Design mustn’t become the slave of technology…

Last week you ran an item on Jonathan Ive blaming the rise of rapid prototyping for distancing designers from the physical design process and creating ‘a lot of lousy design’ (Voxpop, DW 30 April).

I agree with his comments and believe that technology should be reliant on design, rather than design reliant on technology.

The haptic ‘feel’ of objects, developed in the workshop by carving wood and foam, is as important as the use of pencil and paper in creating a product’s personality.

Rapid prototyping is extremely useful in the later stages of product development, but not so useful during the emotional creative process of ideas, where plasticine and card models can be very effective.

Technology should be reliant on design rather than design being the slave of technology.

Sebastian Conran, Managing director, Studio Conran, by e-mail

Jonathan Ive’s ideas about rapid prototyping and ‘lousy design’ (Voxpop, DW 30 April) prompt the inescapable conclusion that the new digital tools inevitably influence the way we work.

Look at the way Adobe’s Photoshop has influenced photography and graphic design. Such tools make it equally easy to do good or bad work. It all comes down to the integrity of the designer and how much they care.

Most of us care a great deal, worrying about every detail. I know Ive does.

Terence Woodgate, Furniture designer, by e-mail

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