Design: Approach with Caution inform, Feb – Mar 2007

Design: Approach with Caution inform, Feb – Mar 2007

In this issue of inform we raise the red flag and suggest that design should be approached with a note of caution.


The fact that you have received this eMagazine in your inbox towards the end of the month, instead of the middle of the month, as is the norm, is in itself an object lesson in the cautious approach design should inspire.


We at designindustry are having a pretty good run of it lately. We have some great clients and are working on some big, exciting projects that have the potential to make a big difference in the lives of many New Zealanders.


In fact, we have been so overwhelmed with the amount of work we are being asked to do (all on tight timeframes of course) that we had to just stand and watch passively as our publishing deadline passed unheeded.


You see, during the last twelve months we at designindustry have been beavering away capturing and marketing the very latest in internal and external design thinking in our new courses and programmes (see sidebar). This ‘design’ effort has paid off in spades and we have been somewhat inundated by sales of our new offerings.


Yet in our desire to pursue the new, we allowed the existing (this publication) to slip, albeit momentarily.


Here’s the lesson: if you go hard after design and ‘the new’, don’t forget what led you to be successful in the first place. Approach design with caution!


And make sure you meet your deadlines.


As always your feedback is gratefully received.


CAVEAT EMPTOR: THE NEED TO RE-INTEGRATE DESIGN by Jacqueline Rowarth Everybody wants to be creative, and have their talent recognised. Creativity is, after all, one of the few things that is supposed to set humans apart from members of other species. Creativity is also part of the Knowledge Wave initiative for New Zealand’s…Read Article THE EGO PROBLEM: APPROACHING DESIGNERS WITH CAUTION by Fraser Scott When I sat down one morning and decided that ‘Design: Approach with Caution’ would be a good theme for the next designindustry eMagazine, it seemed a very straightforward topic; obvious almost. Why is this? Why do even…Read Article BEWARE THE PITFALLS: THREE DESIGN DANGER-ZONES by Matt Ayers As organisations today face the mounting pressure of local and global competition there is an increasing awareness of the need to create an advantage over the growing crowds. This advantage can come in many forms, including new products…Read Article DESIGN: TO ERR IS HUMAN: OLD WISDOM AND NEW CONCEPTS by Barry Pett When thinking about this topic, a number of old sayings pop into my head, all of which can be tied together to illustrate the topic quite well. Two of these sayings are by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) who was obviously a man of thought, a trait…Read Article DANGEROUS TENDENCIES: AN INTERVIEW WITH RICK CHRISTIE by Fraser Scott Rick Christie’s first experience with design was a traditional one, working in product design and packaging for Unilever in the sixties, but it taught him a valuable lesson: ‘you can’t just grab design from Europe or the US and think it’s….Read Article




On the subject of caution, here’s some real life product warning labels…


On a tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of box): “Do not turn upside down.”


On some frozen dinners: “Serving suggestions: Defrost.”


On bread pudding: “Product will be hot after heating.” (As night follows the day….)


On Boot’s Children’s Cough Medicine: “Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication”


On peanuts: “Warning: Contains nuts.”


On a child’s Superman costume: “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”


On a bottle of Palmolive Dishwashing liquid: “Do not use on food.”


Design Input


Emotional Robots (BBC) A new European research project looks to develop robots that can respond appropriately to human emotions. Food Miles (Stuff) With the rise of the ‘climate change’ movement New Zealand exporters are going to have to think about the tyranny of distance. Hard Numbers (Fast Company) Can design really return a tangible and measurable return on investment? Have it Your Way (BusinessWeek) As companies look to give people what they want, ‘crowd-sourcing’ is growing as a mechanism for handing design back to the consumer. Innovation Centres (Entrepreneur) Many big companies are developing innovation centres to develop their ideas of the future. What can we learn from this to apply in our own contexts?

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