Well crafted objects against throwawayism
For me, industrial design is a collaborative effort to create better products which are considering needs and constraints from multiple stakeholders.
A good product is characterised foremost by its longevity and joy of use; ideally the user is building a relationship with the product, maintaining it and using it for decades, maybe even passing it on to someone else. Surrounding ourselves with well-crafted products in a timeless design is adding quality of life on a daily basis, saving time and minimizing the hassle of constantly replacing broken stuff. It is more environmentally friendly than mass consumption and gives the opportunity to surround oneself with one’s own collage of objects over time.
Personally, I don’t think that good objects need to be overly expensive and I see luxury in simple, well thought through designs with beautiful proportions, materials and precise details. As an industrial designer I feel that through a wider perspective and deep experience in the areas of user research, marketing, technology, engineering and manufacturing I am able to integrate the needs and wishes of potential users as well as the production company’s side with brand positioning, existing product offerings, distribution channels and manufacturing capabilities.
When designing products, I start working with my hands, building full scale models from foam core board or cardboard. I believe that the three-dimensional experience still can’t be replaced by virtual reality and that a mock-up is essential to judge proportions accurately for an industrial designer. Sometimes many different variants need to be tested before proceeding with one design, sometimes my free work remains in the drawer for several years before I continue working on the product. But if I still like the design it might be a hint that the product could join the collection of industrialised projects that are out on the market for the long run, hopefully bringing joy to the people who decided to purchase them and accompanying them for decades.