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What design is all about?

20-06-2017

This unique design hides a lot of mysteries
You just need to open it wide to see its full potential
Those legs are a perfect example of brilliant combination of utility with industrial aesthetics

Design is everywhere. Such omnipresence is a value not only because of a great dependence between aesthetics and usability, but also it is one of the greatest achievements of human creative potency. But… what is “design”? What does it mean? It’s funny how often we hear this word and at the same time we intuitively grasp it’s meaning. Whenever this situation occurs, whenever something happens automatically, we have justified right  to feel suspicious. Especially when we move about the world of words. And where are suspicions, there are chances to investigate.

The first thing that comes to mind, is that design is related to creativity. People design things. People create things. But as we can create thoughts, we cannot design them. Why? Because creation is much wider than the latter. It can be instinctive, momentary and… useless. Design have a purpose, that’s the second thing. The meaning of “purpose” is a slippery term, of course. In some interpretations we can say that everything has it, thus everything is designed. But that’s a wrong way to look at things, because we evade the intentionality. We end with such conclusion: to design is to intentionally create something with a purpose.

So if I made a sign “Keep of the grass!”, does it mean I designed it? I’ve made it intentionally, I’ve created it and I’ve made it for a certain purpose, for sure: to keep people away from my grass. But somehow we don’t feel comfortable using the word “design” in this example. One might think it would be an exaggeration and that gives us a clue that we forgot about something. This guides us to one of the least palpable term in human culture: aesthetics. We wouldn’t say without suspicion that I designed this sign because during it’s creation, I didn’t care how it looked like. Even if I thought “I’ll use yellow letters on a green background because I like these colors”, that doesn’t mean that easthetics were as important as a function, which I like this sign to perform. That’s where the shoe pinches! To design means to intentionally create something  with a purpose and this purpose cannot outperform the aesthetics. And vice versa!

This delicate balance is not only the cornerstone of design – it’s a definition of a perfect design! Lets take a look at Celo, an extraordinary drink cabinet by Zapalgo. Brute, solid, hexagonal block on four machine trapezoid spindles – everything made of raw, pure materials – solid wood, thick copper plates and iron. You can see that this out-of-this-planet design performs perfectly it’s function. Those heavy doors made of solid oak in this example are beautifully shrouded by raw copper sheets.  Aesthetic. They however hide a great place to keep your glasses: whiskey glasses, scotch glasses or wine glasses, you name it! Purpose.

We used all our strength to maximize the usage of hexagonal shape and, as you can see, we raised to the challenge. Most of its space is used to keep bottles and glasses, on the wooden bottom or on the glass shelf. And to make sure that the shape is used to it’s full potential, you can hide your wine bottles in the lower section of hexagon – this solution is remarkable because you can recognize the bottle just by looking at the top of it. And at last – but not least – pay attention to the legs. Their screw-like shape not only looks industrial but also it’s useful in shipping – legs can be unscrewed to decrease the shipping costs.  Aesthetics and purpose.

As you can see our drink cabinet is a perfect example of true and balanced design. It not only presents itself like something out of this world, something extraordinary, but also as a fruit of wonderful dependence between aesthetics and serviceableness. And as far as design is concerned we couldn’t crave more.

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