The Shape of Things to Come

by Caperton Gillett

UAB Magazine, Summer 2008


Designer Karim Rashid, sitting in a chair with his chin on one handIt is possible to avoid industrial design. This would involve running through the woods completely naked, but it can be done.

The point behind Erin Wright’s vivid image is that everything we touch—from the clothes we wear to the streets on which we drive—has been crafted with an eye toward functionality and, to varying extents, aesthetics.

Industrial design is everywhere, and that’s why good and bad examples can have such a profound impact on daily life, says Wright, a graphic designer and chair of UAB’s Department of Art and Art History. “Really good design often goes unnoticed because it’s so effective,” he says, “but poor design is frustrating and causes people all kinds of consternation.”

Poorly designed products can be harmful to humans, harmful to the environment, and harmful to a company’s bottom line. The opposite is also true: In an era of unprecedented mass production and consumption, good design is not just a matter of taste—it can be the way for a product to stand out from the crowd.


Read the rest at UAB Magazine.


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