11 November 2005

Six decades – and six different roles for the designer

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Anna Valtonen of the University of Art and Design Helsinki reflects on the different roles of the industrial designer over the last six decades, as applied to Finland.

When the professional practice of industrial design first started to form, the designer was a creator whose work was likened to that of the artist.

In the sixties designers started to work in closer co-operation with the industry, and the designer became a member of a team together with the engineer and the marketing representatives.

In the seventies ergonomics and end-user expertise were largely discussed and in the eighties the issue of design management became popular and the designer became a co-ordinator.

In the nineties brand building and strategic design became the focus areas with the focus on creating experiences, and in the new millennium design was seen as a means of innovation.

Download paper (pdf, 256 kb, 10 pages)

(via Design Council RED)

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