My Design Aesthetic – Deliberate Design

I want to design things have a very specific purpose and nail that purpose as perfectly as possible. The designs that I admire most don’t seek to impress, but instead achieve their purpose so well I never want to use an alternative. I don’t want a Swiss Army knife with 50 tools, 46 of which I don’t use that only add weight and bulk; I want a Swiss Army knife with four tools that are each the best possible tool for the tasks that I actually need. The key words that I would attach to my design aesthetic are functional, optimized, purposeful, sleek, and deliberate.

I think this is well represented in most of the things that I’ve chosen for my What I’ve Got’s. The Virtuoso Deck, GraphGear Pencil, Node Chair, and GreenBox are all items that are designed to serve a very specific purpose. They’re not brand new ideas, but rather redesigns of already common, easily-recognizable items. The thing that makes them unique is that they serve their purpose better than other alternatives. The Virtuoso Deck, for example, is specifically designed to be the optimal deck for card flourishing. Every aspect of the deck strives for that purpose, from the thinness of the card to the back design to the surface finish. The Node Chair solves the pain points of conventional desks better than any other desk. It allows for flexible arrangements for collaborative work. The mobility of the desktop allows the surface to be larger while also creating options to stow the desktop out of the way if not needed. Likewise, the GraphGear Pencil and the GreenBox are common items that have been rethought better than any other alternative. They don’t try to solve too many problems, but solve the problems that they are designed for extremely well.

My design aesthetic appears in my challenge work as well.

My textless news app seeks to present news in a very clear, visual way. It doesn’t offer too many features, but that’s because it is trying to solve a specific problem of allowing illiterate people to access stories that are important to them while not requiring too many extra things to download. If I were to redesign it now, I would even leave off the function to switch between text articles and illustrated articles. The app should have focused specifically on the target demographic. The more literate demographic could just choose a more suitable application and it wouldn’t cause my app to aim to satisfy so many different needs at once.

The Double Decker was also designed with the idea of implementing a multiple desktop workspace/playspace. It was an attempt to rethink conventional desks. The multiple height surfaces idea was an attempt to increase the amount of space available to work, similar to how multiple monitors are effective in increasing people’s productivity on computer. The chair itself did not need too many dramatic changes to serve this purpose. Removing its arms allows it to ascend and descend easily without getting caught on anything.

For the sneaker challenge, Kristen and I produced a shoe that was intentionally understated. It didn’t have any flashy colors, but it was intended to be comfortable, stylish, and easy to put on. The zipper and flared back make slipping on and tightening the shoe easy. They also ensure that the shoe doesn’t lose its shape as you wear it (not requiring you to retie the shoe or worry about breaking the back of the shoe).

I chose the redesigned shopping cart by IDEO to represent my design aesthetic because it epitimizes the idea of deliberate design. They took a common item, something that everyone knows and has used, and carefully analyzed its problems. This is the design they arrived out for the ideal shopping cart.

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