Today, many lament that the United States used to make great things but seldom does any longer, believing it’s no longer a major source of manufacturing and creation. One need only open the October issue of Fast Company, titled “The United States of Design” for a reality check. While manufacturing’s decline has been significant over the last two decades, I believe the emerging narrative that manufacturing in the U.S.A. is dying or dead is both misleading and overblown.
While you're looking forward, straining to discern the future, you often find that you're simply coming around full circle. And that's particularly true of gadget design today, in an age of throwaway objects.
Take, for example, the now-extinct appliance repair shop I remember from my childhood in Toronto. Of course, to a future industrial designer, it looked like heaven. At that age, I knew how to tear things apart to see how they worked, but generally after that they no longer functioned.
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for the redesign of hot dogs. Never ones to resist a challenge, or the chance to play with their food, RKS carved out a little time to reinvent the wiener.
Design educators are reinventing the industry from the inside out as employers are less interested in students' ability to sketch, and more interested in their ability to think and communicate strategically.