Design is everywhere. It has always been everywhere, but these days, design has taken on a new importance; we're talking about it much more, and makers and manufacturers spending more and more time to get design right. Of course, this has also triggered a discussion about the meaning of design. Is it just superficial decoration? What function does it have? How does design affect us?
These are questions that we ask ourselves here at Samsung Electronics, and to remind ourselves of the basic principles of Meaningful Design whenever we develop a new product. Little wonder that world renowned designers and design critics ask the same fundamental questions as well.
Will our design be fleeting like morning mist, or can it mirror the development of civilization? This is a rather daunting question to ask, and to challenge ourselves, we tried to look to the future by examining the graduate show of SADI (Samsung Art & Design Institute) Product Design majors. We found four major keywords from their respective projects that we believe carry weight in our quest for Meaningful Design.
  • Jungho Lee
    Product Design Chair
    Service Prototyping Studio

    As consumer values shift to a fundamental question of ‘why this product?’, issues based on design, mean- ing, value, design for society and that for the earth are quickly changing the climate for design and prod- ucts. In alignment with this, future designers will need to think about the true value of a product, not just on the surface function or look of it, but how it communicates to the user in a variety of settings.

  • Yundong Lee
    Product Design
    System Product Design

    The focus has to be not on customers, but people – in other words every human. The father of Universal Design, Ronald Mace, stated 6 principles for human-centric design: Equitable Use, Flexible Use, Simple and Intuitive Use, Perceptible information, Tolerance for Error and Low Physical Effort. Students, before designing for consumers, need to fortify their design approach for humans and people.

  • Yeowan Yun
    Product Design
    Product Senior Studio

    The most important thing is to objectively quantify the perspective between the effect and product itself. This does not imply that a design object needs to be devoid of all preference or aesthetic, rather it is an appeal to think long and hard about the core func- tion of design and the essence of the object you're designing. In other words, the design needs to be a macro view of not just the designer's perspective, but also reflects the needs of the users in a social and environmental capacity. This calls for students to look at not only their ideas, but also at how that idea will expand and impact the social platform it is based on. That platform should have as much consideration as the initial idea itself.

Good design is no longer dependent on how beautiful or functional it is. It is shifting towards how meaningful it is to the society and to us, as people.
People dismiss design that disregards people. Good design doesn't come from flashy looks or superficial ideas, but comes from its ability to move people's hearts. We at Samsung Electronics are constantly pondering Meaningful Design and how we can improve everybody's way of life.
The fresh new perspectives provided by these four SADI students have given us further impetus to push forward with design that mirrors our lives in many positive ways.
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