- Posted by Dave Chartock
- On September 5, 2015
- 0 Comments
- Industrial design, innovation, technology
Industrial design continues to shape the world in which we live. It affects everything we use, how we use it and how things are improved. For a typewriter, it may have been how and where the keys were placed or whether the carriage return was on the left or the right. For an automobile, it could be where to locate the airbags, a switch, or the slant of the windshield. It even affects space capsules and submarines. How dials and switches are positioned affect ease and speed of accessibility and use, both physically and psychologically.
When a company called Compaq Computer came out with the first “portable” computer, it was labeled as a luggable” 28-pound innovation. But as technology advanced and components got smaller — also the result of industrial designers — the luggable evolved into the laptop, tablet, and a variety of hand-held mobile devices, all of which were engineered to make life easier, if not more convenient.
Angelo LaBarbera, a Boise, Idaho-based industrial design manager and consultant, has designed products you or I have used or are using for such companies such as Smith Corona, Eastman Kodak and Hewlett Packard (HP). While at HP, he spent 10 years designing laserjet color printers and MFP devices.
According to LaBarbera, industrial design is important because it “is fundamental to growing and sustaining a successful business.” Why? “Because,” he adds, “industrial designers are the ‘artists in an industry’ as well as “true advocates for the end user and the problem solvers and innovators for tomorrow.”
One of the world’s most notable and innovative industrial designers is Jony Ive, Apple Computer’s chief design officer. Ive provides leadership and direction for Human Interface Software teams across the company. Ive is the designer of many of Apple’s products, including, but not limited to, the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, and most recently, the Apple Watch. In all, Ive holds over 5,000 patents.
Ive has said that “different and new are relatively easy. Doing something that is genuinely better is very hard.”
In essence, Ive is probably Apple’s greatest product.
For the world, industrial designers are looking to create tomorrow’s world today.