What constitutes to great design?


Good design allows an object to fit into a lifestyle however also serves a purpose whilst being simple and easy to use. The simplest designs almost always constitutes to the most sophisticated.

Look around you. Everything non organic has been designed. From the carpet to the wall colour, it has been designed and been chosen carefully from a MacBook being aesthetically pleasing and simple to a paper cup being economically viable however strong and recyclable. So therefore when I talk about great design, I must narrow down my field. I am talking about aesthetically, what creates a good design piece. I feel imho that good design is good looking and well styled however also contributes to the purpose of a product. The best design is almost imperceivable to the user, taken for granted and not understood. However this was how it was designed, so that it would raise the bar and make sure that future products of its class came up to this standard.

A design is an expression and shows the mindset of the designer. It can be used to show off i.e a brand image or can be to show a way of life. This allows a user to become different from others and show off their feelings on things, maybe even including life. This is how things like clothing brands take off. People want to be seen using a certain product and promoting a lifestyle which makes them ‘fit in’. A person’s image nowadays is relatively controlled by the people around them and peer pressure. This however stunts design, making a relatively narrow line for designers to follow – unless a designer goes against this and takes a chance. This is when great design is created.

Do these brands encourage or stunt design?

Simple design and minimalistic attitudes are attributes of modern designs. A minimalist room does not contain a lot and seems really simple however conveys to a visitor that the person has a sense of style and has a way about them which is clean and allows a simple yet complex personality. A Zen garden with space to reflect and be in harmony with one’s self. It shows peace in themselves whereas a cluttered house shows a busy and unsimplified lifestyle. The Zen and harmony created by a simplified house lets a person experience and feel that they have nothing to do, relieving stress. The simplification of a house also gives it a clean look, eliminating non-essential forms, features or concepts. This has conveyed on from Japanese culture to other places around the world and takes shape in architecture and products. Within the design of minimalism, complex features are eliminated or hidden so that only a base white or similar is left behind. This shows a simple and easy to manage space with simplistic attitudes.

Lights which cover the lightbulbs showing only the light exuding from the edges and the front.

As mentioned earlier, a piece which serves a purpose whilst improving certain aspects of a product however also stays aesthetically pleasing is a feat of design. For example the vents on the side of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display allow heat to be diffused into the surrounding air however allow a more product with good torsion aspects making it more suited for a portable environment and will extend the life of the product. It also goes hand in hand with the fans which are asymmetrically placed reduce tonal impact whilst moving the maximum air out of the product. The vents also create strong beams to improve the structural integrity of the product. This is an excellent example of a triple purpose addition doing three things at once whilst being only one addition almost imperceivable to the user.

The vents on the MacBook Pro (in this case the 13″ version)

In conclusion, design can be split into many different categories which change how people view the world. They can choose designs to show their feelings, calm themselves or just because they like the design and believe in its fundamentals. The reason why MacBook Pros have not changed their design in quite a long time is because they are made of such a simple design which is ageless and does not need to be changed. Apple may have spent a very long time and a lot of money perfecting their unibody design however this has lasted and is one of the distinguishing features of the product. The money was well spent and has lasted a very long time with the technology being used to create new designs e.g the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina. This is what constitutes to great design and why is has been ageless in its design.

And thats why my next laptop will be a MacBook Pro Retina!


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