Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Design: Danish Design Museum

GamFratese, Cartoon Chair
I am fascinated by beautiful, every day objects.  There is nothing more pleasing to my eye than a well shaped bowl or an elegantly simple chair.  But what makes a good design, and how do I know it when I see it?  Is good design in the eye of the beholder, or are there universal elements that we intuitively recognize?

This summer I visited the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen where there is an installation which addressed those questions.  The curators of 10+ Design Forecast identified ten elements of good design and showcased them on a beautifully lit whitewashed brick wall in bold, gold lettering.  Here's what they described:

Good design is:

Intuitive, Honest, Functional, Shaped and Styled, Aesthetic, Innovative, Responsible, User Oriented, Durable, and Good Business

I like the simplicity of those qualities.  They are all critical in explaining why one design works, and another fails.  Without all ten, something is missing...

My favorite of the day is...  
If you can't read the small lettering:   Good design is competitive and stands out in a competitive market.  Good business means a healthy bottom line - hence good design is also a product or a service that sells well.

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