The traditional definitions of industrial design, as well as the skills required for success, are being challenged by the rapidly evolving nature of objects—or smart objects. Artifacts are converging. Product categories that once existed independently—like TVs, smartphones, digital cameras, thermometers, or cars—are now competing against one another.
It is rare to find a product that is purely mechanical. Advancement of microchips, miniaturization of sensors, and development of communication protocols has resulted in products that are, at the very least, controlled by embedded software or an algorithm—if not designed entirely around electronics.
The integration of multiple technologies and disciplines is a critical factor for successful product development. Idea Couture’s ethnographers and design researchers initiate our design process with insight on user behavior to inform design. We combine the pursuit of extraordinary, emotive design and manufacturing skills with the knowledge of human behavior and production economics in order to develop design solutions for complex and unstructured problems. Our design solutions fundamentally change the way users think and interact with products; they allow room for emotional experiences and carry empathy, thus redesigning the meaning and relationship between products and users—in other words, our solutions help redesign the user experience.
Video: Scott Pobiner – Design for innovation
Product and experience design have become increasingly dependent on software to deliver the right experiences. Increasingly, designers have found themselves creating objects with size constraints that both fit a human hand and accommodate software that is able to adapt to a small screen and is responsive to context. This has made things very complicated, as UI, UX, ID, and engineering have become intertwined in a swirl of conflicting demands. Different teams must form their own cohesive approaches to multi-dimensional design dilemmas. It is for this reason that we emphasize creating truly interdisciplinary teams with expertise in areas like interactions, electronics, and environmental design, as well as cooperation with our special divisions, like healthcare and IoT.
Our knowledge of the market, channel dynamics, and user expectations, in conjunction with our expertise in various manufacturing environments, is key. It represents a necessary link between optimized solutions (consolidated from various disciplines) and management of the product development process, from “imagination to production” to the “multiplicity nature of products.”
We are passionate about creating emotive designs that are at once aesthetically appealing, economically acceptable, and highly functional—without being over-engineered or sacrificing any features. We don’t believe in “minimum user value,” only “optimized user value.”
Brand guides the material aspects of the design language—such as color, shape, and tactility—while we find our competitive advantage in our ability to distill weak signals and incorporate engineering advancement and creative ideas into a single design solution that is backed by an idea originated from a hypothesis. No design solution can be reasonable or beautiful unless it’s developed from one central idea; the idea sets every detail and guides human–product interactions. The result is a design that is human-centric and that has lasting value.