The service of seeking and deciding: Design?

What is design? A dictionary will advise us that it is related to intention. This may take the form of both material and immaterial aspirations. As an example, I may have designs on my neighbour’s property, in which case I want to acquire it. Or I may have designs for my neighbour’s property, in which […]

Hindsight and foresight

Designers think ahead. Why can’t politicians? I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT foresight, especially as it seems so lacking in these unusual times. And hindsight. They seem to be linked. Hindsight is the parent of foresight, isn’t it? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it is how the philosopher George Santayana put […]

Creating beauty

It’s still in style in a brutal world Some people desire to create beauty. It’s as simple as that. Not only do they want to have beauty in their lives, they feel that they can create it, edifying both themselves and others. This seems to be something embedded in our human nature, unequally distributed in […]

The Joy of Design

My take on the ultimate how-to manual Lately, I’ve found myself busy being a designer. It seems that I should describe this as working, but it actually feels more like playing. That might be more accurate, as there isn’t likely to be any remuneration downstream, but it’s still essentially the same activity that paid my […]

Show time!

Innovation, competition and personalities on display I have been going to trade shows for a long time. As a product designer, I’m especially interested in products, and trade shows offer the most intense new-product-immersion experience there is. The shows I go to, furniture, interiors, architecture, lighting, equipment, boats, autos and so on, usually have a […]

Value proposition

Investment in gratitude? Value is a word that is worth reflecting on. In fact, it’s more central to our lives than we are generally aware. Usually, we use this word in reference to economics. When it comes to buying or selling things, there is a possibility that cost can be accurately established. The seller determines […]

Dining with saints

Ostentatiously humble dinner partners Recently, I was having dinner with a colleague in Sweden, and our conversation turned to dinner companions. I like having dinner with people who make things, and, as it turned out, so did she. We agreed that we actually prefer it. There is something about these kind of people that we […]


Design solutions don’t come from a shelf “She’s long, she’s tall, she’s six feet from the ground, She’s tailor made, lord she ain’t no hand-me-down” … from Jimmie Rodgers Blue Yodel No. 4 We usually now use the term hand-me-down when we are referring to something that has been used and is now being recycled, like children’s […]

Design by Post-it

Contemplation beyond sticky notes I was recently a guest critic at a student presentation at a design university. It was very slick, with excellent graphics. As it scrolled along, I felt sure that I was seeing the results of what I call Design-by-Post-It-Notes. And, sure enough, the presentation eventually showed some evidence of process and […]

Minimal: Design’s love affair with economy

I’ve been intrigued by minimal expression for a long time: practically as long as I can remember. There were pictures of the cave paintings at Lascaux in the encyclopedia that we had at home, when I was a child, and I marvelled at how much was accomplished with so little. At the gestures that spoke […]