Tuesday, March 15, 2005


prototypes for reflection

Prototypes are central to iterative design. They are often quick and dirty, just enough to test an idea before moving on. Using software, prototypes can be redone so quickly one hardly ponders them too long. Or they can be slick, with different glossy variants that can be displayed side-by-side in a beauty parade in front of users and company execs.

Before computers, designers used prototypes for reflection, and problem solving. A master maker of product prototypes, Giovanni Sacchi, died recently, aged 92. See his
obituary on designboom. He produced some 25,000 prototypes over his extensive life, beautiful crafted in unfinished wood, objects for contemplation rather than for dazzling. A description of his work can be found on the website of the Victoria Museum in Melbourne.

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