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Design Essentials: small objects of desire - for iPod/iPhone

The Open University

When the Apple designers first came to Steve Jobs with the iPod he picked it up, fiddled with it and then dropped it into a fish tank. "Those are air bubbles," he snapped. "That means there's space in there. Make it smaller." A successful designer needs a critical awareness of the design all around us and the factors that produce it. They also need to be able to look at an item and analyse - what it is, what does it do, why is like that, how is it made? In this new iTunes collection members of the OU design faculty choose interesting examples of everyday design and debate what does, or doesn't, work. They discuss the elements that contribute to a successful design and the factors that designers need to think about, right down to how much you can save by getting rid of the air in an iPhone. Theo Zamenopoulos considers what makes a great chair. Georgy Holden asks, is good design going down the plughole? Jeff Johnson praises the mechanical pencil. And Robin Roy wonders what is it that made the iPhone so successful, and what’s the price of air got to do with it? This material forms part of The Open University course T217 Design Essentials.

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