Design is a decision. Design could be made out of void and nothingness. Design could be derived. And product design is specifically about the design of the form of the product. What does exactly affect the designer’s decision in deciding the right form of his creation? What does affect your decision? And what kind of designer are you?
From one of the lectures by Peer, our class is exposed to the three-triangle factors of deciding form in a product design.
First is Function. Function affects the designer to create a form or aesthetic that would carry out the intended function of the product.
Second is Human. Thinking about humans would affect the designer to create a form that would increase the comfort, convenience, and ergonomics of the users: humans.
Third and the last is Emotion. Thinking about the designer’s self emotion would lead to a form or aesthetic that satisfy the emotion or preference of the designer himself, thinning the line differentiating designer and artist.
However, these three factors are really hard to be achieved equally. Sometimes, when Function is the lead factor in a designer’s decision-making, some Emotion has to be sacrificed. Or, Emotion could get along well with Human, in the expense of Function. And the most important thing is, there is no absolute formula of what is the right design – the right amount of all three factors in a design decision-making.
The best universal example of a design (that I could think of and am pretty sure right now) which has balance amount of Function, Human, and Emotion factor would be the computer mouse. Most of the available designs are sleek, simple, sophisticated yet (depending on different palms of the hands) fit the palms perfectly, are comfortable to be used for a long time, and highly functional indeed. Especially when it comes to the wireless mouse, it can easily be carried around together with our laptop.
What kind of designer am I?
That is a hard question. Naturally, as someone who has been observing fashion longer than knowing design, I am very inclined to be the Emotional designer. Personal statement, authenticity, and self-satisfaction when creating something become very important, especially when designing or deciding fashion. Because to me, fashion is about standing out while blending in.
However, I have been exposed to Function and Human, and I realized these two are highly important in the design-decision making if I am about to jump into the professional industry of product design (in general). Moreover, I am highly amazed by them too, because they are the two factors that could increase the living standards of whoever using our designs. Somehow, when Function and Human factors are achieved well in our design, emotion is affected too: at least we are happy about how our design could change someone else’s life positively. Feel proud. Feel satisfied. Feel excited. Feel motivated to design more. Emotions too, isn’t it?
I accept myself as the emotional designer, who sometimes finds difficulty in drawing the line of being an artist and designer. But I am pretty sure, as long as I keep learning, I could reconcile my natural Emotion with the newly embraced Function and Human. Mime Et Moi is a new shoe brand from Germany that gives me hope that yeah I can be like that too.