In the world of design there have always been differing schools of thought, some focused on the idea that functionality is the most important aspect of design and that if the product performs its function correctly then it can be considered a success. Others believe that form or “aesthetics” are the be all and end all and that how good a product looks determines if it will be a success. However, most products today are designed out of the need for balance between these two principals, where Form Meets Function and creates something that not only fulfils its purpose but looks great doing it.
Designing for Consumers
To most people designing a piece of furniture is simple because all it needs to do is sit there, fit in with its surroundings and look appealing. So, all any designer has to do is look at what is trendy at any particular time and roll with it… Right? Well there’s a bit more to it than that. Yes, trends are a fantastic way to keep your product feeling current and lots of products take advantage of that. But products that endure the ravages of time and never seem to go out of fashion are those that go beyond what is popular now and seek to establish an aesthetic of their own. Designers go to great lengths trying to achieve this, taking years to establish a style that becomes synonymous with their brand and applying it to precisely manufactured products that have all the functionality that their customers desire.
When it comes to technical furniture the expectations of customers become quite varied. Of course, from a functionality perspective you may ask how much functionality can a table have? In example, important considerations to a customer could include accessibility, manoeuvrability and connectivity. The designer must decide what functionality can be implemented into the design to meet these expectations, solve the customers problems and then determine how best to wrap all this up in an aesthetically pleasing package.
We spend a great deal of time talking with people that use our products the most to determine what functionality we need to include and because we offer in-house design and manufacturing services, we can implement most requirements. For example, our Synergy Table has been developed over the years into a premium range of collaborative tables and while the style has changed very little the functionality built into the table has been adjusted to suit trends in the way people communicate and collaborate. Functionality that was not there before such as extra connectivity options and a wider mast to facilitate extra cables and storage have been added to solve problems for AV integrators and end users. By engaging with our customers, we are able to ensure that Form Meets Function in our products.
Designing for Manufacture
When our products are first designed, they will usually go through a great deal of iterative change, the designer will look at what they want to achieve and how they can solve problems that the customer is experiencing. Once the designer has implemented the desired functionality, the design process will turn to refining the look and feel of a product before its release to market. During a products lifecycle our designers will revisit and work out how they can improve and resolve any issues within the manufacturing process. Adjusting cuts and folds in the products structure while maintaining a consistent style is key to maintaining the products identity. Striking a balance between how easily the product is manufactured and how it looks is another example of how Form Meets Function and its importance in the process that goes on throughout a products life-cycle.
Style and Identity
If a product has been designed to have a trendy aesthetic it will usually have periodic style updates so that it remains fresh and appealing to consumers. At TOP-TEC we are keen to look beyond trends and fads, preferring to opt for a lasting style that can be associated with the brand. This means that year-on-year our products aesthetics remain consistent across each range. This means that products such as the Synergy, Gemini & Contour are recognisable as TOP-TEC products. This doesn’t mean that the design remains static, on the contrary improving the look and feel of our products is extremely important to us. The process is about refining the details that make our products stand out from the competition, things such as reliability, security and the ability to customise our products are what the brand is built on.
If you love the look and functionality of our products, we have a range that we are confident will meet your requirements which can be found on our website. If you need a bespoke solution with customised functionality get in touch by speaking to a member of our team today on 0121 783 3838. Alternatively, you can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also be interested in our previous article on Utilising space saving technical lecterns.