Tag Archives: Dept. of Design Exploration

White, wearable & wicked?

A humble white cotton garment holds out a simple, but oft forgotten lesson for those who define and design products: the inevitable, and often messy, fingerprints and footprints of our actions. On people and on our planet.

In a May 2012 blog post on The Design Observer, John Thackra reasons “Why White is Wicked”. Just two of the several points that Thackra posits (and I haven’t double checked the stats) underscore the environmental concerns around making cotton whiter and wearable: Continue reading

Sales versus Design?

The debate was getting emotional and charged. One side represented by the evergreen salesman – DR and the other side by yours truly. “Nothing happens until you sell it” – is DR’s contention. “Good design can only make the sales process easier – it sells itself”, I add pointing to the iPod. Can you imagine a door-to-door salesmen touting iPods or telesales agents calling up with deals?

Or think of time when the ‘think small’ advert became etched in a generation’s minds. That may have driven a decent number to the VW dealership – though I have no idea what is the ratio of people who saw the adverts to the those who made the final purchase. A good few decades later the brand is still etched in the collective consciousness.

“Selling is equally creative” adds DR. I think creativity is an attitude – anything can be approached in a creative, inventive or child-like manner: as if seeing it for the first time and bringing a fresh pair of eyes, ears or head, to the issue. As long as one isn’t creative with numbers, even accounting problems can be approached with a creative hat.

“What about the John Abraham’s Flu Relief Lozenges?”, quips in DR. I am sure design can help it sell better, possibly not faster. Though we must always remember that good design can merely make a bad product fail faster. I don’t disagree with DR on the issue of selling – “until it’s sold nothing happens” – but the process, structure, routine and ritual of sales are widely varying – and more often given a bad reputation by those who are out to make a quick buck. Perhaps I can get across the point that design is about enhancing desireability of a product or service, thereby making it more ‘sale-able’. Or perhaps DR knows already.