Thanks for a thoughtful post, and one mentioning what used to be a favorite subject of mine: book design. I think SparkyWatt's comments on CAD are unfortunately true, at least for some objects we live and work with. And I see the same trend in book publishing, if you can call it that anymore, due to the proliferation of electronic "books" and e-readers. I think Apple has been a leader for exterior consumer electronics design, at least. Too bad that other areas are not benefiting from their leadership. I wonder if 3D printing could be that new, more intuitive design method.
I have always been involved with manufacturing a product, consequently designing jigs, fixtures, conveyors, robotic equipment to automate processes etc.As a result, getting the job accomplished trumps getting the job accomplished—with flair and style.I certainly do appreciate the work of Jobs and the Apple folks but then again, all of the Apple products are consumer products.I never expect the buying public to see the conveyors necessary to expedite production and handling.When I think about all of the "pains" and effort put into the i-Pad, i-Phone, i-Book designs I conclude I'm on the right side of the commercialization equation.
Yes, that will do it, Ann. My daughter asked whether I minded that the dumbphone she swapped with me (for her smartphone) had bling on it. I told her the bling looks great. The phone has hearts with colorful dots. And you can't get them off.
Yep, it's a big trend. You can accessorize your iPod and iPhone to match what you're wearing. Apple and other suppliers are doing a big business in brightly colored sparkling covers for iPods and iPhones. Additional bling includes little items of colorful shapes. I bought my daughter a smartphone and inherited her dumbophone with has two sparkly hearts on the front.
It wasn't Jobs that brought beauty to the Mac. It was Jef Raskin. Search out his books & papers if you really want to know about form & function.
In an earlier age, L F Herroshoff's advice to a budding yacht designer was to ".. draw as much as possible (particularly freehand drawing)". Herroshoff was the son of an outstanding yacht designer and was himself one.
Both him & his father made significant advances to the technology of ship engineering for which, ".. it is very necessary to serve your time in a boat shop, where boats are really built, as this is the only practical way to learn."
I think his advice is just as valid to the budding engineer today.
An engineer's eye should be always looking to function. But in the greatest designs, form & function are one. Witness Mitchell's Spitfire or Sayer's E-type
I agree with you about engineering deisgn, Sparky Watt. Even today we see it. The Apple products are sleek and clean, engineering simplicity. Of course that changes quite a bit when my 16-year-old daughter customizes the products with bling.
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