Why, in your view, after 60 years of design history that have enriched our everyday scene with objects of all kinds, is it still necessary to design new products?
Edward Barber e Jay Osgerby We do not need a large number of new products, without considering the fact that many things we own become obsolete due to technological innovations (just consider the lighting sector).
Materials also evolve and, in parallel, production becomes less costly. But design, the best design, that of quality, will stay with us forever. Ronan e Erwan Bouroullec We work almost exclusively with European companies (that also produce in Europe), so we always ask ourselves these questions: how can we make products competitive that are commercially and economically in dire straits due to the (very aggressive) competition of Made in China? How can we ‘legitimize’ production that is better made, of higher quality, that is also a vehicle of better cultural and social values? Here lies the true issue: we are surrounded by mediocre objects, of low quality in terms of materials and workmanship. Design offers itself as the (rational) antithesis to (uncontrolled) mass production. Stephen Burks The need to continue to define our world and our way of living with new products is typically human: it began with the start of civilization and it has marked its development, and therefore also its future. Antonio Citterio There are two fundamental reasons why. First, because technology has changed and with it our usage behaviors of objects and our ways of living in spaces have changed. Second, because our economy demands it, which is based on smallmedium businesses: crafted objects become increasingly expensive in terms of labor, while industrial products, on the average, have dropped in price over the last few years. We hear a lot of talk about the manufacturing excellence of Italian companies. But that is a mirage. Have you ever been to Switzerland, or Austria, or Germany? They also have extraordinary artisans. They have studied design, they know how to work with Autocad, they often speak three languages. And robotics make it possible to produce better, because numerical control works better than the hands. Claesson Koivisto Rune But design is invention and as such it belongs to human nature: if we stop designing we stop being human… Carlo Colombo For me design is a language, a way to express myself. To represent the pursuit of a constant dialogue between ourselves and society. The objects around us represent us and from this standpoint they reflect the fact that today the world is constantly changing, starting with living conditions in the home or public spaces, which are completely different. ‘Good design’ interprets these changes, which combined with the use of new materials and the direct interaction with companies make it possible to propose products with an innovative character. Odo Fioravanti Objects represent society in a three-dimensional way, its advances and retreats, its technical innovations and ongoing changes of human behavior. To design new products means conducting research at the margins of material reality, trying to push the envelope to explore the deeper meaning of life. Front Designing new products? Of course, because our way of living constantly changes: just twenty years ago who could have imagined the impact of the digital revolution on society and on our way of interacting with others? Konstantin Grcic Objects are part of our culture and represent the life we live. Martí Guixé Of course: our lifestyle changes continuously and products have to adapt to new contexts and attitudes. Ineke Hans There are always good reasons to design new products: evolving lifestyles and habits, changes in the area of materials. Design lets us make (beautiful) objects that adapt to our way of living today. Ferruccio Laviani Because man is an animal in ongoing evolution and therefore has to satisfy his stimuli in relation to the world around him. Mathieu Lehanneur I have two answers to this question. First: ever since human beings stood up straight, freeing their hands from their role in walking, man has felt the need to produce and construct. It is our essence: we adapt to the world by creating objects that connect us to the world itself. The second has more to do with today’s world. Design over the last 60 years has contributed to create the comfort we enjoy today, but it has also produced the so-called ‘seventh continent,’ namely the gigantic expanse of plastic floating in the middle of the ocean. So we say yes to new products, but it is indispensable to manage to keep our ‘hunger’ for more and more production under control! Arik Levy Design is a lot more than 60 years old, but it is still young… We need to create the new and to continue to explore what will constitute our lifestyle in the future… the way we interact with objects and space. Lievore Altherr Molina Objects, with respect to time, are like water that flows in a river: it is never the same. The needs of people change over time, like their ways of using products. For example: the living area of a house in the past represented an image zone. Today that is not the case: the living room is a place to relax, it is more spontaneous, and that changes the type of furnishings. Piero Lissoni Designing new products? I have no doubt that it is necessary. But the question is another one: if design goes on as it has been doing, it has no future. The reason is simple. Design will exist as long as industries exist, and companies will continue to exist if they manage to factor in risk, creativity, a desire to raise the bar. They have to go back to thinking big and thinking small, in the most exposed and least exposed parts of the market. They have to go back to thinking, to imagine themselves in a new way, to reposition themselves strategically on the market, which has clearly changed. In short, what is needed is thought, original thinking, but instead we see an offering of products that is always the same: there is a total lack of an updated capacity to take risks and to nurture creativity. In other words, Italian design is going where the companies are taking it. Who is still ready to take the intellectual risk of doing an important project? Ross Lovegrove Design is a philosophy that comes from incessant research, the result of imagination that glimpses possibilities where they were never seen before. This places it at the highest point of human progress and makes it a vital form of enrichment of life in all its aspects, from industrial design to fashion. So there is nothing more natural that creating and considering the object of this creation as a form of progress and deeper research… It is an infinite process, without predictable limits. Jean-Marie Massaud It is a natural form of evolution and progress. New contexts (social, cultural, technological, ecological, economic) produce new design. The challenge of contemporary civilization is to blend natural and artificial, intelligence and sensitivity, individual and collective. The goal is to reach a better life experience. We need to take the path of reduction, synthesis, expertise, qualitative growth for a new holistic ‘economy.’ Ingo Maurer We still need to design new lights that take us all closer to the world of enlightenment. Alberto Meda The most important characteristic of a project is if it has meaning: it has to resolve unfulfilled desires and needs. This involves at least one small difference with respect to what already exists, because this is the minimum condition to legitimize a new idea, constituting its deeper reason for being. Solutions can be provided for specific problems by developing, case by case, new constructive modes, often with unexpected results. Paola Navone Every object has its own materic, technical and of course aesthetic value. For certain objects the form is more important, for others it is less so. This is design: working on the form of things. Nendo I am not sure we need new products, but I believe creative thinking is necessary for our lives. Luca Nichetto Over the last 60 years, especially in Europe, all kinds of things have been designed, and this is why it is interesting today to move in other countries, other situations, where they need what we already have. This is an ideological viewpoint, but from a practical viewpoint I would respond: because being a designer is a job and I have to eat! Phlippe Nigro One of the characteristics of human beings is that they search, invent and reinvent, transform and reinterpret: even when it seems as if everything has already been done, there is always a small possibility of adding something new. The important thing is to do it in a conscious, responsible way. Because thinking up new objects means somehow narrating the period in which we live, making a contribution to our cultural history or, perhaps, more simply, helping to move forward. Patrick Norguet There is always a need for new objects, but today the time has also come for ethics, the need to design ‘correct’ objects. Responsible, visionary production, with a political and cultural ambition to achieve a more equitable future. Jorge Pensi The world evolves (though not always in a positive way) and in the case of design the need to create new objects is connected with changing habits, the discovery of new materials, the extraordinary development of technology and, above all, the (very human) desire to create something that goes beyond what already exists. Marc Sadler Designing new objects? Of course, because the technologies have changed, and the objects of everyday life change with them. And because due to mass consumption many products of questionable taste have been made, and it wouldn’t hurt to replace them with other more aesthetically gratifying things. Sawaya&Moroni It is written in our genes… Man has always wanted to change, to renew, always ready to betray if it means experiencing new things. It is also because our everyday world is constantly evolving, developing new needs and new technology that needs to be humanized through the objects that surround us. Matteo Thun New products? Of course, but they will be dematerialized, they will become services. Above all, the new ‘objects’ will follow the dematerialized aesthetic canons of my kids, i.e. of the next generation… this is why it is still necessary to design things! Tokujin Yoshioka Because doing design means creating the future.