Sunday, November 23, 2008


At first my conceptions of this senses blog had me stumped as I could not completely conceive how all five senses could influence the design process. Then while trawling the internet I found an aptly ironic website titled, It's contents contained an article published in the New York Times by Gregg Zachery which explored the deluded nature of designing a product wholly on a computer which was indeed intended for the real world. 

"Using computers to model the physical world has become increasingly common; products as diverse as cars and planes, pharmaceuticals and cellphones are almost entirely conceived, specified and designed on a computer screen. Typically, only when these creations are nearly ready for mass manufacturing are prototypes made — and often not by the people who designed them."

The article goes on to explain that the relationship between computer design and 'hands on' design is flimsy at best. It pushes the importance of the prototype, the proof print and the 3D hand made model, the need for something tactile to see, hear and touch and even taste!  As a designer myself I have witnessed first hand the folly of relying solely on computer based design. The alcohol label project is one instance in which I placed my full trust in a computer. To me the text seemed to be sitting in perfect harmony with the borders...until I proof printed it! The proof print in tactile, non computer based form showed many errors and allowed me to re-evaluate and refine the label. 

This article as well as Manari's quote has shifted and expanded my outlook on the design process by showing that you can never be satisfied with what's on the computer screen because nine times out of ten the printed, tactile version will look, smell, feel, sound and even taste different. So when designing for the real world I believe that all five senses must be considered - in every stage of the design process -  to achieve maximum success.

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