. It goes full circle, simply an example to start with a 'NED' but it works with whoever. Everyone has different needs, some simply more similar than others. This affects where and how people live. Religion for example, have rituals, like Muslims praying in the Mosques, Buddhists worshipping the Giant Buddha... We have to react to this when designing to fit peoples' needs. Like Gladswell states, something can only stick if it is in the right place with the right idea at the right time. It is not just luck, the idea has to be good to start with. But you would not advertise something like Guinness or Pizza Hut in poorest countries of South Africa would you? However people will design laptops for the children there. So maybe designers would?! You wouldn't win an award for designing a cellotape holder and snipper that you have to hold in two hands would you? Yes. So it is true, people do bad design. And it is even more true, it's much easier to do than what you may think. That is why making your design stick is ridiculously important.

During our brainstorming and discussing, we considered why things stuck and why things didn't. For example the Clutter Problem, like Coca-cola spending millions of pounds on advertising but it wasn't simple, and hardly anyone even knew it was Coca-cola sponsoring the Olympics. It was unclear. One important point. Clarity and simplicity. Not just for advertising but the actual design. Things such as slogans and logos also sell (or not) a product or idea. These are things that can make something popular, and I suppose that is what most designers strive to be. 

As an interior and environmental designer I have to be picky, thoughtful, open-minded but most of all, know what is going on around! I have realised through these exercises I may not be designing something that looks beautiful for my career, but maybe researching endlessly which results in the slightest change to an already OK design to make it stick. I've realised it is about re-designing. At this time when we are told there are '50 days to save the world' we need to concentrate on sustainability, making use of what we already have, without losing anymore of what we already have.

If only the idea of recycling and energy saving would stick..

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