Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Young Designers

Looking at a Design Project of 3rd year Industrial Design students of the University of Johannesburg, I was excited by some innovative entries, but couldn't help noticing a few major design flaws.

The first flaw I picked up was in the mould design - the spare is a continuation of the model, and if the object ever get made by someone else than the designer, they would have no clue as where to trim it. Ideally the spare should be indented to roughly the desired thickness of the cast, then trimmed at a 45* angle in one direction and sponged in the other direction.
Trimming - although the opening is neat, there is a lip prohibiting the flow of liquid, thus accidents would be inevitable.
Purpose - is the spout sufficient to direct liquid?
Practicality - if the jug is full, would petite ladies and children be able to handle it without dropping?
 Visual confusion - the obvious direction of pour is in the same direction as the handle.
 Hygiene - how on earth do you imagine a piece like this will be cleaned?

I know my post sound negative, and I probably have put my foot kneedeep into it, but from many years experience as a commercial potter, I am flabbergasted that these  principles are sadly not stressed enough at universities, colleges or pottery schools.

I would like to encourage young (and older) designers to relook their design and ponder the issues. So often I walk into a shop and pick up a beautiful piece, then put it down again for the very same reasons. Asking the assistant about it, I get told that it sadly doesn't sell. That proves that I am not the only person thinking that way. Once that happens, you have lost the retailer as a client, which would require acrobatics to win them back again.

All photographs by Kyle Brand.

Out of the Box Fine Art & Craft Expo