Expert Article “The material shapes the Product”
Intro by Tina Kammer, Architect and Managing Director of InteriorPark. Stuttgart, Germany
The high level of innovation available through new, sustainable materials is put face to face with the high level of pressure for innovation in companies whose activity within an ever more competitive global market calls for ever more efforts. Technologically it seems that, in terms of functional quality, almost anything can be achieved. The challenge lies in the successful transfer of the concept into a marketable product.
The designers and architects will have a key role to play in the development of applications for biobased materials. They have to develop the things that will appeal to us tomorrow, that have a maximum consumer benefit, and that also have something to offer in economic terms. Alongside functionality, aesthetics and economics, the designer today has to look at topics such as sustainable production processes, the eco-balance and life-cycle costs.
These problems are generally considered and applied globally. Products have to appeal to consumers world-wide – and function properly! The potential of a good prototype concept includes anticipated energy usage, an absence of noxious contaminants through good material selection, and avoidance of scrap by using a recycling system. The potential savings offered by the designer via his creativity can be huge – in energy savings alone up to 90% can be achieved. Thus the designer‘s job has become more complex, and the future success of his design depends in a similar degree on all of these factors. He is a key link between consumers and manufacturers.
Things have today become interchangeable. We are surrounded by mass produced articles and an apparently endless over-supply – this is different from goods in short supply. And what about good design? The Grandseigneur of German designers, Dieter Rahms, has put together a list of aspects covering good design:
2. Make a product useable
4. Make a product understandable
5. Frankness and honesty
8. Consistent down to the last detail
10. As little design as possible.
Sustainable design has no set formula of its own, and so a passion for the work is necessary for those promoting such design.
The approach taken to promote such developments is shown in designers‘ prototypes and drafts that interact with the intellectual and creative topics in areas such as sustainability, and ultimately with the material to be processed and used.
Design has gained a lot today in relevance and we are already addicted to it – whether it is product design, fashion design, or architecture. Design is a reflection of society and the spirit of the times. The deciding factor in differentiation for successful companies and their brands is Design. Thus innovative industrialists and marketing professionals use design as a tool, and offer their clients a real advance in user benefits.