Advanced

Good Taste vs. Good Design: A Tug of War in the Light of Bling

Christoforidou, Despina LU ; Olander, Elin LU ; Warell, Anders LU and Svengren Holm, Lisbeth (2012) In The Design Journal 15(2). p.185-202
Abstract
Some products are considered to be 'bad taste' and therefore of less value. However, if we focus on what a product does to and for its users, rather than on what a product is, we can disregard superficial statements based on taste, and instead reach a better understanding of design. This reasoning is based on the relationship between 'good taste' and 'good design', terms which are sometimes confused and treated as synonyms. In this paper we explore the tension between 'good taste' and 'good design', and how designers can use that tension in the design process. We consider 'good taste' to be rooted in a subjective context of inherent values, whereas 'good design' arises from competence and is based on professional skill. 'Bad taste' is here... (More)
Some products are considered to be 'bad taste' and therefore of less value. However, if we focus on what a product does to and for its users, rather than on what a product is, we can disregard superficial statements based on taste, and instead reach a better understanding of design. This reasoning is based on the relationship between 'good taste' and 'good design', terms which are sometimes confused and treated as synonyms. In this paper we explore the tension between 'good taste' and 'good design', and how designers can use that tension in the design process. We consider 'good taste' to be rooted in a subjective context of inherent values, whereas 'good design' arises from competence and is based on professional skill. 'Bad taste' is here exemplified by products associated with the lifestyles of rap artists and the subculture of bling. Inspired by de Bono's PO (1972, 1973) we created a thought-provoking brief for a design workshop for students. In the context of a course on trends, industrial design students were given the task of exploring how bling products are perceived in everyday life and proposing future bling scenarios. Their views on bling were compatible with how bling is presented in the media. However, when the students began to consider what the product does rather than what it is, they were able to use bling as a source of creativity for their own bling projects. What other design opportunities are overlooked by regarding products as being 'bad taste'? (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
product design, taste, value, provocation, bling
in
The Design Journal
volume
15
issue
2
pages
185 - 202
publisher
Berg Publishers
external identifiers
  • wos:000303692400004
  • scopus:84862684215
ISSN
1756-3062
DOI
10.2752/175630612X13258652805095
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
83a748d7-6666-4ca0-ab0e-6ef9857fbe30 (old id 3917957)
date added to LUP
2013-07-30 11:02:33
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:29:52
@article{83a748d7-6666-4ca0-ab0e-6ef9857fbe30,
  abstract     = {Some products are considered to be 'bad taste' and therefore of less value. However, if we focus on what a product does to and for its users, rather than on what a product is, we can disregard superficial statements based on taste, and instead reach a better understanding of design. This reasoning is based on the relationship between 'good taste' and 'good design', terms which are sometimes confused and treated as synonyms. In this paper we explore the tension between 'good taste' and 'good design', and how designers can use that tension in the design process. We consider 'good taste' to be rooted in a subjective context of inherent values, whereas 'good design' arises from competence and is based on professional skill. 'Bad taste' is here exemplified by products associated with the lifestyles of rap artists and the subculture of bling. Inspired by de Bono's PO (1972, 1973) we created a thought-provoking brief for a design workshop for students. In the context of a course on trends, industrial design students were given the task of exploring how bling products are perceived in everyday life and proposing future bling scenarios. Their views on bling were compatible with how bling is presented in the media. However, when the students began to consider what the product does rather than what it is, they were able to use bling as a source of creativity for their own bling projects. What other design opportunities are overlooked by regarding products as being 'bad taste'?},
  author       = {Christoforidou, Despina and Olander, Elin and Warell, Anders and Svengren Holm, Lisbeth},
  issn         = {1756-3062},
  keyword      = {product design,taste,value,provocation,bling},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {185--202},
  publisher    = {Berg Publishers},
  series       = {The Design Journal},
  title        = {Good Taste vs. Good Design: A Tug of War in the Light of Bling},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175630612X13258652805095},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2012},
}