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The transformation from impression to expression: A model for visualising different viewpoints and goals in craft, art, design and company work.
2006 (English)In: Connecting / [ed] University of Art and Design Helsinki and Estonian Academy of Arts, Helsinki, Finland, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Design is often described as a profession where the result of the work is future

oriented. Herbert Simon defined it as work that aims at “changing existing

situations into preferred ones” . This may refer to a design process where the result

can be very unpredictable even if the goal is thoroughly outlined. David Pye has

portrayed this performance as “workmanship of risk” which differs from

“workmanship of certainty” which is production performed by industry. There is

limited knowledge regarding the design profession in manufacturing companies.

Descriptions of why and for what industry shall use designers cover a broad

spectrum of design competence, from an omnipotent saviour at the centre of

strategic product planning to someone who applies nice colours to objects at the

end of a production process.

Artists were the first group with specific creative competence that were employed

by industries to work with product design. For artists in industry, the social aspects

of their work — related to democracy, social equality and cultural education — were

important. Working in manufacturing industry gave them both economic security

and an arena in which to achieve idealistic objectives.

The shift to a professionalisation of design meant that the purpose of the work

changed. It also meant a shift in both the influences used to perform work and the

expressions illustrating the result. To understand the transference from an

impression to a visual component in a product, a time aspect can be added. In this

way it is possible to illustrate the variations as an effect of different working

processes, but above all as a result based on different aims. In this paper a model

is presented. Four professions — and four aspects of their working processes — are

compared: artisans, artists in industry, marketers and designers. In reality, the

professions consist of heterogeneous groups that themselves have disparate

strategies, goals and ways of working, but by simplifying and focusing the attention

on differences, it is possible to understand the respective outcomes of the working

processes. The aspects compared are: impression ¬— influences and the effects

due to references outside the individual; mark — external memory: common values

and interpretations from the surrounding culture; imprint — internal memory: the

effect of impression revised by the individual; expression — the way in which an

individual manifests his or her interpretation or point of view.

Is it the way we posit ourselves on a timescale in reference to input and goal that

causes variations in the design result? The model illustrates significant differences

between the professions, from the craftsman, who attends to traditions and the

surrounding culture, and aims at a contemporary product, to the designers’ way of

using both impressions from history, contemporary influences and internal

memories (bricolage), and aims at products for future use.

85

The model also illustrates the discrepancies between working processes in

marketing and design. Today many companies acknowledge the need to invest in

design proficiency, and accept a design process with a goal that is less

predetermined, even though profound knowledge of the possibilities and limitations

of the design profession is scarce. An increased comprehension of different work

processes and viewpoints can contribute to better understanding and a more fruitful

collaboration between stakeholders in the design process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki, Finland, 2006.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244772ISBN: 951-558-210-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-244772DiVA, id: diva2:1291469
Conference
ICDHS - International Committee of Design History and Studies
Note

QCR 20190304

Available from: 2019-02-25 Created: 2019-02-25 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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