How Engineering, Product Design and Art Achieve Quality

EngineeringEngineering, product design and art are distinctly different from one another. Yet they all share the same principles of quality…and lead to success.

To illustrate, the engineering field is always associated with technology and the application of sciences to achieve a utilitarian objective. Design, on the other hand, embodies the disciplines of engineering with artistic values to achieve an aesthetically utilitarian objective. And art is frequently associated with nonfunctional mediums that express emotional, religious, social or political perspectives with symbolism.

It’s interesting to note, however, that these three disciplines are all interrelated. They will often blur the boundaries between each other. This is especially true as art evolves and embraces technology and unorthodox forms that often lead to new movements.

Examples of this can be found by simply looking back on photography. It was once seen as a novel method of visually documenting a moment in time. Today, it is accepted as a legitimate art form in its own right.

The embracement of CAD, software, electronics, robotics and 3-D printing have all made their way into the art world, and they are revolutionizing and clouding the boundaries between art and engineering. You may ask, what does all this have to do with rotational molding design or product design? The answer: Successful design products epitomize the elegant and simple integration of engineering and art.

Combine Elements for Excellence in Product Design

Cheap, gaudy, superficial art is often considered in poor taste or labeled kitsch. The same term can be applied to products that are poorly engineered, poorly crafted and poorly conceived. These products often reflect the values of the people who manufacture them for a short-term quick profit.

Worse, sometimes these products fail catastrophically, resulting in personal injuries and leading to major lawsuits and litigation. Typically the course for manufacturing a high quality, reliable, safe and attractive product is equal to that for an equivalent kitsch product. More importantly, the profits for the latter are higher, and the competition is much lower.

Well-designed products are not based solely on good design. They are rooted in a company’s corporate culture…from the CEO to the person in the shipping department loading the trucks.

Companies seeking recognition as innovative, desirable, high-quality brands in their respective industries instill pride in their workforce that is ultimately responsible for the product. The end product not only generates revenue but also symbolizes the values embraced by the manufacturer.

Quality of these products affects decisions, starting with the type of product and its specifications to the manufacturing process, quality assurance standards, packaging and sales force.

Successful products must begin with a great design that balances exceptional engineering with artistry based on user needs. Exceptionally well-engineered products are inherently aesthetically pleasing because of their simplicity and optimized use of materials.

Leonardo da Vinci is recognized as a genius artist, engineer, designer and architect. His exceptional achievements in these areas are not is based on brilliance, but the similarities of all these disciplines.

Ask yourself, how can your next product design and introduction blend the quality elements of engineering, design and art? Moreover, how can it reflect who you are and what you stand for?

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Connect with me at paloian@idsys.com