Better by Design leaves out the nitty gritty that is part of product design

Well, firstly I never read the letters section in any magazine and I certainly never write to them. So this is a first for me.

The reason that I am writing this letter is to support the brave person called David Crisp (DW 28th July) and the response to his letter about Channel 4’s Better by Design (DW 4 August).

I agree with Crisp: there should have been a range of designers showing how they sort out the problems involved with designing a product.

I am a designer and I must admit that I love Seymour and Powell, but this last series does not show the design process at its best because they do not actually design.

I know they only have half an hour to show the design process, but are there any consultancies that can actually fly in and collect leading experts in various fields to help them design a product? Admittedly, designers have to do some research but Seymour and Powell’s efforts are not realistic. At least Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen actually comes up with a design and does the job.

Do Seymour and Powell really come up with the right idea straight away? It would be useful to see how the designers learn lessons from their failures. We also need to know why they put more time and detail into one particular design.

These details are overlooked, but the presenters could help people understand design better if they explained what they did and how they developed the design.

Instead of talking about the computers, software and model makers they used, it would have been more interesting if the whole show had been based on how they took one basic design and made it into a realistic model. In a nut shell, I feel that they should be more detailed in their description of the products they create and cover more issues involved with the design process.

We should see them working late nights trying to beat a tight deadline – in fact, telling us how long they have to come up with a design would be a start.

I am not jealous, I love their work but come on, give us the real picture, the everyday design show we all want to see…

Dave Davidson

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