‘Beyond the age of information is the age of choices’

The user's option to make part of the design process

The user’s option to make part of the design process

I take the quote in the title of this post, made my Charles Eeames, to express the direction towards which Design and the world in general is heading. After the Industrial Revolution, the paradigm that ruled over the world, and which marked the road of Design until near times, was a view through the lens of the physichal objects that surrounded us; lately, even though the concept was first applied in the early 70’s, the paradigm appears to have been replaced by one centered in communication and information, rather than physichal objects itselves. Allthough we haven’t had a long road in ‘digesting’ this new way of thinking and asuming the world, this paradigm appears to be oldated, innsuficient and ready to be replaced. ‘The age of choices’ is upon us, a new paradigm in which is not about the objects or the information, but of how we affect the range of changes that people can make; not in vane has the term ‘prosumer’ stepped in the game, asuming that the people don’t stand in a passive position towards the things that affect in any way their lifes. This concepts were grouped in an area of design called User Centered design, which takes full consideration of the users by introducing means of interacting with them in every part of the design, so that the designer will deliver projects concious of the people for whom is being thought. IDEO, one of the most important design studios in the world, even developed a toolkit so that the design process would be centered and marked by the user itself.

“The age of choices is upon us, a new paradigm in which is not about the objects or the information, but of how we affect the range of changes that people can make”

But what I am claiming goes much further than UCD, I am talking about a world in which the user can make important choices, but not just those that capitalism intends to sell by saying that ‘consumers may choose what to buy’, but real choices in which they have an active role on the design of the products. So, according to this, customization is where we are headed, and in this matter I would like to show the Soccer Tape, designed by Martí Guixé, in which he concieved a massive product which was, to say so, ‘unfinished’, letting the user participate by applying his mark. This is also the trademark that introduced Droog Design, as being one of the first Conceptual Design studios in the world, or Frog Design as a global innovation firm, looking towards concieving each design process as particular and different.

Martí Guixé

Martí Guixé – Soccer Tape