Zheng Fang – email@example.com
I graduated from The Ohio State University Department of Design program with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design in 2007, but graphic design and UI design was more my thing. I currently work for an advertising agency as an associate art director. To me, design should solve problems in a elegant way. Like technology, the goal of design should be to make tasks easier, faster and cheaper for the end user. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with design that fails to live up to those pillars of design philosophy, but I would relegate those creations to the realm of art and not design. One common mistake I see with designers young and old is a myopic vision of designing products in a vacuum. The designs may look good, it may be clever, but ultimately doesn’t solve anyone’s problems or misunderstands an important aspect of technology, physics, or end users.
I started this blog with my friend Carl to find and chide these designs. Some are born out of ignorance, other arrogance, but they all bear some critical error that makes them Flawesome designs.
Carl Acampado – firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated from The Ohio State University Department of Design program with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design in 2007, a few years after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at OSU. I currently work at an optical electronics company as a product development engineer, and also created/manage a cookie bakery/delivery service. I really do believe the ideas of design can be applied to many fields (including cookie baking), because at it’s core, design is problem solving. Coming from a scientific and engineering background, it frustrates me to see product design concepts that seem coherent, but reflect the designer’s lack of knowledge regarding technology and basic science. It’s frustrating to see concepts that could never be made, because the designer doesn’t understand the engineering and manufacturing that is needed for the product. It’s also frustrating when it’s clear that the designer doesn’t understand the idea of fulfilling unmet needs with a design, and instead places emphasis on creating photorealistic rendered images…that can fool the general public into believing the products are real, and that they could be easily produced and sold.
This blog is a result of conversations Zheng and I have had for years regarding product design concepts that we felt were…well, stupid. I feel our design research-focused curriculum in school has really helped us to not just understand how to design, but also to understand why we design. And we use this knowledge to point out why these products are Flawesome.
Daniel Louder – email@example.com
I graduated from Walla Walla University’s Department of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (same university) in 2012, and am currently working in the home improvement e-commerce field, looking at commercially viable designs every day. Design is (for me, currently) a practical application of creativity that is generally intended for mass production/consumption. It’s problem solving in ways that aren’t necessarily apparent, but are effective and pre-emptive of other problems raised by conventional solutions.
I started university in the engineering department, and then went to industrial design, so my perception may be colored somewhat, but when I see designs that are not only unfeasible, but also refuse to attempt to explain how conceivable problems are addressed, it’s very discouraging. I realize it’s frowned upon to criticize other people’s ideas in a field where those ideas are the lifeblood of change, but in the commercial field of design (or any creative endeavor), that criticism and skepticism of ideas is what makes the solutions capable of being realized. There is plenty of room for having fantastical ideas in the design process, but that’s only a starting point; and simply making a few renderings of your idea and writing some cursory copy and calling it a day isn’t enough. You have to bridge the gap between your initial idea and what manufacturing, technology, and users are capable of.
Don’t hate the players, hate your not-well-thought-out designs.