What is design? Design is everywhere and embedded into everything we use on a daily basis. However, even though there is design in everything, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has a good design. In my opinion, in order to have a good design everything has to just work. Functionality and form have to blend together in order for the products sole purpose to work properly. Say for example you bought a knife that looks absolutely stunning, mahogany handle and cobbled blade edge but it couldn’t cut properly. Seems rather redundant doesn’t it? The sole purpose of a knife is to cut and if it doesn’t do that, well then its useless as a knife. Good design can only be achieved if all the elements are present. When watching a TED talk about the parallels of design and happiness, the keynote speaker said that “pleasant things work better” and I truly agree with him. Objects that look and feel pleasant when using them resonate emotions of happiness there by creating a wonderful experience. I have complied a list of objects that contain all the elements of a good design and hopefully upon conclusion you will see everything you use in a different light.
Say hello to the Yumaki toothbrush. I recently ordered this toothbrush and am currently awaiting its arrival but I cannot wait to try it out. The body is crafted using an ebb and flow movement. Aesthetically it is very pleasing because your eyes move seamlessly up and down the shaft. The functionality of the Yumaki toothbrush is superb as well because of its simplistic purpose, it does what is suppose to…clean teeth. Speaking of cleaning teeth, the tiny hole at the end of the shaft allows you to clean your pearly whites in a different way. As you can see in the photo, it comes with attachments so you can really get those hard to reach spots. Additionally, theres no batteries or replacing of brush heads, it just works. Retails for $15.
Mighty Dwarf Portable Acoustic Music Player
The Mighty Dwarf is a revolutionary device in music player industry. This compact little device produces omni-directional 360° sound by transferring the music into the surface its placed on, there by causing the said surface to produce the music indirectly. By changing the surface it is placed on, the sound will be changed as well. The cool thing I find about the Mighty Dwarf is that by looking at you cannot tell that its a speaker system. They used a design that is deceiving and therefore intrigues the user to fiddle around with it. I first saw this little guy in a downtown Toronto clothing store. The sales rep put the Mighty Dwarf up to a surf board and I was absolutely blown away. To think that such amazing sound was being produced in part by this compact device was astonishing. It really brings the fun back in to playing with your music because it encourages you to discover new surfaces to use it on. Retail $65.
One of the most talked about releases in recent history, the Iphone 5 was released in September of 2012. Apple seems pretty happy about latest installment to the Iphone family calling it the thinnest, lightest and fastest Iphone ever. I can attest to that fact seeing as I have had my black Iphone 5 for a little over 2 months now. Outstanding. Incredibly light. Fast as a cheetah. These are just a few ways I would describe my new smart phone. It is easily lighter and faster than its Iphone 4s counter part. I have had a few problems though as can be expected with any new product. The side trimming, which when brand new shines bright as a jewel, has been chipping and can be easily dented. Customers were asking for a new design to what they had previously seen from other Iphone models and Apple delivered in a big way. They increased the screen size allowing for an extra row of applications and created a new matte finish on the back of the phone. The extra screen size is a perfect fit for your hand as you can reach your thumb to the opposite corner easily. It really is a piece of art and looks like a jewel when examined closer. In order to keep customers intrigued, Apple updated their design to better suit the user. Apple always seems to raise the bar, thanks in large part to Jonathan Ive, Senior VP of Design. Retails from $699, no contract.
U Socket USB Wall Plug
Absolutely genius. The U Socket wall plug is stupidly simplistic but draws upon the functionality part of a good design. This simple idea will pay huge dividends for whoever uses it. I know myself being a university student, I am constantly fumbling with extension cords to fit all my chargers into and more times than not, there not enough to go around. By having a side usb spot in the outlet, there is always a designated spot to charge my phone or ipod. Another benefit to this design is that it is not ugly. Generally when there is a genius idea such as this one, both components of functionality and beauty are not present because you sacrifice beauty for the sake of function. The U Socket is an amazing design and I may have to think about picking one up in the near future. Retails for $25.
Samsung Smart TV
Im sure we’ve all seen the commercials advertising the new wave of high definition tv’s. The new smart TV made by Samsung has amazing social media integration including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Netflix all at your finger tips directly from your smartphone. Samsung is really raising the bar and changing the concept of what a TV can and should be. Never in our wildest dreams would we have thought that we could Tweet directly from our TV or watch Gangnam style on Youtube but Samsung made that dream a reality. If that isn’t enough, you can also Skype on this gorgeous HD 1080p screen with Samsung’s face recognition system. The stand has been completely redesigned as well making it look more like a piece of art rather than a dull piece of plastic. Also the trim around the edge of screen is non existent completing the whole image Samsung is trying to convey. The sleekness is most likely here to stay and we will probably see more tv’s of this variety in the future. Retails for ~$2700.