Design is a relatively new field compared to Art. But with new technology and changing world there are 5 things that I learned (and later taught) at D-school which seem to have lost their relevance in today’s world and have become “Old School”.
1. If you can’t draw it, you can’t make it.
Nothing can be a bigger myth. This seemingly innocent statement that teachers use to encourage their fresh pupils to practice more drawing has lost its relevance compared to the Corel and Rhino equipped generation of today. Not only is hand drawing a skill that is used less and less, most exploratory work is done hands on or with CAM, rather than on paper.
2. Don’t use eraser, Don’t use scale.
Another Myth. It was fine till the first few lessons of drawings. Or in the era when you had ample time to sit and sketch endlessly by hand and communicate hand drawn designs. But beyond that, a clear representation of ideas is more important and so if it requires eraser and scale, so be it. Afterall it’s a now a “pre-sketch” for your CAD .
3. It should be your original idea.
It times of Co-creation, collaborative projects and open innovation; an individuals idea may be lacking compared to the richness a project gets from collaborative work which is designed by a community. A single individuals contribution could be worked upon and made better by others as well and no one person takes credit for the entire process. To think of it, an idea is only successful if others also believe in it!
4. Follow the process. Show the process.
While it may be a great idea to show a process in order to explain your final design to an international jury for getting an award and for other such events, Design methods can be very limiting and restraining, unless you allow them to be iterative and continuous. Most common people are not equipped to understand a design method, they can only appreciate the result and you can bring that to them any which way.
5. It’s all in the presentation
In a world of presentation , this is an understatement. The presentation is not a separate activity. It is not something you do afterwards, after the design process has ended. The presentation IS the design and part of the process and you don’t need to do many things to justify it if what you came up with is a great product!
Naming your product is that interesting part of design where all your thoughts and inspiration find a culmination in a physical object (or service). When some of us jumped into the dot-com bandwagon in the late 90’s, most of the names were taken. Finding the domain availability was the challenge. Most simple words had been registered by squatters who seemed to have made a business from the name game. Finding a name which was unique and available in a .com was very important for most business.
I tried various permutations of design, concept, idea. But alas, all were taken! I tried initial experiments with a very exotic sounding name “conceptuelle”. A compound of concept and “elle” ( french for she ). We found the availability and registered immediately. But looking back today, I feel that my choice is amusing. It was a foreign sounding name for our mostly Indian clients…
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