‘It will be a design war in the corporate world’

"Q: A design war is raging in the corporate world. As seen in Apple, design superiority seems to equal product superiority. How do you predict the future global trend of industrial design?

A: I love this question and the idea of a design war. What frustrates me though is the fact that many companies honestly are in a war for business market share, but don’t realize that design is the only really brand differentiator today! Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc. are all lost when it comes to finding their own vernacular, their own brand identity. They have no idea how to differentiate themselves as Apple did. Also since all these hi-tech objects are dematerializing, and most of the internal components are ubiquitous and the same it is even more important to use design to create and take ownership of a brand.

Also it is only recently that design has started thinking about all the sense, not only a visceral experience. Because of the Internet, and smart devices, comparative shopping is so easy, so the result is a very educated mass of consumers. The only way to respond is with better design. With the iPod, and now the iPhone, Mac proved that beauty is in all the senses of the beholder. The illustrious iPod has sold over 200,000 million units to date and this is a real phenomenon because until today, no company has even slightly cannibalized their sales with various spurious proposals. Why? Design is about total sensorial human interface, from the aesthetic to touch, into interaction, to navigation, to ease of use, to simplicity to the total human experience. In a world where we are bombarded with information, where we work a 57-hour work week (in the seventies it was 34), where both husband and wife both work, where there does not seem to be enough time to really even know why we exist, or how we can have a contributive fulfilling creative life, design becomes the key paramount proponent of making a better life, a more simple, more sensual, more engaging, more casual, less stressful life."

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