It really makes sense what we are doing...

"I think we shouldn’t do it" somebody says in our product design studio “I think this product has no social contribution whatsoever, it is just a re-styling of an existing product, it seems not useful to me, but it takes raw materials, energy, money and effort to get it manufactured.”

design team

by: Andreas

founding partner & creative director

Should one just take on every potential design project? Can you tell your clients which products you find meaningful, useful or not?

In our studio we have set borders when it comes to choosing industries that we work for and which ones not. Both for moral reasons and because we feel we are not interested in working for some industries. We’re talking then for example about the tobacco industry, defense industry, sex industry, industries where testing on animals takes place and a number of other industries.

We do work for all other industries, and with great pleasure. But that does not mean we stop thinking right there. While walking through low budget shops and malls they appear to be packed with all kind of plastic stuff. As consumers we want diversity and marketing departments keep filling niches with more toast-makers, kettles, toothbrushes, strollers and power-drills. Are all those things really better than their competitors and the older models? Are they really different from 5 years ago in terms of performance and durability? Or do many of these products just leave the same factory with just a different styling, color and logo, having the same performance, ergonomics and interaction as 5 years ago?

A rhetorical question of course, in many cases we know the answer. Ideally as product designers we love to develop serious products, full of meaning, that do not yet exist and that change the life of people in a positive way. It does not always have to be a medical product, sometimes very technical professional products, made in very small numbers, that remain invisible to the general public, can be extremely useful for everyone's well-being and safety.

Therefore, designing such a professional of medical product is suddenly all about quality and development budgets play a smaller role. As a product design team we know it really makes sense what we're doing, even though one might never win a design award with such product, and it will definitely not be a sexy mass-product that everyone will know.

Sometimes we have to reject a project. Not because we do not want to design, but only if we do not see the relevance and purpose of a product. In such cases we indeed might have less motivation. And then we’d better focus on projects that make sense to us and are meaningful in our eyes.

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