Dr. Peter Zec [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]
The role of designers has changed due to advances in big data and deep-learning machines, and their competitiveness lies in the ability to apply the data and add creativity to the product, according to Dr. Peter Zec, the founder of the Red Dot Design Award.
The key to design is to deliver technology that is getting more and more complicated as simple as possible, which would also affect the Red Dot awards for future, he said during an interview with Maeil Business Newspaper.
Zec, a German-born design consultant, is in Seoul for a convention for the Seoul International Business Advisory Council where he had been member for the last decade.
Designers today are changing from `Homo Faber` (Latin for `Human who makes`) to `Homo ex Data.` (Latin for `Human who makes from data`), he said.
"Before, designers had to be good observers. They watch people’s behavior and they design products that fit most to it. But now machines optimize the design of products with the behavioral data collected from people. This is significant change and is completely new phenomenon." he said.
What designers do now is to collect data and add aesthetics to the product.
The fundamental function of design, however, stays intact.
"If you look at these products, they look very valuable,” he said pointing to iRiver product displays. The Korean audio brand had been multiple winners of Red Dot Product Award.
“You can figure out their functions almost immediately without a written manual. Design makes complex technology into very simplicity in use. It is the simplicity that design provides."
On urban designing, he said the competiveness in urban development hinges on the capacity to draw talents to the city.
“If you attract talents, more will come to the city as you saw it in the examples of San Francisco, Berlin and etc. In order to attract them, you have to provide better lifestyle, safety, and infrastructure,” he said.
Design also can play an important role. Through advances in digitalization and automation, automaking factories today can be cleaner than hospitals. Through 3D printer, products can be produced at the heart of an urban community. One day, there would be no need to own a car when autonomous and shared vehicles become common, he said.
He warned of complacency as the biggest stumbling block to the transition towards the future.
“The (German) car makers for instance have created a comfort zone for themselves and keeping to it. It must remember that it could be thrown out some day,” he said citing formidable entrants like British vacuum cleaner maker Dyson which has ventured into the electric car business.
By Shin Hyun-Kyoo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]