IDUS250 The Development of Product Form

Forms carry meaning and influence our daily life; we are surrounded by objects, curves, lines, shapes and weights that affect us emotionally, physically, and socially. In the course of a day, we are presented with countless objects that each speak a unique vocabulary; some are well established and successfully convey that vocabulary, while others seem to have evolved simply by chance or accident. Beauty, function, and cultural significance are all embodied in a successfully designed form.

In this class, a series of short projects provides students with an opportunity to investigate the design issues associated with familiar mass-produced products, gaining an understanding of the importance of form and the relevance of visual and physical semantic design decisions.

Student Work

Project: Vase Project: Faucet Project: Knife Set

About the Class

This class introduces students to the subject nature of product form, and the important role form plays in experiential use of products. Students are expected to establish a design vocabulary and a personal awareness related to product form and to develop an attention to beauty, elegance and emotion in both existing as well as conceptual industrial designs. They learn this through a sketching, model making, and critiquing visual works.

Lectures

These lectures are used to emphasize main ideas, techniques, and readings. I speak to each slide for nearly five minutes, but the structure of the content may be useful for others engaged in teaching this sort of material.

Each file is a .pdf of mini-slides. Feel free to email me for the larger version.

  1. Introduction to The Development of Product Form
  2. Vizability
  3. Process Book Guidelines
  4. Dieter Rams
  5. Understanding Form Language
  6. Richard Buchanan
  7. Visual Families
  8. Intro to Photoshop
  9. How to Draw Orthographics
  10. Maurizio Vitta

Reading Material

Kristina Hooper Woolsey, Scott Kim, Gayle Curtis, VizAbililty. 1996. PWS Publishing Company. ISBN 0-53495-732-3. Chapter 2: Culture.

Dieter Rams, Omit the Unimportant. 1984. The University of Chicago Press. Reprinted in Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism. ISBN 0-226-50514-6.

Maurizio Vitta, The Meaning Of Design. 1984. The University of Chicago Press. Reprinted in Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism. ISBN 0-226-50514-6.

Richard Buchanan, Declaration by Design: Rhetoric, Argument, and Demonstration in Design Practice. 1984. The University of Chicago Press. Reprinted in Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism. ISBN 0-226-50514-6.