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Posts Tagged ‘John Maeda’

Where Great Design Comes From

In art, behavior, business, culture, design, Style, Technology, work on December 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm
Rhode Island School of Design

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a link to an odd, wonderful design by a 24-year-old Swedish student.

It’s for a ceramic hanging holder for fresh fruit, and looks like something an elegant Hobbit might use. I discovered his work through Design Milk Daily Digest, which every day offers a tightly edited, well-chosen mix of international ideas about architecture, furniture and product design.

I love his playfulness and willingness to try something so unlikely.

What I like most is actually seeing the thinking and hard work behind the final product, which we so rarely witness. At a conference I attended a few years ago, one of the creators of design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut, gave a talk, with slides, explaining how he arrived at a design for a children’s museum exhibit.

I am fascinated by process.

I don’t simply want to study or observe items in a shop or a museum or a show or at a conference. I’m eager to know where these ideas come from, what was most difficult or interesting about bringing them to life — not just to market.

When I heard John Maeda, who now heads the Rhode Island School of Design, speak in Manhattan, he minced no words when discussing why great design so rarely comes to mass markets — the suits who run the numbers, he said, love uniformity, predictability, projections and guidance to reassure investors. The designers, whose very job it is imagine the new and unthought-of, scare the hell out of the suits. Therefore — constant conflict!

I’m forever hungry for visual beauty and inspiration.

What design blogs or sites or publications inspire you?