When I tell people that I am a “designer” they think I am somewhere between Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and some “camp” fashion guru. They don’t even consider that problem solving and the development of solutions are essential parts of the job. The term design has come to mean anything artistic or creative that is useful.
I think that Seymour and Powell have shown some insight on Channel 4. But is it realistic to expect an afternoon’s brainstorming to provide the solution? Is it not true that real innovation and ideas come when we are away from the studio?
The blame, unfortunately, falls on us. We need to show design is customer and innovation-driven, that it is many things but it is not merely appearance or styling. As designers we have a hard task, to provide innovative, good looking, practical and satisfying products. Maybe we should get Channel 4 or the Design Council to run a “video diary” series to highlight the nature of design. Maybe then, more young people might be inspired to join us.
They may see the time spent deciding on materials or colours or even what size screw to use, or the fact that the problem is always bigger than it first seems.
Photonix Product Design