The design of everyday technology

everyday technology design banner Nokia Morph

Above, the Nokia Morph concept smartphone, jointly developed by Nokia and the University of Cambridge’s Nanoscience Centre in 2008

In this first part of the 21st century, we are witnessing a radical change in the role of designers, as well as in the mass-production industry.
The crisis of the western manufacturing industry, particularly in the furniture sector, the socio-economic transformations connected to the decline of the middle class, the extreme standardization of products – in the automotive industry, for example – the advent of new needs and social paradigms and the decrease of many of the paradigms that characterized the 20th century. All these transformations completely changed the role of designers as we knew it.

On the one hand, designers are moving “back” towards self-production and high-end craft design; on the other hand, designers are required consequently to adapt to such a change, abandon their comfort zone to acquire new skills, competencies, and working habits.
While the production of traditional “middle-class house” goods is thinning out, together with the social models behind it, new paths open up daily in the creation of everyday technology. From smartphone to apps, from augmented reality devices to virtual assistants, from self-driving vehicles to human-machine interface design, new opportunities disclose while many of the old ones are disappearing.
Sometimes this “design of everyday technology” builds on the past by developing 20th-century ideas under new forms, as in the case of many of the devices designed by Jonathan Ive for Apple, while sometimes it is forced to walk off the beaten path, as in the case of self-driving technology and augmented reality, for example.
Here, you can find some of the most interesting products and experiments developed by high-tech designers and companies over the last few years.


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our articles about The design of everyday technology

3D printing and digital manufacturing. Is this the future of design?

3D printing and digital manufacturing. Is this the future of design?

3D printing and digital manufacturing. Available technologies, present situation, future scenarios, and impact on product design and Industry 4.0
case-studies
Apple iPhone’s design – from the the 1st generation to the iPhone 12

Apple iPhone’s design – from the the 1st generation to the iPhone 12

History of the Apple iPhone, the role of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, its design, and the evolution from the first generation to the iPhone 12
case-studies
Are minimalist cell phones an antidote to the always-connected way of life?

Are minimalist cell phones an antidote to the always-connected way of life?

Two new “minimalist” cell phones - The Light Phone 2 and Punkt MP02 - challenge the very concept of the smartphone. Is it a technological breakthrough or much ado for nothing?
case-studies
Innovative bike helmet is made of bone-inspired 3D printed latticework

Innovative bike helmet is made of bone-inspired 3D printed latticework

Chinese designers have recently developed a bike helmet, called Voronoi, which combines parametric modeling, bionics, and 3D printing
case-studies
Is the future of smartphones flexible?

Is the future of smartphones flexible?

The introduction of flexible OLED displays for mobile computing devices is creating a new generation of rollable, bendable and foldable smartphones
case-studies
Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device – our test and review

Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device – our test and review

Will Microsoft HoloLens Mixed Reality wearable device change the way we work? After testing in June 2016, we present here our review, opinion, and a verdict
case-studies
YAPE -Your Autonomous Pony Express – won the 2019 German Design Award

YAPE -Your Autonomous Pony Express – won the 2019 German Design Award

YAPE - autonomous electric vehicle for urban delivery, designed by Italy's e-Novia, has recently won the prestigious German Design Award 2019.
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