The Evolution of Useful Things
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Design has been viewed rather as the immense definitions of speculations and the effectiveness of design in the future. In the same way as financial capital investors define the prices of goods and commodities, companies speculate on the future of their product designs. The past case studies indicated that product designs, if not made in a futuristic and responsive manner, could lead to future tensions and crisis, which would lead to a failure in product sales and design, or a change in models. Rather than looking for the effects and significance of the past designs and their pertinent parts, a good definition of design should be interpreted based on these past cases. The book defines the characteristics and interests of a good and effective design. The definition is represented by the past case studies of three corporations, which have gone through the actual revolution of product designs based on the increasingly innovative and ever-changing designs. Indeed, in a competitive market, product designs have been a market strategy that has seen the success and failure of many products. Importantly, considering the case studies, one will be able to define a good design that can be futuristic and efficient (Petroski 220).
A Look at a Design Case Study and its Development
The subject of the evolution of useful things is prerogative with the success of McDonalds packaging designs of Big Mac hamburgers. Indeed, in the early 1970s, McDonalds was struggling to package its Big Mac hamburgers with concerns over customer handling. They packaged hamburgers in paper foil, and the customer could put a hamburger to the mouth without it looking cold and a soggy mess. Generally, paper foil absorbed the available and excess grease and prevented unsightly drippings. At the same time, paper foil prevented a hamburger from being cold and having an unsightly appearance. The packaging design was very effective and even allowed for more space for a special sauce. However, the design proved to take a lot of time to ensemble and open. Thus, it was not successful in giving a proper image of a fast food restaurant. Hence, the design seemed to lack the future and proper development. Indeed, in the modern markets, a successful packaging and product design should look into the future and hold better standards. The McDonalds corporation packaging design was devised to assess this situation. Then, the corporation took a step to introduce new designs to change the situation. It took an alternative route of designing a better and effective design. The following designs were faced with an environmental crisis, which was later resolved to worse design than the available ones. In the mid-1975, McDonald introduced a new packaging design improving the old one that adopted the use of polystyrene clamshell.
Polystyrene clamshell was made from foamed petroleum products. Like lather, the design was hailed for its effectiveness and sensitivity and an added acknowledgement to environmental innovativeness. Then, there was one advantage upon the introduction of McChicken, where the design had to be redesigned to fit the expectations of the customer. Later, polystyrene clamshell was criticized of promoting wasteful packaging and environmental issues. In the 1990s, with pressure to underscore environmental preservation, the McDonalds corporation changed its model of packaging design by dropping the use of plastics in its packaging. There was a failure to evaluate the effects of every packaging design in the future and its related significance. (Petroski 224)
The McDonalds corporation case study is emulated by the development of the wheel in China and the adoption and development of the automobile by Henry Ford at the Ford Motors company.
It is often said that there are a number of problems, when it comes to packaging and product design. Indeed, most corporations define solutions upon consideration and analysis of the past designs. Upon such analysis, they could look to the future and present of a better packaging and product design. Indeed, upon analyzing the past designs, Henry Ford and other subsequent automobile designers broke a trail for modern automobiles. Then, there is the question “how the possibility of better or good designs presents a futuristic circumstance?” (Petroski 228).
The initial remodeling of the McDonalds packaging design resulted from adopting plastic designs different from paper ones in a move to reach customer needs. Hence, the corporation strived to create a much better packaging design. The design must be created according to the present and the future standards. The McDonalds corporation’s search for a better design led to the creation of a design, which in one way or another was not futuristic. Thus, there is the need for the constant review and total change from plastic to paper packaging designs initially used.
Incredibly, it has been logical to claim that creating designs regarding the past may not mean that a corporation is futuristic. The development of the design of the airplane taken an alternative direction during its initial development. Indeed, developing the design of the first fright airplane, constructors did not consider the initial concentration of the style, but the design of controlling the aircraft. The design of baths of S. Louis XIV hotel bathrooms is another revelation to the evolvement and status of designs as a business strategy. Indeed, the question whether it is futuristic to define the future by using the past or by totally ignoring the past and looking at the future (Petroski 233). Hence, the usage of new methods and machineries to solve newer, old or future problems creates more challenges and problems.
Therefore, modern designers should look beyond the current problems, become careful and determine designs beyond short-term goals. They should be able to consider the actual intensity of a design and its long-term significance. Indeed, a good design does not rely on short-term goals, nor on the current situation, but on the underlying commitment to the future (Petroski 236).