Curt Hagenlocher on Fri, 12 Jul 2002 06:11:58 +0200 (CEST)

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RE: <nettime> Learning from Prada?

> Design moves product so successfully that the product can't catch up and
> design becomes the driving force. Foster called this the "political
> economy of design". This is the late-Modernist equivalent of putting the
> cart before the horse, doing the packaging before there's something to be
> wrapped up.

This is a problem not of design, but of packaging.  When packaging is
emphasized over content, it's not the product that's at fault.

Unless, of course, the packaging *is* the product (eg Britney Spears,

Design must have goals.  The enlightened point of view is that design
should serve the needs of the users.  Those who hire designers tend to see
things differently, believing that design must serve the needs of the
manufacturer or seller, bringing the user into the picture only to the
extent required in order to compete with other manufacturers or sellers.

In a value-neutral sense, the quality of the design can only be judged in
terms of how well the design goals are met -- without regard to whether
those goals are set by the user or by the seller.

> Design doesn't need to be the devil's work. It clarifies and clears the
> cluttered space of so much of our world. The problem is, we're left
> wanting something more. Something we can't quite reduce to stylistic
> flourishes.

Design is about much more than stylistic flourishes, especially with
respect to human interfaces.

Curt Hagenlocher

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