WHAT

IS DESIGN?

Now design is not based solely on Western thought. Industrial Revolution occurred in England, have long thought they had to learn the standards the West. But both the effete civilizations

Because the societies

people of non-Western

of modern civilization from

of the day and struggles among civi-

lizations were caused by the global spread of the values of Western modernity. Both human wisdom and design are found in the bosom of individual cultures around the world. We have to become aware of the wisdom and insight that is being threatened with extinction, soon to be swallowed up by the torrent of

Hearing

the Outcry
question for my profession, and I

globalism. We have learned myriad things from modern thought in the West. We give this truth its due respect and each unique culture digests the fruit of Western modern thought, design wisdom. Design is the energetic acknowledgement ceptions and discoveries without, of our own living world Outstanding perthrough the making of things and through communication. beings. New things are not born of nothingness, but from our attempts which seem ordinary I've introduced
III

What is "design"? This is the fundamental

but still, the world has begun to move towards new

spend my days as a designer trying to find the answer somehow. We've entered the 21st century, the entire world is engulfed in a vortex of great transformation, accelerated by technological changes the structure in our environment and technology, life, overpowered progress, and our sense of values concerning is in flux. When technology both the making of things and communication are often victimized.

should make us happy and proud as living human and they are not taken from our everyday existences, of the senses to boldly awaken

of our world, the aesthetic values that have accumulated The world, armed with economy aesthetic of our daily lets out a continual to listen to the

pushes ahead, but the long-nurtured by the intensity of the transformation,

and mundane.

Design is the provocation

and a way of making us discern the world afresh. Some of the design projects in this book are my attempts to access this sort of speculation it's not going to turn into any design is one thing a designmy own way. If I talk about my own experiences, beautiful story of design theory. Still, verbalizing er does. So far, I've told you several design stories, but I'd like to take a brief moment to review the period from the origin of the concept of design through today, in terms of various epochs. This is because I want to confirm one more perspective within the tide of history, one that looks out on both design and like a croquis. my own life. Of course, I don't intend to trace history precisely, but to summon my courage to create a rough portrait,

scream. In a situation

like this, might it be more important

cries and face the delicate values that are about to be dissipated in the whirling change, than to look for the next big thing on the horizon? Lately I can't help feeling this way, and the thought grows stronger daily. Constantly creativity pushing the era forward isn't always progress. We stand between the future and the past. I wonder if we could discover a key to our not in that far-off target at which all of society stares so intently, of a vision that looks right through society from but rather in the extension mulation of history-a "creative"

the past. The future lies ahead of us, but behind us there is also a great accuresource for imagination and creativity. I think we call that flows back and forth that dynamism of intellectual conception

between the future and the past.
410 I

411

WHAT

JS DESICN?

picked up stick-like objects. we may be able to come that have stressed the up with a new critical discernment club and processed the environment picks it up. bone and The up because it holds "emptiness" more flexible. that hold empwhich act which preserve All these are vessels of intellect. of the world based on understanding. stone axe developed into tools concernprecisely I believe that In the film. the working of their this of their own environment. ready to hold something. a vessel. where they nearly converge in our distant past? I can't clearly express it in words. When was that there in this vanishing point of these two images. and hit things with them or used them From the instant they took the sticks in their hands. was the club the only resource for tools? To me it seems there was one more. as antithetical club-descended to those of manufacture first obtain these two kinds of tools at about the same time? Imagine the beginning of design right there. it developed into an enormous tanks and missiles that actualized have swollen to such a scale as to metamorphose things and microengineering an even more mammoth the nurturing of power. cranes. that are extensions the club as a means of extending By the way. but also infinitesimal aimed at nanotechnology our physical functions.Two Origins Design began at the very moment man started moment? to use tools. brilliant history of human beings. a propeller to paddle the air and processing tools such as the saw. on the original form of a vessel. When our ancestors began to walk erect. After the invention motive energy. Here. too. Within civilization by considering and preservation their evolution. If design is the transforming which forms our environment. for the first time both of their hands were free. What meaning is 412 tools and vessel-descended ! 413 WHAT 1S DESIGN? . walk- ing erect. the is the origin of one more tool. languages. it evolved into the plow and the hoe to cultivate the land. the spear. on this vanishing point. changing that tools originated when anthropoids started The club amplifies physical strength and has evolved into a tool that can process and change the world. Extending letters and characters. the bow and arrow. Using it as a weapon would give his group the advantage. of human wisdom may have the beginning our very existence. Two groups of anthropoids One of the anthropoids finds a cylindrical object like an animal within. and that led illustrates the world around At the same time. so Of course the vessel developed into various kinds of containers. I wonder if our ancestors drank water from the vessel of their lightly folded palms. if we place the wellspring of design there. which house letters and characters. tiness within and also hold or preserve things. which archives all data. the axe has evolved slowly and steadily. Mankind of acceptance change. an oar to propel boats. Putting these free hands together would make a vessel. One particular scene in the film symbolically evolution with dazzling imagination. A stick and a vessel-just do tools. And it is not only large-scale things. However. there's a famous scene of that very spectacle. as a tool for emotions and speculation. like clothing and shelter. space within is so small that a butterfly can barely flap its wings. or books. rotating slowly. our imagination ing design will become dramatically by concentrating are fighting one another. they started them through intelligence. from the vessel are also receptacles has constructed it also evolved into all kinds of tools. A sharpened or weapons for hunting animals: the sword. It's thought as weapons. so did they. including sound and image. When the palms are lightly folded together. group with the power of the blow ousts the other. been the beginning of design. But the club is thrown into the air and. In particular. increase in power environment of of but intellect began with the construction to the spaceship. Didn't our ancestors as life itself has both female and male. the hammer and the knife. such as the the operations and hard drive. Just as we ladle water with our hands from a mountain stream. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). Power shovels. in this empty vessel. I bet they did. languages. Likewise. turns fluidly into a huge spaceship. which functions or nothingness towards civilizations to excess. In the dazzling.

Human awed by things that are intricate and complex. which are neither sticks nor vessels.tools have sometimes united." But in terms of human history. Our attenwhose entire surface is covered with intriThis is because within the mastery of difficult skills Bronzeware was the that then tion is more aroused by bronzeware patterned than by a plain one with no decoration. of authority and power. design has that celebrates the traces of globe. Until the arrival of the modern age. These kinds of mind-boggling which can be achieved only with immense amounts of time devoted by highly trained human hands. The congeries of magnifi- skills found in the churches has the same meaning in terms Is design decoration? of the demonstration and colors of objects with a rational mind. The volute pattern Islamic world. or "frills. which underwent Indeed. complicated is to speculate on the shapes all patterned decoraastounding grasp of the con- power of the kings and their countries Decoration and Power The concept of modernism with delicate. but comprise both. overwhelming revolutions decoration emancipated from such power. The same is was patterns cultivate now? The present is the first step tern. the for affluence and the decoration For instance. the sen- embellished Room in Versailles. more dynamically 414 1415 almost at the point of being able to enjoy a variety of devices and goods that lIAT IS D SIGN' . object is concentrated of artifice spanning in the complexity decorations of modern society and the collapse of central governments and the rise of democracy and the accumulation high technology and symbolism. interiors. design still trainof and these hands. as were breadth of scale unity among countries the rested in the hands of craftspeople. can freely realize their own ways of life. The beginning marked by popular to free design from were movements sibility that can see value in simplicity depends on a special aesthetic. ing for the likes of the aristocrats. But the modern age is a world in which individuals. the intricate. I can say that throughout been a metaphor the man-made. In fact. giving birth to innovative tools like the spaceship and computer. maintained The more the number of human beings on the planet increased. traditional which knew well both the severity and the quality of the furnishings the general public was the pleasure of making things. Gothic- tion. designs using a variety of colorful stones from all corners of the designs covering entire walls of mosques. thanks to the craftspeople. elaborate patterns. the dragon patterns carved everywhere in the Forbidden City in Beijing. in the days of the inception special aura is expressed ruled. mankind's most of mankind's recent. of modern design. By and by. That is. that was used to produce a coercive force. With these innovative what kind of wisdom will mankind in this new situation. Refined patterns functioned in the of all great powers with especially stalwart auras. or clans. The authoritative closely connected cent. the authority armed forces and led to the creation of the dragon patof the religion and of the as well. a vast period of time. and elaborate stained glass of their magnificent rococo decoration of the Mirror accomplishments. with no fear of misunderlong history. So we feel a of patterns. and the more life. with their amazing arabesque the arabesque style cathedrals complex. breed power. the world needed great powers. are both stick-like vessels and vessel-like sticks. elaborate covering the value of rationality of the time and was closely related to the authority to exert centripetal force to maintain were employed. eliminating cept of simplicity is comparatively standing. mutual contact surroundings intimidating and interference ensued. what was the purpose of designing the volute patterns that are densely overlaid on the bronzeware Why aren't the patterns beings are naturally cate patterns the intricately created in China's Bronze Age? plain and simple? When you think about it. they tools. The same root applies to the reasons for the creation of numerous decorations: the walls of the Taj Mahal in India. and the impetus for disand simplicity. In the neighboring nations was expressed with intricate geometric true of Europe. active were the various countries and clans.

of these. but we can catch a glimpse from preserved materials. such as duced. a theorist and the founder of the Arts and system. The cultivated refined over time by manual and mass-produced Under circumstances the loss of something. of some criticism against it. as if I were actually meeting these stalwart men of the 19th century. concept of design. back for machine and aesthetic to fuel the trends of mass production The Origin of Design According Nikolaus to the book "Pioneers of Modern Design" by the art historian Pevsner (1902-1983). delicate and a for such an en- in us by objects. and William Morris (1834-1896). the of both hid- fection for his own lifestyle and culture must have felt the sense of crisis over and must have been concerned culture Those crude machine-made traditional of these substandard goods would never be embraced his book designs for the Kelmscott Press and his wallpaper designs. that was rational and independent-minded. Clearly. Crafts Movement. Their spirited drive in demonstrating---not theory but through real objects-an through antithesis to the doltish objects manufac- of Europe without objects resulted in the unearthing the culture that had been nurtured by manual work and the sensibilities den beneath that culture. of aesthetics. it seems that anyone with any afabout the deterioration by a fight. Their activities were a warning great booing against the aggressive. In fact.had been cultivated over the course of history. the manual skills of craftspeople machine production. Thanks Revolution. vividly conveying the messages they introworks of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Even though production the concept of design arose from the thinkan advocate of social thought. in the mid-19th ment were so strongly anti-modern. so we can say that in the end they had a significant effect like these. or the beginning of its way of thinking. we can imagine what they looked like. long as it continued there was no turning the common intellect that was so violently changing man's living environment. the was the backlash of lurking in the indusproduction as of forming their environment became conscious of design. a vestige of aristocratic of the time and failed to gather enough force to stop or slow society's transStill. produced Glancing to the machine production England flourished products by the awkward through explosion ignited by the Industrial and lectures and Morris's with both men championing Revolution. their insights and perceptions in the relationship design movement on society. formation. appearance the sophisticated at extraordinary forms that were distorted the concept of design. so it's not an old story. 1851. sensibilities awakened which threatened to roll right over the intricate." trampled the potential Using this as an opportunity. human beings recognized for making a manner they machine production. However. and harshly criticizing the negative effects of were not accepted into the mainstream about the source of pleasure as the very wellspring of their arguments machine-made weren't much to look at. Great Exhibition interpreted. they were mere imitations hand of machinery. Sir and mass consumpsensibilities leveled of the tion. Somehow their of the people: "We absolutely cannot bear it!" This was their protest against 416 1417 WHAT IS DESIGl" . the revival of Art and Crafts Move- This was only about 150 years ago. But a new paradigm things. I am in awe. we still succumb to its beauty. including Morris's between making things and daily life were upheld by the activists of the next generation and other kinds of objects that maintained reference material from the London's skills were superficially speed. Ruskin and Morris represented the collective snort tured by the clumsy machine is still intense and ardent enough to unsettle the sensibilities of today's designers. called "machine vironment. which sprang from the Industrial century. aesthetic sensibility against the dullness and immaturity trial mechanism However. production. impatient reform of the era. nothing and consumption Because Ruskin's writings was going to slow the momentum ing of two figures: John Ruskin (1819-1900). aiming to reproduce the early furniture decoration. Whenever I look at their work. It goes without There is an abundance saying that we cannot directly experience the era of Ruskin and Morris.

as civil society matured. Clearly their passionate asm inspired the concept of design. Today. Of course I am fully aware that this is a rough summary a simple metaphor. let's begin a new era of plastic arts. in 1919. a variety of concepts for 418 1419 WH IS DESIGN' . and ideology. various disciplines of the fine arts and the plastic arts turned into a kind of nutrient-packed mountain of debris. we need to once again focus on the circumstances the origin of design. Here. a storm of new and dazzling Absolutism. Johannes Itten (1888-1967) was accepted as a positive aspect. the Nazis forced the Bauhaus to close. here. Walter Gropius The Bauhaus was a whole bundle of activities undertakput his heart and soul into integrating a wide em- design. But this is where system the concept of "design" got its direction. texture. tar of powerful thought. the raging torrent of machine production as a way of thinking delicate aesthetic sense of daily life. it's that in every area of Europe and in every field of art. dots. flooded channel a sensibility different from art. That's the Bauhaus movement. practitioners used a passionate. monomaniacal momentarily of the plastic arts that had ac. in screening this detritus. Modernism on the country. excavated via the art movements of the beginning century. The elements that could not be simone more development plified any further were identified as color. Constructivism. form. as our living environby the development and spread of informaand movement is being newly transformed ments surrounding Targets were all the vocabularies cumulated tisanal skills. neatly laying out these elements as if on an operating minds of us designers as a special epoch enshrined right next to the concept of space. objects or environments. doubt during the middle of the 19th century. all kinds of elements linked to the plastic Integration There's of Design that occupies a significant position in the arts were examined from the point of view of speculation as well as the senses material. movement. both arranged and tion technology. art movements and so state that it was solely the brainchild of Ruskin and Morris. proudly declared. The names and representational the Vienna Secession. rhythm. made with "All right then. idioms. the roots of design thought and sensibility and at the pain that's arisen in this new era. De Stijl. On the other hand. with a little more than a dozen teachers and less than two hundred students. In any event. spanning the epoch of Ruskin the period of the 20th and Morris arising from deteriorating quality. At this stage. just as if we were backtracking then crushed it into powder in the mor- and finally. arIt may very aristocratic during the history of the decorative well be that as a result. we can't No there that of the Bauhaus. Dadaism. lines. the machine production en by a great number of people and can't be bound into any single thought.arts: ornamental pursuits. penetrating verified and dissolved this mountain. were reorganized During through Futurism. In 1933. radical trial-and-error approach to completely dismantle those forms. Even in its heyday." And it did. Germany. ing these to daily life. by table. It was the Bauhaus that with. With the appearance this sensibility all society. At the same time.work makes me feel like I'm being scolded. the Bauhaus was small. in order to break from the forms of the past. swept across the entire world: Cubism. machine-made style varied depending region. This then triggered the emergence of design and perceiving in society. and then were reduced to the zero point. I think it's time we took a new look at to the era of Ruskin and Morris. (1883-1969) range of arts and outlined the Bauhaus plan. ordered the elements. It was the Bauhaus that. thrived in a subterranean of gaiety in creating appropriate commodities as an impetus. and snobbish. The movepained the ments led by Ruskin and Morris symbolized this deluge. on. ideas and energy. some sense and a joy in bringdaily of crude. planes and so forth. but if one thing can be said. Bauhaus refers to both a school of design and a movement begun in Weimar. although negative social situation definitively the idea of design emerged product enthusifrom a the plastic arts. Art Nouveau. so the activities of the Bauhaus proper only lasted fourteen years.

I'd like to roughly summarize its entity and continue my story. the art movements it was on the soil a world endowed foliage the Astoundingly. Now. out by individuals economy in which making things was synonymous government with machine production. the process all live that design put forth small buds in the form of the Bauhaus. a socialistic whether of Ruskin and Morris or of the Bauhaus. Hannes an accurate (1895-1946) indicator explored to the activities a new approach Meyer Now. it can be said that the social-democratic the Bauhaus way of thinking. to the plastic Laszlo Moholy-Nagy arts for the new era based on elements derived from the dismantlement past forms. The world experienced look at this from a broad by which the world world. And in as the objects of consumer media have developed into a variety of formats. consumer that would move the world came into existence. and correspondence quality of their lives in terms of products and communication. the purer the Modern society was Oskar Schlemmer we look. the methods collection of glittering stars would certainly appear as swi ding galactic clouds. we see demonstrated principle. being controlled has had by an tint. in an aim to encourage order to circulate these new products have seen persistent evolution. which is allowed by the progress in the form of trade and philosophical i s DESIGN? the dynamism . that transcends The more carefully of many talents. ern society. in the second half of the 20th century. of inrerr elaegos in many different cultural aspects insofar as human beings acknowledge of movement exchange. and as these congregated the urge to possess wealth. The Bauhaus is and developed in no small measure on the premise of idealistic social ethics. cultures People around If we the of the early 20th century cultivated of Germany The way of thinking with real spontaneity the soil. This was the economy. and communication Design in the Afternoon of the 20th Century John Ruskin and William Morris nurtured the seeds. thanks to the opportunity created to satisfy these desires more and separated. and accumulate erated an unlimited number of authorities advantageously. trend fostered and because the birth of the Bauhaus was enabled by the social-democratic in Weimar. of this group and its activities. speculation of (1866-1944) which living beings crewith the issue of life. (1889-1954) With his precise theory of the plastic arts. the realized and personal freedom was born. that design has presented and liberty. the power of the economy. and has developed into abundant shifts to a new motive nations. began to drive the world. the more individuality of activities we find. simply the result of the convergence from a detailed. (1888-1943) world-perceptions. bv thei r own sense of value. when design was supposed to flower. But if we observe their combined through the telescope of the 21st century. the concept of design was conceived field of economic principle. billions two great wars in the 20th century. we often lose sight of the essence of history. design has become part of the current of economic development. the of modprovided by the Bauhaus. Basically. All design thought. This heightened objects. The more intense ~ tion. Unless we look at it with our eyes half closed. consequently embraces perspective. Both Ruskin and Morris abhorred brought of the Bauhaus. 4201421 \)(!HAT the more frequently . the less able it is to live up to its ideal. but here. of them in myriad and religions. concept of design realized an extremely pure form in the framework ernism. microscopic principle is clear-cut. works to ensure the successive production of new objects. Thus were gena new great power spending in moddesires. instead. Both Paul Klee (1879-1940) ate order (form) by equating developed a modernism and Wassily Kandinsky pursued the original forms of the dynamics through the process of molding conventional carried Focusing on the Bauhaus theater workshop. The economy. viewing the Bauhaus just as we would a galaxy from afar. consume goods and services. Briefly put. within the intense magnetic The birth of economic concept. We could draw unlimited examination activities from some distance. Design ended up being pulled along by the new engine of the economy.braced mysticism.

Design has been Within this context. The value system of that time exerted a latent power over the entire second half of the 20th century. like a hiccup every time modernism the gut of our culture. we see that except for a few examples.S." Of course he wasn't talking into the Bauhaus-like. and European cultures in Japan. Japan was fully engaged in increasing idealistic wellspring the industrial of design. manufacturing industry. Japan had long been searching for an independent design concept outside of mass production. from the U. production. reportedly was creating confusion. and had a unique Standardization and Mass Production shoulder-to-shoulder with Western The idea was that the form of an object is created and refined not by an inciTo imagine the situation with more clarity. design would fuse into industry as one of the gears driving standardization and mass production. Right there. held conciseness as one of its concepts. not culture. when we look at it from a distance. a businessman were honest words regarding try as it crawled tries preparing the useful nature about something war. shouldering of the coun- back from the ashes of defeat. source of human activity. we had indusThe conditions were all in place. and the diligent workers to shoulder that growth. context. the priority was not the quality of the food. For Japan at of design as it appeared restoration that time. but by that accumulation The viewpoint able compared little significant remarkable to the assertions of time called life. one of the representative design was directed not toward the culture of national power. for international having intervention spiral two On the other hand. undertaken great wars. growth. or Europe is dropped inclination to contrast the originality of arms. of competition. too. which would cause more misery.and forces collide. that Japan's industrial daily life but toward with eyes half damage of States and Europe. in Japan has been haunted by the question. almost every design is based on the perspective of a large-scale manufacturer. one that even now reverberates deeply through the substratum of our society like a basso continuo. After seems to be maintaining method rationality Instead. as the new unarmed principle has begun to run This is the like ecoTerms one's own nation with Western identity or thought cultures in reference to Western modernity. It's obvious. is a cultural trauma comthe civilizing of their which found the world as if it were the driving shift of the motive embroiled that have experienced of the world-to nomic war were born from this newly emerging in this situation. the ideal of product design in the traditional aesthetic that could stand crafts nurtured by the everyday modernism. but industry. But these to economic prosperity. let's go over it in some detail. "The next the economy. closed. into wretched to restrict economy. but toward the com- influence on a social situation in which industry was making its evolution would be engulfed in the industrial mitment to standardization Immediately progress and the influx of postwar upon his return from a tour of inspection Matsushita. Modern design thought. with rapid economic for complete recovery and growth. Konosuke neurs of Japan's postwar incorporated Matsushita. in the defeated nation of Japan on the tip of East Asia. economy. product design became part of industrial ning with the Bauhaus. in the United entrepreto be dental plan devised by industry. Without a framework namely. but filling the stomach.S. 422 1423 WHAT IS D SICN' . Rising from the devastating era belongs to design. After World War II. not a mature consciousness of everyday life. but the movement had U. life of the citizenry. sounds reason- that design ought to be derived from tradition of Ruskin and Morris. the mingei (folk art) movement. the world the appeal of a bird's-eye view. these collisions experienced just enough war. beginbrought forth a unique modernism momentum and mass production. premised on the principles of standardization and mass production. This particular monly found in Asian countries The history of modern design "What is originality?" repeated into of with the rationality catastrophe. and its goal was said. Looking over today's product design.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy Bauhaus in Chicago. close ties between engineering and design. left for the United States. there's been no slowdown in the development that affects the entire world: the differentiation the evolution of industrial technology. promoted design to the role of "style changer. image and brand. which in- meant human resources. pulled design along as they developed. and scrupulous from cars to AVequipment. Entrepreneurs. spending. evolved in an extremely pragmatic manner. and mass production. These influxes of European In the past. "management cludes both corporate methods like corporate of value in the marketplace) they also assigned and of the work of handling resources" this device. management. Its first director. In an environment States leads the world economy. It is also the United States that has skillfully developed interpreting the role of design to aid corporate or Bauhaus-style can be detected behind the United States' breakthrough tecture and product design. came into existence through style change and stirred front. while the will resource. University. produce and sell goods or services in response to the demands products of Japan. this kind of pragmatic view of design influences Europe and Japan as well. The appearance uct and turned who discovered that innovation is what whets peo- and strategy of the corporations is reflected accurately. we get shameless design that has ingrarepresented design based on employment the strategy of "making things that are fresh today seem old tomorrow. closely linked to marketing analysis and management strategy. two concepts that have filtered down identification and brand management. views design as a management 424 I 425 WHAT IS DESIGN' . we get rational design that and technology of a new style forced the aging of the existing prod- it into an antique. of the by of ple's appetite for consumption.S. Each communicated sign in his new home. The industrial SONY. most of the professors who had shared school experiences new homes. The prevalence of streamlining to many and Italy. Max Bill (1908-1994)." to motivate consumer tiated itself to the market. However.S. was where the practice of using design change the form of a product origof surface design paired with in which the United inated. (Environmental clude the idea of contending advocated a concept he called Umu/eltgestaltung of design began to inThe principle of the school Design). have shown the world high-standard management of standardization and design responded tinual changes to product appearance. design has in the 1930s in the of a coupling that supports its economic development.. two other defeated countries. in every corner of the world. design in the United States has continued Thought and Brand What about European design? In Europe. In Germany the Ulm School of Design played a part. In short. contemporary skillfully gathers materials that plan. Ever since. kinds of products. sundries and packaging. After the closing of the Bauhaus school. On another Then.equipment financial resources." Series of plans were drawn up based on just to that role with confurniture. Recently these have been joined by information. in-house designers. If it does not. but those helped the Bauhaus idea progress in their U. If this system works well. the individuality of designers is suppressed. namely. the marketing unlike the social-democratic-tinged haus. up consumer appetites. when Europeans recognized the operating con- Style Change and Identity What if we look at the United States? European Walter Gropius went to Harvard pioneers of modern design cept of brand (the preservation to design a portion who emigrated to escape the war brought with them a portion of that concept. strategically to the general public. branding. lifestyle.In industrial design. the U. all lighting appliances.s. Ger- to emit vivid colors as part of In the U. Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) led the New thinking his idiosyncratic thinking about dein the fields of archithought of the Bauwent to the Illinois Institute of Technology. with which the perspective with its environment.

this concept of brand was thereafter and demonstrated support designers. we glimpse again the underlying an element of marketing porate image management of design. individuality. the United States. With branding. we sense the indeas well as a lingering of European partnered craftsmanship. And becanse production that integrates the handwork Still. is quite a contrast to meditative German design. not in mass production. and training ergonomics. a profundity as a sort of integrated anthropology were no longer to be which is then preserved as a special value. structure design as and freedom. strength of what kind of ideas and knowledge system are needed to products of Olivetti and Alessi exemplify the notion of brand. in relatively small-scale industrial craftsman into the production Examining pendent probably European excellence and increasing fame. cybernetics in color and form. Included in this curriculum mathematics. its lineage. the Netherlands I can't fully cover European about the superb design of Scandinavia. and so on. This is handiwork is inherited as part spirit of its designers consciousness because the lineage of craftsman-like of the vocational designers. This curriculum to develop when refined as a methodology. but also philosophy. Expected to do more and more.is clearly readable in its curriculum. gives design yet one more appealing aspect. a pro- fessor and a master craftsman 426/427 to teach lessons. in the United researched with great passion as its power as product design. There are endless stories France. call "brand" obtains social recognition. The contents of this curriculum regarded as an educational to be understood sciences. England. premised deep consideration of the deepening Ulm. What about the other defeated nation. but let's leave that for another time and continue on with the topic at hand. it produces arrogant individuality. but to position . the force we This brand. those fine products marked both by the talent of ingain a reputation for all the fields. Italy? Italian design. design here. innova- of the high quality of its ideas and its plastic arts. imperceptibly mentals of the sciences. corStates." Its freebut of Mari. economy was the main source of power behind the development tion and identity. As I said. environment. When it does not. Europe: the shape and form design takes differs in each society depending on the circumstances and what influenced it during the coming-of-age of its birth. and the fundaor art. design in minute detail. visual communication but it are not in- When this system works well. In these kinds of societies.: . process. of of the national the world of Italian design freely reaches for an exuberant originality. design began working to respond to these requirements. economy. ket and continued on a crossover to science. who "grew up feeling close to Michelangelo wheeling dynamism and Leonard and ad strategy design. whose work bears upon the entire environment. As illustrated by the words of the industrial designer Enzo da Vinci. Italian design has achieved originality. In the Bauhaus. it renders design in which we sense In the market. of European originality a somewhat manufacturing includes the handiwork of trained craftspeople. whose Latin radiance helped develop modern design. ordinary people so enjoyed associating that they became afraid of fallwith the novelty of information ing behind the times. form. guaranteeing gathered strength the quality in the world marThe industrial for a genre of handicrafts or integrated and origin of a product. when economic power strengthened its control. but had formative is evidence of dividual designers and the quality of the craftsmanship superiority. in the latter half of the 20th century. product which includes the fields of architecture and information. and the foundation WHAT IS DESIV'. That is. as a service providing quality. profundity that lay behind German precision products It speaks to of the concept of design from the Bauhaus (as symbolized at one time by those of the Braun brand) and was the result of a very high level of research into human behavior. design of stunning seems they're listed here not as specialized a discipline that integrates simply knowledge formation aesthetics. and products design. Japan. fields.

conflict between jokes cracked by the designers of our grandparents' an epoch of design's dissolution have let postmodernism that we should cherish. It seems like a revival of the Streamline worth noting that those who initiated the movement Ettore Sottsass. If the intellect that understands to clothes of any past era make us laugh because of the in this empty agreement postmodernism makes us laugh for Style. From these events we should recognize more than was necessary. However. developing in Italy. by the plastic. nology has thrown our society into great turmoil. Modernism has temporarily suffered from the experience of being ironically shrugged off as a parody by designers of a certain generation who were tired of pursuing it. ism. included designers like What distin- of an entire society's participation fashion. Viewed from the 21st century. manipulated people in old-fashioned strangeness yet. its pure passion into modernism. creating an empty iconic of what they were doing. we can even see postmodernism pass with a smile. its beism and a new era. The world should it into the world much but if we review it with a little broader perspective today. In the generation of that birth. representational boom is the fact that the designers nature of postmodernof modernism and possibilities scends the work of the senior generation that grew so tired of the mainstream. it spread like wildfire to postmodernism modernism and the new era. of spending time with modernism and ordinary because this is a world of pranks. trying to use it to revitalize the market. and spreading melee too. It was just a fleeting commotion fully. 428 Computer Technology and Design Where does design stand today? The remarkable progress of information tech- played with design. it is clear that postmodernism system of icons and something of a fad. for just a bit. directed by designers weary people who have attained tired of pouring are like the generation. but those who perceived the limitations their own experience system with full knowledge can't forget the germination. From the trends in the plastic arts. designers born afresh among the younger generation who that tranare exposed to the idea of modernism will direct a new modernism include products and corpo- rate identity for Olivetti created within the tide of modernism. we recognize that postmodernism the concept of modernism generation cannot be seen as a turning point in design that occurred during the hand-off of the aging of the to the next. Here lies the cause of postmodernism's from one generation as an event symbolizing of designers that sustained modernism. modernism is not the kind of thing that can turn into a trend or a fashion. the term "postmodern" into a trendy phenomenon was introduced we were bound but on the eve In the '80s. As the term indicates. the same reason. to head into the infancy of yet another new economic culture. Photos of called it's that modernism isn't over was a small. in the 21st century. Originating conceived as the ideological the rest of the developed world. regarding information. some sophistication that spread across the fields of architecture. young designers were tossed about in the as a duel between modernwandering. design strayed into a bizarre labyrinth. At the same time we among ordinary people. in the world of design. the recipients of design. intewas of a kind of maturity and worldliness that recognized and accepted the fictias the aging of a cer- tious nature of this kind of design. the playfulness of postmodernism rior design and product design. but the economy alone was serious. Even critics acclaimed postmodernism wilderment and its bitterness. The computer promises. If we look carehistory. However. whose brilliant accomplishments guishes this movement from the streamline were not overwhelmed through the quality of life through the practice of making things is an essential energy that can inspire modernism evolve and grow. Even if the power of the impact it had at its inception has been lost. The forms attending sophisticated I sense a phase of mature insight. For a bit. I question reading postmodernism tain generation. we I 429 HAT IS DES1GN' .The Prank of Postmodernism On the brink of the explosive spread of personal computers.

to become a superb material. For any material attributes develwith numbers. but have been left to develop anyway. but are only acting on preIn a world in which the motive force is the desire to get the jump on the next person. The implication of just. themselves in this unhealthy technological environment more stress every day. barely managtechnological the of economic might. with the times. which have evolved into a variety of trunk systems that are weak People have wrapped and are accumulating environmental and liable to fail. This is probably because they're afraid than anyone who grumbles about technology be thought an anachronism. but that limitless plasticity is not unrelated opment. in obedience to the new technology. There is nothing aesthetically appealing about communication or the practice of making things when their ideology and education The computer we shouldn't intellectual remain unable to cope with this situation. is expected to yield. I have trouble believing that anything generated in this kind of impossible situation is going to bring any satisfaction Design today has been given the role of presenting vations of technology and here. is not a tool but a material. which is accustomed Society has no mercy for those who can't keep up to showing its strength in "making what's fresh today look old tomorrow" bating its contortions. we need to purify its distinguishing as much as possible. we wouldn't be raries is an obsession of a sort. in the manner professor at the Massachusetts use computers Institute of Technology. of the possibilities. and the world has overreacted change in that computer-filled for intergalactic travel. to reap the wealth computer technology available. is further exacer- I 431 HAT IS DESIGN? . well as bringing novel fruits to a table full of curious diners. It would be best if it took through trial and error. In spite of ground. Apparently. the latest innoas in foresight and were looked down upon. to the effect that those who contradicted were thought able to knead it to a usable consistency. but need to think deeply and carefully about what kind of world can be cultivated I think his suggestion based on this new material that operates deserves our respect. ing to stay upright as they fall forward into their next step. to our lives. the world busies itself with worries and preparations The Cold War between East and West is over. future. Industrial people think they shouldn't criticize It may be that deeply seated in the consciousness Revolution or the machine civilization of our contempoof as lacking ware comes along. and in leaning so far forward in anticipation people have no time to leisurely enjoy the actual benefits and treasures already they've lost their balance and are in a highly unstable situation. These days it's as if we're kneading the clay until our hands bleed. and it's so vast its edges fade from view. Having no way to stop. Convinced are so worried about missing the bus that they but just continue on their familiar trodden paths.swallowing beat their brains out trying to get to a new place.I believe. We are so excessively and frantically competitive that we have repeatedly planted unsteady system in unsteady 430 will Design. at the risk of being misunderstood. progress. clay has endless plasticity. As a material for modeling and carving. In a world of our values. completely exhausted. is strained. to the material's If it were filled with nails or other shards of metal. they barrel down the track. I have to say that technology ought to evolve more slowly and steadily. the time to mature. to dramatically to potential increase human ability. and the world long ago began revolving on the unspoken standard in which economic power accounts believe that the best plan for preserving the Industrial Revolution.peopie cepts of precomputer education. too. That's why people have such a hard time speaking out against flaws that are likely felt by everyone. its entirety can be neither grasped nor seen. Technology continues the fact that our rockets have only gone as far as the moon. However. people shift to rival for the majority to advance and has multiplied beyond the amount knowable by a single individual. So says John Maeda a is that softwhatever that power is to respond quickly to of a paradigm forecasted changes to the environment.

the World Exposition was held in Hanover. has had no small effect on today's design around the world. candid solutions. warded with a direct experience of the Dutch way of communing Now that I think about it. This is the origin created the Netherlands. as if it were raised from a ground plan made of a pie graph. directly necessarily is random. noted for designing the Red and Blue Chair as well as the Schroder House. Though Droog Design. their pranks seems to be a product of the technol- land by drainage and a quarter of its land lies below sea level.Radical Dash probably When technology moves society. The Dutch product criticism postrnodernism's. once one decides to do something." Saying that they made the land means they made the forests. the tradition partly reflecting active part in the De Stijl movement of Dutch modern design is radicalism. this cultural disposition. even if the greater part of this book's mes- sage is an antithesis to this kind of context. Once tremendously about improving tulip varieties. design epoch isn't always Italy or Germany." but there is one country whose design conforms of any other country. the end. Its technique for generating energy through windmills vened in nature and created its own environment 432 I 433 positive dash the Dutch have been on. as if they were drawn with a ruler. number of fluorescent lights were installed at random all over the ceilings. Only the Netherlands' more than that Simply put. WHAT IS DESIGN' . as frank and fundamentaland marked by the sort of athe'd better commit to it until brilliance in the world of a floor turns Pillars do not The cradle of Europe's most recent of Dutch modernism it went something titude that. To pursue a rational designed he comes up with the solution of a building space apportionment. comprised six layers. A tremendous trees to perform photosynthesis. The Dutch canals are very geometric. is the emblematic land. the Netherlands perb. design collective. I remember of programs about issues like natural message diflike this: "Our country's preservation. Natural wood pillars supported the floors and ceilings. The rooftop held a plateau-like area with a small lake and several windmills that generated the building's power. The color selection for the seats in an auditorium as well. architecture. nicknamed "Big Mac" and designed by the architect group MVRDV. and the houses stand neatly along their banks. Germany. even beer: we've made it all. the fields and the canals. something into the blocked mind. it's possible to the radical sensibility at their core has the same root as The aesthetics cultivated in this land of no mountains human ingenuity. into ceilings. the forests. It's the Netherlands. Before complaining nology. who taught at the Bauhaus. The distinguishing exemplified feature of the De Stijl artists can be interpreted ist. and the painter Piet Mondrian. presenting modern brilliant touches against his dry. Fundamentally. I recall that the Netherlands of the saying "God created the world. and it looked as if they had helped the On the sub-level was a flower garden. ogy-driven a nihilistic Koolhaas's. the varieties of flowers. context. also entails differ a bit from and much techof modernism. with presentations resources and environmental fered from the rest. In 2000. it might be a good idea to learn something enthusiastic is su- is now the hub of the flower seedling industry. There must be conclude that the nation has some pride in having interthrough man's artifice. Rem Koolhaas. The artists who took an in the first half of the previous century included the graphic designer Piet Zwart. reclaimed its to remember hearing the sound of honeybees from small monitors scattered in the carpet of flowers. Ecology was the theme. the architect Gerrit T. we call the society "technology to this situation driven. The De Stijl gave origin to the tradition by fastidiousness as well as wholeheartedness. His design approach. I seem visitors to the pavilion were richly rewith Nature. energy. It blows about the from rapid progress of technology. fighting a bit with the jarring rhythm of an immature a breeze of originality the straightforward. into walls and the walls immediately Ceiling lamps are spaced randomly stand upright. Netherlanders who shines with particular figure of this Dutch radicalism. for us to learn from it. Rietveld. on our own. which at first glance look aggressive. The lower level was a forest of natural trees." The Dutch pavilion.

to realize that endless possibilities these media. To create an indicator that can the real state of The is to amass sensible. as a rational indicator function. and most of them haven't been discovered yet. but to rationally For example. Design is the vocation of taking both old and new media.Beyond Modernism So far. The sensibility that allows one to rediscover in the familiar is equally creative. some materials. Internet market. ergonomic form of my computer's I also see clearly design's role in manufacturing. The conventional of everyday life. sign plays a role in persistently and consistently pursuing the best possible solution. not been as successful as existing companies The development analyze the options we've got. planning Every time technological for creating new products or communication old accepts the new. and this relates to the enrichment but design is nor While leaning togood job parts. Today we have come to understand has steadily acted as the rational and efficient indicator. world look fresher to us. that efficiently organizes media is not going to efforts. it maintains of shape and society. one of the other interior furnishings news services haven't eliminated of e-mail service and cell phones hasn't reduced the number of our communication channels. Creation of novel things is not the only creativity. the possibilities ity to make use of these cultural assets as a virgin resource is no less creative vein of ore. practical observations is not replaced by new technologies. To awaken and activate 434 I 435 putting aside the rough information IIAT [S DFSIG'\? . of today's media. wards that tendency on the one hand. of the relationship that repeatedly between objects and human beextracts astounding ideas from ings. there is an unlimited number of ways of looking at some designers have begun to rethink things. The sensitivity cultivated one that cultivates our communication by conventional for design lie dormant not just in the new situations brought on by technology. Design is not the act of amazing an audience with the novelty of forms or it is the originality the crevices of the very commonness herited the legacy of modernism begun to explore their consciousness be trusted in chaotic circumstances affairs as follows. within the labyrinthine people to more clearly understand and communication. Within irs innermost energy. and making full use of well. an increase in the number and complexity of media leads to multipolarization Communication be made redundant design is the sensibility is design's firmly rooted place in our daily lives. within industrial progress on the real state of affairs. design for optimal dereveals a new The same is true of communication. design has done a consistently design carries an extra gene of idealistic thought: and even while operating on economic semblance of a cool. We hold a great accumulation of its value. The abilBeneath our feet lies a makes the of culture in our own hands. companies have that entered the same field after newspapers. tech- those new ways of perceiving things is to enrich our cognitive faculty. possibility the pursuit and shoulder the new century have gradually for giving form to objects.That objects and environments. What we need for that to happen is not to cling to the new. favoring neither. design explores the essence of media. but others will make use of it as perspective. yet we remain unaware than the ability to produce something gigantic. And from the simplified. I am writing this on a plane bound to Buenos Aires from New York. achievements of modernism Today's designers are beginning but also in the common the unknown circumstances of postal objects. this tale of design has covered design absorbed in style-changing niques and design that clings closely to new technologies. Designers who have inof that fact. not only the improvement of aircraft safety. pious way-seeker. but also the comfort of the seats and can be recognized as the results of design's assiduous keyboard. newly established infrastructures. resulting in more options. Design is not subordinate In fact. is. by the emergence of new media. of our daily lives. untouched out of nothing. complexity to media. Just as simply donning sunglasses Digging a little deeper into the relationship of the quality of information. going to end up as a servant to the economy or technology. Clearly. In other words. One medium may be the sense. painstaking in the e-comrnerce analysis. we can expect between technology that swirls the genuine value of design. putting them into a cross-disciplinary all.

No. Our brief jaunt through proved that. nized the profundity of the quality of information perceptible senses become mobilized. Somewhere tion. we took a roundabout we stand together now is where we think about design and practice design. This spot where history which succeeds before we even realize it's there. This is communication tremendously powerful. Beyond the rational observation and the future of design. of straining our ears and eyes to Design is not merely the art of making things. on the "haptic" ogy. but having the image permeate the five senses. we'll find the future of modernism. we sense is based on how we appreciate with the world via our diverse sensory organs. design is the occupation discover new questions vironments of technology from the midst of everyday life. 436 i 437 WHAT IS DFSIG"i' . The very delicate huin the forefront of technoland cherish being equally tangible. that is very elusive yet solid and therefore path. Well. In terms the paired fields of design and technology and of design I specialize in communication and science are headed in the same direction.around like dust on the internet and clings to our monitors. the comfort man senses have begun to become very important beings and the environment as well as the satisfaction our communication of this perspective. Human A symbolic example is the attention they have recogonly when the in recent years that the field of cognitive science (which studies virtual reality) has showered senses-those besides sight and hearing. but have come to think that the ideal of this discipline is not trying to catch the audience's eye with an arresting image. People create their enof this fact lie the future near their loose intersec- by living. but here we are.

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