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Why design matters

January 27, 2005

Here at Influx, we sing high praises for companies that value design excellence as a sustainable and strategic advantage. With so many products competing at equal price and utility, the new competitive edge lies in the ability to ‘stand out’ in a meaningful way. And with so much commerce to digest, there’s a big space for brands and marketing that simply makes you “feel good.”

The fusion of commerce, culture and the consumer can be expressed through design, whether it’s creating a new idea, product or advertising campaign. Aesthetics, and the value it brings to beautifying our everyday lives, cannot be overlooked.

“At Sony, we assume all products of our competitors will have basically the same technology, price, performance, and features. Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplace.”
Norio Ohga, Honorary Chairman, Sony

What is design? It can be material or conceptual, and is experienced as beauty, value and meaning. Unlike the fine arts, design has an everyday use, so it must excel at both form and function. It’s also intellectual property and cultural capital, which is why it ladders the entire economic value chain. Victor Papanek, pioneer of the design and sustainability philosophy, authored several books that define his view of successful design.

Here are some examples of celebrated design in 2004.

Vice Magazine’s Design Issue.

Wallpaper 2004 Design Awards.

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