Industrial Design: Harmfully persuasive?

Right at the beginning of his book Design for the Real World, Victor Papanek lets loose with a stinging indictment of industrial design: "There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only very few of them... In persuading people to buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, in order to impress others that don't care." Yikes... but he's got a point! Consider the fancy-schmancy tea kettle at left. You're sure to pay more for it, but I'll bet it doesn't actually work any better than a cheaper one. Then again, it looks good, which may bring a smile to your face - but as fashion, it'll eventually go out of style. Then it ends up in a landfill while you go out to drop more cash (or credit) on a new one that's less gauche. Just something to think about: whether you're buying a product that'll actually make your life better, easier, or more productive... or something that's just fad and fashion!

No comments: