April 30, 2016

Plastic Icons - and other exciting designs

Plastic Icons at NRW-Forum

Did you know that Düsseldorf has a museum for synthetic materials and plastics?
Photo of red plastic chair and the text Plastic Icons

Neither did I. But we do! Deutsches Kunststoff Museum, a museum with a spellbinding collection - however without a house of their own where they can show what became important across the globe after WWII - products made of plastic.

Yes. I know. We have new knowledge now and realise there are challenges with plastics, not the least from a sustainability point of view, but never the less, plastics have played and plays a very important role in our lives.  

AND! Right now you can see the exhibition Plastic Icons at NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf - an absolutely fascinating exhibition if you ask me. It is full of design icons and other items most of us will recognise, if not from our own homes from the homes of our parents or grandparents. 

Plastic Icons may not be as big as the main exhibition at NRW-Forum right now, but it is very rich in content - and it is even more fascinating as there is something for everyone, it is going to be difficult to find a person who can't connect to at least some of the items in the exhibition. We use plastics when we go on picnics, we use plastics in toys, in building materials, when sitting, when travelling, there are plastics in our smartphones and our computers. 

April 20, 2016

Does Design create value?

I read an article today, on  Quora, an article by Jon Schlossberg.

The Title? "Design doesn't deserver a seat at the table" - you'll find the article itself here

I have a lot to say about the article but I will not go in to all details here, partly because I find it hard to follow, Schlossberg doesn't really follow a red thread - and it is a long article. 

However the one thing I to bring up that I want to talk about is  "Real value" vs "perceived value".

Schlossberg (and notice that this is just a cut from the article):

I’m not saying design is unimportant—design is often critically important. I’m saying design doesn't create real value.

This is where I disagree. 

Good design creates REAL value. Not on it's own, that is true, but that's also true for an algorithm or a mathematical problem. Maths on it's own: Great to know but if it isn't in a context: Useless, really (and just like Schlossberg works with design and says design doesn't create real value, that comes from a woman who loves maths).

Design creates real value simply because in design at least I include usability - and a product that the consumer/customer/client can't use - it doesn't MATTER how good the program behind is, if the functionalities can't be used/can't be found/... the program is useless. Design creates real value. 

And a product with poor design might not just not create value but actually end up COSTING the company. It is not about "perceived value" - it is very real value. A product that isn't used at all or isn't used the right way is costly to develop, cost money to run and is unsustainable. 

Design can create both REAL value and perceived value.

April 10, 2016

There is something fishy going on - blogging

Just a little update: For some reason I am not allowed to comment on my own blog. Probably due to some settings on the browser - I tend to set my security level to "paranoid" - but I just have to find out the reason.

I really like getting comments so please just have patience! I am NOT ignoring you.

Oh, and Mike who asked about the header - thank you! It is not from Taiwan at all, the photo that I used for the header is taken in northern Europe, in the archipelago outside Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Similar bare cliffs like in Taiwan, maybe that's also one reason why I like Taiwan so much (others being the amazing people, the food and the climate) - but the cliffs in the archipelago outside Gothenburg, and along the coast from Gothenburg up to Norway are much softer, they were worn down by the ice during the ice age.