Design, Manufacture, Test as Told by McLaren

It costs absolutely the same amount of money to make a car look ugly as it does to make it look beautiful.

Regarding the McLaren design language:

…it’s not coming from just aesthetics. It’s very easy to design a sexy car; a dramatic looking car. That’s not what design, for me, is all about. It’s more about doing efficient design that has a reason for being.

(emphasis mine)

Frank Stephenson, automotive designer and Director of Styling at McLaren Automotive

While it can be interesting to hear the designer wax poetic about design philosophy it’s even more interesting seeing how the design comes to life:

Even better to see the product perform as designed:

Hartmut Esslinger on Crappy Products

Entrepreneurial icon Guy Kawasaki asks design icon Harmut Esslinger ten questions. My favorite is, of course, the one question I would ask if I were doing the interview:

Question: Why is it that companies with billions of dollars who can hire any designer or design firm in the world put out such crappy products?


Answer: Excellent products require more then just a good designer or a good design agency—they require humanistic and cultural vision, courage and discipline in execution (emphasis, mine). There are two reasons why crappy products are so common: first, most “companies with billions of dollars” don’t want to charter new ways because they are in a defensive setting in order to defend their existing business—and when the billions and the business are gone, it’s too late for change. Second, big companies normally have neither the people nor the processes to innovate and there are no real rewards for taking the risks and efforts required in the endeavor for excellent products. In my career, SONY under Akio Morita was the only big company which rejected the common addiction to mediocrity and went for world-changing innovations. Now they are stuck as well….

There are a few other interesting nuggets in the article. Click here to read more.

Click to comment in the forum.

Gary Hustwit talks with Doug Pray

I just found this interview between Gary Hustwit, director of the new Objectified movie, and Doug Pray, director of the new Art & Copy movie.

Art & Copy is all about advertising. Objectified, as I’ve previously written, is all about product design. Hustwit and Pray find some interesting common ground in discussing what they each learned during the making of their films.

The mp3 is available on the SXSX Film page.

Objectified

Gary Hustwit, director of the documentary Helvetica is at it again. This time he looks at the oft hidden world of industrial design in a film called Objectified wherein he talks to the best industrial designers on the planet about what goes into creating a great product. The only information I could find on release date is “Spring 2009.”

Featuring
Paola Antonelli (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Chris Bangle (BMW Group, Munich)
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Paris)
Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis)
Anthony Dunne (London)
Naoto Fukasawa (Tokyo)
IDEO (Palo Alto)
Jonathan Ive (Apple, California)
Hella Jongerius (Rotterdam)
Marc Newson (London/Paris)
Fiona Raby (London)
Dieter Rams (Kronberg, Germany)
Karim Rashid (New York)
Alice Rawsthorn (International Herald Tribune)
Smart Design (New York)
Rob Walker (New York Times Magazine)
and more participants TBA

These are the people taking great ideas and making them into real products.