Dunne Intro

This article is an introduction with some basic information about industrial design. There is one point that I feel confused, and apparently not in line with what I know so far, it is 「industrial design is not art, but neither is it purely a business tool」.

As far as I understand, modern industrial design is and has been categorized partly as art, as least to some extent, and it is one of the ultimate goal of industrial design 「Bruno Munari’s Design as art (1966)」, to be more artistic, to make product not only usable but also visually pleasant, a decoration of ambient environment. The most apparent example could be Apple MacBook Air, which combines art and industrial design. I guess I need to learn more about this book in order to figure out what the author really meant by saying that.

The reason why I said so above, is because I once read a book about art and design but unfortunately I am not able to recall its name for now. In that book, the author discussed how modern industrial design evolves and becomes more and more art-related. As I said before, these days, design a thing does not only mean to design this thing in order to make it usable, but also how easy it could be used. This concept switch from a traditionally broad understanding of 「usability」 to a more specific idea of 「ease of use」, and further, to 「artistically ease of use」. That book discussed a lot about this idea and it makes me draw a conclusion similar to what author had in this article, 「potential of industrial design as applied art」, well maybe not only applied art but also other kind of art.

Except for that, I agree on other points the author held. I think there is potential to better combine industrial design and applied art, to make it be industrial art. Such combination does not have a long history as art has, until late last century, such combination has developed and formed as a researchable discipline, or a concept if it is not a discipline yet at that time. It involves, as what the author said, 「a lot of interrelationship of technology and culture」 and all of these 「is difficult to situate in a purely commercial context」.