Design: A Very Short Introduction
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John Heskett wants to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, and the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design combines "need" and "desire" in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user's identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behavior in different countries. There are also fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, Heskett gives us an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future, showing in particular how it can humanize new technology.
to ﬁt this pattern were time-and-motion studies. Factory workers became subordinated to manufacturing sequences planned in every detail to maximize efﬁciency on the basis of mass production. Ofﬁce workers sat at desks arrayed in uniform ranks, similarly organized and controlled in a strict hierarchy. In some bureaucratic systems, the position and size of desk and chair perceptibly changed with each increase in rank. In both factories and ofﬁces work processes were focused on the completion of
ease-of-use in interface design, and even its packaging was exceptional. The box in which the Macintosh was delivered was so intelligently designed, with each item sequenced with clear instructions on where it went and how it connected, that unpacking was synonymous with successful rapid assembly and readiness for use. Subsequently, although the competitive position 92 of Apple has ﬂuctuated in what is the most volatile of industries, the commitment to design and innovation has remained
respects, with more detailed skills in speciﬁc areas of application, and more generalist ones in others, with hybrid forms of practice emerging in parallel. There are already sharp differences in the levels at which designers function within organizations, which can be expected to widen. Some are executants, carrying out ideas essentially determined by others, and even here, their work can be differentiated between routine variations in the features of products or the layouts of communications,
diversity to be comprehended. A brief outline of the historical development of designing – that is, the practice and activity of creating forms – is therefore necessary. Chapter 2 The historical evolution of design There has been change and evolution on multiple levels throughout the history of mankind, but human nature has remained remarkably unaltered. We are much the same kind of people who inhabited ancient China, Sumeria, or Egypt. It is easy for us to identity with human dilemmas
surrounding them. Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (New York: Currency/Doubleday, revised edition, 1990), written from a psychological standpoint, is still an excellent introduction to basic issues of user-centred design in everyday objects, although some of the cases are dated. Some interesting ideas on the dependence of technological innovation to social context are found in Wiebe Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor Pinch, The Social Construction of Technological Systems