Everything Japanese is delicate, exquisite, admirable…Curiosities and dainty objects amaze you by their very multitude: On either side of you, wherever you turn your eyes, there are countless wonderful things as yet incomprehensible. But it is perilous to look at them…The shopkeeper never asks you to buy; but his wares are enchanted, and if you once begin buying you are lost. Cheapness means only a temptation to commit bankruptcy; for the resources of irresistible artistic cheapness are inexhaustible. The journalist Lafcadio Hearn (1850- 1904) wrote these comments in an essay reflecting on his first day in Japan in 1890. They encapsulate the continued attraction of Japanese arts and crafts for Westerners, from his time to the present day.
Scandinavian product design is historically associated with simple, uncomplicated, functional and democratic approach. These characteristics form the basis of recent research on modernism. Scandinavian design has provided a paradigm to understand the making of the modern world, through product design.
From the beautiful sweeping lines of the Spitfire to seductive curves of the Jaguar E-Type, the practical clarity of the Routemaster’s functional design, to the craft sensibility of a William Morris textile, in the end British design masterfully embodies a purposeful beauty that sets it apart and reflects the perfect balance between form and functions.
The Netherlands has a long history of craft, with techniques such as lace-making and crocheting employed in textiles and ceramics. The Dutch Design can be characterized as minimalist, experimental, innovative, quirky, and humorous. This approach involves the combination of things that don’t usually combine at all, while ensuring good utilization of materials that otherwise look worthless to give them a new value in the form of new products. Willow weaving, for example, is being used to create wood furniture and other objects. Today, Dutch designers are taking these old-fashioned skills and using them to create new forms.Continue Reading →
Italian brands are found virtually in every destination in the world. The most outstanding aspects of Italian designs are their strong brand signatures. From the designer shoes, classy suits, assorted wines, to the famous Italian cuisines, race cars and the monumental baroque architecture, Italian brands are strong forces in the world of design. These are the creative achievements that embody the Italian culture. This exception by most Italian products is a result of a design approach that has historically characterized the Italian art and design profession.Continue Reading →
We interact with different design approaches from across the world through various products. This has been made possible by globalization. Because of the intertwining effects of globalization, modernism, hybridization and westernization on product design, the distinct aspects of different design approaches from across the world continue to feint. Most designers are more inclined towards meeting the needs of mass production for global markets, the result being a general homogenization of product design across vast demographic and economic areas.Continue Reading →