The Designer and his Society

Kuldip Reehal
1981, Vol. 13, No. 2,

Abstract


The design and development of consumer goods is a complex process, particularly as far as first stage marketing. However knowing the systematic processes that designed products go through becomes almost inessential when social, moral and even political consequences of designing itself, are considered. It is found that designers are responsible not only to their employers in enabling them to make a profit but to all members of society. Their efforts can change the external environment of the consumer; for example the use of the motor car affects not only the owner of the vehicle but the pedestrian, and indeed nature itself, since it will be transformed to fit motorways. Internally, that is within the immediate environment of the consumer there is also change; for example television has changed the nature of entertainment. However this is not to say that the process of the development of a product is totally unimportant.

There are two major ways in which the designing of a new product can occur. Obviously, invention is the first of these two. Invention produces a 'new concept', a new principle that can be applied to old problems or create a completely new product. And design is the process of applying that principle. However the inventor need not necessarily design the product or even put it into marketable form. For example Kenwood, during World War Two, identified the basic principles from which have emerged the food processors, but others now design and market them, basing them on Kenwood's concepts.

identified the basic principles from which have

emerged the food processors, but others now design

and market them, basing them on Kenwood's

concepts.


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