Poetry can be found in the lines of a book but pure art can be fully expressed by bending tin foils as well, like coach-builders did for a long time during the 20th century. A thin line divides craftsmen and artists, whether they work on leather, steel, wood, marble and if they make unique pieces or thousands the difference is subtle. Industrial design can be conceived as a “process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production” (at least as Wikipedia sees it) but this is quite a mechanistic definition. To me, Industrial design is the ideal place where the production process with its requirements meets the will to create something emotional, the act of setting art free outside museums’ walls making it affordable for the community. Probably no one ever considered that buying the classical coke glass bottle is like purchasing a piece of art, the fact that a machine made million copies of it doesn’t matter: a genius shaped its iconic silhouette committing it to memory forever, it’s enough to consider that bottle pure art.
I’ve spent eleven days in L.A. last month (this notion is not very important), it wasn’t my first trip to the US but each time I get there I discover something new and find more interesting aspects of their way of life. As a designer obviously I pay much attention to building details, objects, shops, vogues.. in the end I made a very short list of what I like the most of this friendly people:
- They Keep It Simple: why achieve a goal in an expensive, complicated way when there’s plenty of simple reliable solutions? Here’s an example: I slept like a baby for 11 nights at a motel without my perpetual low back pain. The last day I just wanted to see this “magical hidden frame” that relieved my problem so I took sheets and mattress out of bed and guess.. I found a big flat wooden panel, just so, no springs, not a hint of a professional structure. It was then that I remembered my friend’s famous last words: “I spent 1.500€ to get a high-end mattress, you know, sleeping is important”
- They Go Straight to the point: They don’t like the chit chat we do before entering into a business discussion. We love never-ending waffling during meetings, they don’t. To us it’s a tricky (ineffective) strategy to understand each other before sealing a deal. To them it’s a waste of time, You’d better be concise and pragmatic.
I’ll constantly keep the list up to date by adding things I like!
It’s no news that BEST DEALS ARE SIGNED AT THE RESTAURANT at lunchtime rather than during exhausting 3-hour meetings. This is because food and laughs are indispensable conditions to create the perfect, relaxed atmosphere in which is possible to start/establish partnerships. Friendship is the key ingredient leading to long term valuable collaborations and what better place than a Bel Air Korean restaurant to have a lot of fun and share new ideas for the upcoming bags? CREATIVITY IS A STREAM, we just have to LET IT FLOW by setting the right conditions: PLACE, PEOPLE, ACTIVITY. So, choose the right buddies, book a restaurant (or just sip a coffee at Starbucks) and start the chit chat, the result (in terms of both productivity and creativity) will be beyond expectations.
What is 3D SKETCHING?
The question is: Since we live in a three-dimensional environment, why ideas and concepts are expressed in a bi-dimensional paper sheet? Think about it, it makes no sense! A flat x,y axis universe could be good for the Simpsons or the Griffins but I used to live in the real world and a sketchbook is not enough to express the flow of my creativity. I’m no painter, my task is to conceive complex multifaceted objects, evaluate their proportions, volumes and capacity from the very first stage of the creative process. Pencil’s lines, light and shade effects on paper are romantic but if it’s true that a photo is worth a thousand words, A REAL MODEL IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICS. Now, we’re not talking about 3D cad and rapid prototyping models: they are part of the final design stage, right before production. Cad models are complex digital entities, outcomes of computers, sequences of numbers, food for CNC machines. 3D sketching is CONVEYING AN IDEA TO THE REAL ENVIRONMENT, pencil’s lines are intangible and questionable, solid sketching is A QUICK TOUCHABLE REPRESENTATION OF WHAT I’M THINKING, like pouring ideas from my mind straight to a metal frame which volume is easily measurable. Pay attention, this is neither carving nor sculpturing a stock, this is filling the space with thin iron lines, so the big difference between 3d sketching and 3D modelling is that the first is a craftsman operation that get the design process started, the second is the last engineering stage before pilot production.
Back in the days, random motorcycles sketches made when I was a youngster trying to explore new forms for a classical product like this. It was a time when pencil was my favorite tool, years before the Wacom Tablets took power. For easy and fast sketching, pencil and Pantone still have reason to survive the come of almighty touchscreen.