The right kind of design

After reading this short bit on Fast Company’s blog, I’m a little taken aback that the author doesn’t see the value of applying design to the needs of people. Kuang writes,  “the funny, strange concept of a prosthetic leg inspired by the famous Eames Lounge Chair.”  I think instead of funny and strange, I’d say it’s forward and smart.

Design Concept by Joanna Hawley at Carnegie Mellon

Design Concept by Joanna Hawley at Carnegie Mellon

 I think these projects are spot-on forwhat should be explored in school and taught to the next leaders of design. In addition to the prosthetic leg project at Carnegie Mellon, the Designer as Author program at SVA recently completed a semester working with how to improve new prosthetic hands.  This just goes to show this is not an isolated idea. These projects propose that the reach of design extends beyond the often superficial tradition of common architectural, industrial, and graphic design products and projects. I believe these examples are indicative of a lot of future projects and services that will be process oriented, based of out social research and business strategy. It’s taking design thinking and applying it to different fields outside of the traditional design realm to spark innovation and inspiration within companies. It looks like a designer working side-by-side with an MBA and social anthropologists.

I imagine putting on a beige plastic and metal hinged leg everyday doesn’t inpsire beauty and confidence into anyone, but I believe using design to infuse beauty into functions that improve everyday life is just the right kind of design.

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