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What is good design?

What is good design? Being environmentally friendly? Adding a “go-faster stripe”? Or is good design simply, simplicity? Dieter Rams wrote the Ten Principles for Good Design and have been held as a benchmark for what is good design for approximately 30yrs. However, in the 21st century, in an era defined by both mass-production & bespoke craft, by material & technological innovation, as well as environmental and resource issues do these principles still represent what Good Design is today?

These principles have been compared to the viewpoints of three international design awards and the beliefs held by design and business writers. Finally, these viewpoints and beliefs have been collated and a new set of theories were drawn up, the “Contemporary Qualities for Good Design”:

Useful
Aesthetic
Thorough
Innovative
Environmentally Friendly
User-centred
Understandable
Simplicity
Considered Branding
Cost-effective

A wall-mounted coffee percolator was conceived as a design response.

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F H
Industrial Designer // PhD Researcher @ The University of... Glasgow, United Kingdom