A housewares client and I recently tested the factory prototype of a kitchen product we had been working on. One feature worked beautifully but emitted an excruciating sound. This made me think about the importance of sound in industrial design:
Dyson just introduced a product that I wish I had come up with. The company innovated in a mature product category by analyzing people's hand washing habits:
An interesting article in the December issue of The Atlantic magazine described the rationales of American companies such as GE for bringing the manufacturing of their products back to the U.S. after years of offshore production in Chinese contract factories.
In a recent interview Tom Dixon, one of the world's most innovative design entrepreneurs, despaired over the threat the deluge of “replicas” of his original products such as the Beat Lights pose to his business. Many consumer product companies that invest in design quality have experienced their products being copied;
When Apple recently introduced its new iPhone 5, much of the attention was focused on its technology, but its industrial design over the years has been just as influential. In fact, when we're starting a new design project, my clients often reference Apple's reduced, minimalist design language as a direction they admire.
For years we have heard how 3D printing technologies will eventually transform consumer markets. The Economist wrote in a recent article that "the factory of the future will focus on mass customization" and predicted the "third industrial revolution" . This future seems to start taking shape, now that high-end 3D printers can create production-quality parts in materials ranging from a large variety of plastics as well as metal alloys and ceramics
Last month I talked about trends and how a product needs to fit into its cultural context. But how can a product stay relevant for decades? My stovetop espresso maker comes to mind, designed by Richard Sapper for Italian housewares manufacturer Alessi in 1979 and still in production.