Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ken Fry’s Manifesto for Industrial Designers

Ken Fry believes that it is time for industrial designers to redefine their profession. In the article posted below Fry outlines his Manifesto for Industrial Designers, which he provides as a tool that will enable this change. The ten key points in the manifesto are:

1. Design beautiful experiences, not beautiful artifacts
2. Stop asking "what" and start asking "why"
3. Start with experience, end with experience
4. Genius will fail, wisdom will succeed. Become wise
5. Keep it simple
6. From design thinking to dynamic thinking
7. Let iteration direct your process: Work more rapidly, change more frequently
8. Have fun
9. Adapt your process to your design goals, not the other way around
10. Preserve the experience, not your own competency

The second point ‘Stop asking “what” and start asking “why”’ stood out to me and made me think of Jamie discussing a project based on re-designing a wheelbarrow in order to transport dirt. Fry states in the manifesto that asking why enables you to open up new possibilities that go beyond the physical product and into the realm of experience. The wheelbarrow is an example of this since, as it turned out, the object to be designed did not need to have wheels, or take the form of a wheelbarrow. The experience of moving dirt changed as the guidelines for the project went from re-designing a wheelbarrow to design a means of transporting dirt, just by having someone ask questions like why does the structure need to have wheels?

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