Monthly Archives: May 2015

Exposición en Bilbao de Inventos geniales. Objetos cotidianos convertidos en "héroes ocultos".

¿Qué hace que un objeto cotidiano se convierta en un héroe oculto?

El parque de Doña Casilda Iturrizar de Bilbao acoge hasta el 15 de Julio, la exposición organizada por La Obra Social La Caixa, en colaboración con el Vitra Design Museum y el arquitecto Juli Capella, que convierte en “héroes” a los objetos cotidianos.

Está muestra, reúne 27 objetos cotidianos y que pasan desapercibidos, ideados para hacer la vida más práctica y cómoda. Formando parte de nuestra rutina y nuestras costumbres. Notas adhesivas, bombillas, piezas de lego o los clips, son algunos de los objetos que nos podemos encontrar.

¡ El deseo de cualquier diseñador es crear productos perdurables como estos !

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Design is not problem solving

New visions call the old paradigm into question

Charles Eames, besides being one of the most recognised and influential designers of the twentieth century, was also a poetry lecturer at Harvard for some time. The legendary interview [1] he gave in 1972 on the occasion of the Qu’est’ ce que le design? exhibition still holds his fascinating intensity and powerful poetic expression more than forty years later. During that conversation, Eames explained his views on many aspects on the nature of Design and Design Thinking that are still discussed today. One of the most interesting statements refers to the boundaries of design:

— What are the boundaries of design?—Madame Amic asked. Eames replied:

— What are the boundaries of problems?

Charles Eames was a pragmatic revolutionary: He was deeply convinced that designing was primarilysolving problems. Along with his wife and partner, Ray, they created some of last century’s flagshipproducts under this motto. «We are not artists, we solve problems», they said.

But, what is a design problem? In his book Da cosa nasce cosa, versatile designer Bruno Murani explained his ideas on the matter in 1981. Guided by the rigid and dogmatic Cartesian method, he systematically analysed designers’ process from the moment they address a functional problem until they devise a material solution. «Designing is easy when you know how to do it. Everything is easy when you know what to do to get to the solution of a problem»[2], he said. Considering that any cookbook is a design methodology book, and taking a green rice recipe as an example, Munari placed problems at the origin of a linear design process. «The projective method –Munari explained– simply consists of a number of required operations, arranged in a logical order dictated by experience. His aim is to achieve maximum results with minimum effort»[3]. His book soon became a guide for a whole generation of designers and one of the key elements for the development and dissemination of projective culture in the late twentieth century.

Since then, design has been enriched with a number of conceptual and methodological tools to identify, characterise and solve human problems. A number of observation and analysis methods imported from anthropology, psychology or social sciences have allowed to place the person at the centre and make empathy a key aspect of the process. A determined holistic, collaborative approach has allowed to redefine problems more broadly, thus facilitating connections and intermingling.


When objects shape beliefs

Carlos Alonso Pacual Published in  ForoAlfa.

How Industrial Design builds culture and new ways of seeing the world through its products.

Where does culture lie? If we address this question to the general public, some will say: in libraries, museums, theatres, or in cinemas – which are, unfortunately, increasingly emptier. Surely others will say that culture lies in people, in the minds of each of us. Finally, and only over the last few years, many have maintained that it lies in the Internet, in the huge and incredible network created by humans. Few will very probably say that culture also lies in the countless everyday objects around us. It is not usual to see objects as creators of culture but as a minor by-product of cultural advances. They are there only due to the dominant paradigms and ideas at a particular time of our history; and everybody will say without hesitation that it is ideas that matter, not their material manifestation. But this is a biased, wrong view because, ultimately, objects make us what we are. When a child is born in a hospital, their first impression of this world is the intense light from the lamp in the delivery room; a sophisticated object designed and made my man. They are held by latex gloves, and a green clamp made of surgical grade polyamide clamps their umbilical cord. Since then, they will be in contact with hundreds of thousand objects throughout their lifetime. These objects will determine the way they see the world, how they learn, how they interact with others and with their environment, their desires and expectations; and, ultimately, their convictions and their beliefs. Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist particularly known for his pyramid of needs, noted that «I suppose it is tempting if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail»[1]. But the question is that we do not only have a hammer, but a huge number of tools, utensils and various devices. However, Maslow is right: the whole range of objects available to us decisively shapes our way of looking at and being in the world. Each object leaves an indelible imprint on our culture. (more…)