Archetypal quality — an iconic look.
Archetype is an assamblage of ideal shapes reduced to their essence. It is an iconic, simplistic look that people easily remember — even a simple outline of the design could indicate its origin.
The key and challenge of reaching a certain archetype lies in balancing the simplicity with narrative features and sculptural execution.
Success of Apple is based on the premise of a well executed simplicity that is completely neutral and thus, enables the greatest room to “identify” with the product. However, Apple presents the extremity that sacrifices the other two components to reach the greatest audience, a median without a clearly defined taste.
Dyson is an example that goes further in terms of design maturitity. It fuses iconic look with a clear concept of narrativity in its identity and encases these features into smooth aesthetics.
Narrative quality — the story in design.
“Narrativity” in design is all about creating a combination of shapes and materials that create a sense of inner logic that has an epical consequentiality.
Aesthetical consequentiality is built on two pillars — form and function and their context. Historical or classical “design” was built mainly through ornament that carries the motion and intent of a certain narrative aim, function is in this case mostly structural.
In modern or contemporary design, the function becomes the form. The forms may be inspired and thematic, but their existence is derived from the presence of a certain functional element.
The best field to explain this concept is Haute Horlogerie. Complex mechanisms and their numerous functional points lead designers firmly to make the best aesthetical use of them and showcase the function in the best possible manner.
Similar thinking can be applied in any contemporary design — the function leads the aesthetical demonstration and with the combination of a theme, the design will present pure “storytelling”, without any ornament, only through a simple combination of shapes introduced through a function.
Sculptural quality — the fluency and attractivity of forms.
Sculptural in design can be defined as a balance of sharp and round forms. The complexity of such shaping is determined by the degree of presence of an archetype. The more discerning the archetype, the less developed is the complexity of sculptural shaping.
In other words, the more we strive for an iconic look, the less visually intricate will the object be.
For a commercial success of a design, it is necessary to find a rational balance between the development of shapes — their ridges, valleys and “hills” and an iconic look people can understand and identify with. The more precisely we can balance these two aspects, the better we can predict impact of a design to our selected target groups and market.
The best area to illustrate the potential of sculptural shaping and qualities is the automotive world. Nowhere else in design does the mere look bear such a weight in customer’s decision in proportion to price. Cars are the most expensive objects most people can buy and their looks have developed immensely over a century. Another reason to include automotive as the best example is the main factor that streamlines the curves — aerodynamics — the shapes simply have to be arranged according to existence of these forces, this bestowes cars with an inherent functional quality that naturally leads to sculptural shaping.
Two best examples are the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari, their shaping is the most well executed in terms of logical continuation of shapes and their iconic presence.
918 presents the more staid aestethics and LaFerrari the more dymanic fluency, but both excel in what we can call “sculptural shaping” and thus illustrate the concept the best.
Another example is from product, the leaders of developed shaping in design were the Eames couple. Their works are the best incarnations of the on point combination of iconic looks and developed shapes.
GJ chair presents a quality of aesthetics designers should be inspired by and should strive to achieve.
The future of design in terms of commercial success lies mainly in diverting the customer from competition with the sheer visual quality. The technological aspect is currently more advanced than the aesthetics we can manufacture and produce.
To sum up:
If you can divide yourself from a crowd based on a simple, quick glance, you are halfway “there”. The precision of determining the ratios between the three described qualities will help you to achieve the greatest part of success — to establish a dialogue between you and the customer. The rest will take care of itself. Almost. But that is up to another article☺