To thine own self be true

Design – a preface

Posted by Polonius on 10 September, 2006

First of all, what design is not. Design is not fashion. Fashion is a means by which a few very wealthy people make obscene amounts of money from people who are too stupid to choose their own clothes.

Design covers a wide spectrum. At one end is form following function, often with an elegant simplicity. Concorde is an iconic example. The Millau Viaduct is another. The waiter’s friend corkscrew is a more everyday one. At the other end of the spectrum, design is about using funky colours. This is wandering dangerously close to fashion territory.

Dyson vacuum cleaners cover the full spectrum. Yes they are hideous colours. But we had one for a while, and there are a lot of clever touches. The tools pop neatly into recesses when not in use. The flex (ours was an upright) winds round two hooks and the top hook swivels for a quick release – a simple feature, but nice attention to detail. The transparent reservoir shows how much dust it’s lifting, and it’s very very good at lifting dust. But ask it to lift a cornflake or a dead wasp, and it’s crap! And how can the marketing be legal? It contains a filter. What happens when that gets clogged with dust? Loss of suction.

The Design category of my blog is intended to include articles about design that strikes me as particularly good (or bad). I do not intend to review Web sites. Lots of other people do that, and quite a few are better qualified than I am. Check out the Blog Watch list at meyerweb.com for a good selection of links on that subject.


One Response to “Design – a preface”

  1. […] I’ve made my views clear on the subject of fashion elsewhere. Sadly, food is not immune to the hazards of fashion. Fashion victims can ruin classic recipes without even knowing that they don’t understand what they’re doing. The Caesar salad is a little piece of culinary magic. The magic is in the melding of a few none-too-subtle ingredients to result in a unique flavour that bears no resemblance to any of its parts. It only works if the ingredients are cut up small and thoroughly mixed. I’ve just had a Caesar salad garnished with half anchovy fillets and parmesan shavings the size of a postage stamp. It doesn’t work that way! Don’t change what you don’t understand! […]

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