ideation + prototyping: design for the real world, chapter 4 reflections

chapter 4 of design for the real world by Victor Papanek explores the true responsibilities of a designer. throughout my reading of this chapter, i realized that many people take the designers’ role at face value, only taking the appearance / aesthetic into account. however, designers are also faced with the task of making sure the product is practical for consumers, along with keeping stockholders / investors happy.

speaking of that, i found it interesting how Papanek illustrated this by using a triangle to display how designers mainly design for the higher-ups while not addressing the "minority” that is the majority, in reality. many companies emphasize the idea of making the most profit instead of advancement. as Papanek stated, this explains the lack of "forgiving and innovative” design. the market is too competitive for substantial innovation.

keeping the fact that this book was written in 1971 in mind, it’s interesting that these values still hold true even in 2021. Papanek’s proposal of designers using one-tenth of their time for the majority of people in need is an interesting approach to solve the issue, but i feel like that percentage could be pushed even higher. there could always be a balance.



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