Designers influence many aspects of our society. They influence products, infrastructure, transport systems. Almost every aspect of our daily living will involve elements of design. Designers are an essential link in the total management chain that brings a product into existence with that management chain involving government, industry bodies, corporations, designers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end users.
When designer undertakes a design, issues of functionality will be addressed. The product will fulfil a particular purpose with that purpose being established in relation to the context in which the product will eventually function. Some products are addressed at specific targets in our society and so aesthetics, as well as functionality, become critical issues. The product achieves a number of parameters such as cost, functionality, appearance and a set of perceived material benefits for the end user.
Very importantly, the product should not damage people. What is the designer’s motivation in achieving the goal of “an absence of personal damage”? It could be because of concerns about future legal action. This is a legitimate concern. The designer may be incorporating features in the design that will fulfil their legal obligation. That is also legitimate. However, there is another reason and that is simply to avoid people being damaged, by and through the use of that product, because of our concern for people.
The designer has a critical role in achieving this goal.
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