Thursday, 16 September 2010

Design in the wrong context

When applying to study abroad, I forgot about all the sort of boring details I would have to do when trying to get across to Belgium; insurance, up to date passport, sorting out thing I did not bank on was that I would have to enroll myself to become a member of Mechelen city.

Sitting in the waiting room of the Stadsbestuur van Mechelen-Vreemdelingen, I was conscious of the fact that the seating that had been chosen was not the most appropriate.
Surely when waiting, the user would want a seat that would be comfortable but also provide some support? As part of a project I did last year at DJCAD, I had to design and built a chair whilst considering important aspects surrounding seating.
Context. The place in which the chair will reside, is it suited? Where would it best be placed? Is the design suitable for where it will stay?
Function. The primary function is to sit but you also have to consider if it has any other uses. Is there more than one purpose to it?
Material. Cost effective? Durable for the context in which it would be placed?
Aesthetics. Are the materials that are used beneficial to the design? Is the design suited to the market niche?

As a designer it is important to consider these options. Not to blame this entirely on the designer as I am sure that this seating may be suited in another location but whoever placed this here did not take into consideration the users needs, possibly just their own. Clearly seating is essential in a place where waiting will occur but instead of considering comfort, I feel that price was a deciding factor. The materials that the seating has been made from is cheap and is not at all comfortable. Disregarding the fact that this seating will be used extensively, I believe that the lifespan of this will not be very long. As people took a seat they banged bags, carelessly clattered their feet on the supports and children ran across the tops. For me, this truly is design in the wrong context...

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