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Old 12-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #21
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A design is a process not a thing.
That is 100% correct.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:01 PM   #22
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But... never lose track of fit or function for the sake of form.

Aesthetics are important, but functional engineering will demonstrate elegant beauty in simplicity all on it's own.
Very true. We see it all the time in our products.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:03 PM   #23
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That is 100% correct.
Mmmmm...no. Look it up. Design is both a process AND a thing. See my earlier post for the dictionary definitions of the use of the word as a verb (process) and a noun (thing).
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:24 PM   #24
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Mmmmm...no. Look it up. Design is both a process AND a thing. See my earlier post for the dictionary definitions of the use of the word as a verb (process) and a noun (thing).
I don't need to look it up. I live it every day. The best design comes from iterative processes that have evolved over years and have demonstrated successes.

The semantics of the word don't concern me. By saying 'Design is a Process' is a very accurate statement. I lead very large scale design efforts every day. Design without disciplined process = failure.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:13 PM   #25
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You'll have to take this up with the people who invented the language. Design can be a process and it can be a thing according to them. And my money's on them.

You even proved my point in your second sentence above.

Your definition is not wrong, but it's only one aspect of the definition.

As I said to Eric, if the part of the definition you adhere to is the "process" part, then that defines where you fit in the whole aesthetic, creative aspect of the term design. In other words, you're not the guy I want to design my next car or boat, but I may want you to design how to build it..... if you're any good.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #26
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Italians were cognizant of design for the eye. (Marin and Eric, you're talking "over my head." Simple me. )
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #27
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Marin what matters on the TP holder is not the designers emotional relationship w it but the people that will use it. But I'll bet primarily the structural and the durability of the finish will be more important than anyones emotional attachment.

What on earth does BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Bugatti have in common with Boeing Airplane Company?

Thank you SomeSailor,
Design is a process indeed and the word design dosn't connect to a thing. "A design" is, however relatable (usually) to a thing. You may correctly say "that boat is a very good design" or talking about a different aspect of that "design" you could say "that boat is a very nice design". "Good" and "nice" imply the approval of different aspects of the design. But design itself is an organized solution to a problem ... not a thing.

Mark,
Eye candy is only a SMALL PART of what design means. To put it on Marin's terms a bigger aspect of design may be (re an airplane) how well it deals w fore and aft changes in it's center of gravity. A plane w a very sensitive CG tolerance would be difficult to load and fly or even unsafe. How it looks may be fly stuff depending on whether the plane is a passenger plane or a freighter.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #28
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The thing that's ironic here Eric, is that you use the word "design" as a thing (noun) every time you write about how it's a process (verb). So you break your own rule every time you tell me about your rule. And SomeSailor is doing the exact same thing.

Forget trying to win the argument, just look up the definition of the word and analyze all the different aspects of it for yourself.

The beauty of the designs of a Ferrari, Aston Martin, even a Boeing, are subjective in that some people will like them and some won''t. As such these designs are "things" (noun) which are the end result of the design "process" (verb).

The airplane not so much, however, as I said earlier, because so much of its design is dictated by laws of aerodynamics, physics, etc. So even if a design of a particular aspect of the plane is not so pretty it may be necessary because of what that part of the plane needs to do aerodynamically, structurally, etc. But there is still plenty of room for subjective, aesthetic design in an airplane.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:48 PM   #29
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Marin wrote;

"The beauty of the designs of a Ferrari, Aston Martin, even a Boeing, are subjective in that some people will like them and some won''t."

You just don't get it Marin. Design is an industrial process not a beauty contest.
I give up.

No offense I dearly hope.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:25 AM   #30
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This has been like trying to teach my dog English. He gets a few words here and there but otherwise the language totally escapes him.

If you want to limit yourself to just one definition of "design" that's fine with me. But you need to visit every car manufacturer, every boat manufacturer, every clothing designer, every toaster manufacturer for that matter, and convince them that all these years that they have been selling their products on the basis of a beautiful design-- the "thing"--- they have been completely wasting their time because there is no such "thing" as a beautiful design (despite the fact you use this term constantly in your comments about boats).

This is why Boeing and every other product manufacturer on the planet doesn't use engineers to be creative or market or sell things.

We did once. They put an engineer in charge of marketing the YC-14, an outstanding plane in its day. And this engineer, who was an excellent engineer but who had the creative and aesthetic sensitivities of a cinder block, totally blew it and almost single-handedly lost the competition with McDonnell-Douglas, who had the inferior airplane. Perception is at least 60 percent of everything these days, and perception is based on what people see, not on what the process happened to be to get there.

By the way, "process" is the reason the 787 program has been such a disaster for the company. SomeSailor will disagree with that of course, but he's an engineer so I would expect nothing different. The 777 program, on the other hand, arguably the most successful airplane program this company has ever had, did not focus on process but on the product, the "thing." If you doubt that, ring up Alan Mulally at Ford and ask him. He will tell you what I just said because he's the one who told me.

But if you want to continue to believe that a design can only be a process and not a thing despite the fact that the folks who write dictionaries say different, it makes no difference to me other than I now know not to call you if I want a good looking boat designed.

I might call you when I need it built, though.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:30 AM   #31
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Boat design is subjective judgement. Maybe I am wrong,but maybe I’m right,

Who can say, and not be subjective?

Mike
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:53 AM   #32
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Design is a process indeed and the word design dosn't connect to a thing. "A design" is, however relatable (usually) to a thing.
I think many miss the point that design is just means to an end. Without a need, a solution isn't required. There are MANY designs that produce solutions that meet that need.

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This has been like trying to teach my dog English. He gets a few words here and there but otherwise the language totally escapes him.
I wasn't trying to teach you anything. But simply sharing my engineering perspective and experiences. Truth be told, a design engineer is the worst person to ask for a solution that is elegant in form. Engineers will always draw a straight line and meet your spec as closely as possible. Its the nature of the craft. If you want elegance, that takes clear definition of those requirement, and a flexibility in time and budget that most projects will not bear.

You complained about the lines of a Bayliner, and that is part of what drives those designs. They have a price point to hit, production rates and manufacturing and industrial limitations.

If you have cheap labor in Taiwan, relaxed industrial oversight and a customer willing to pay, you have a scenario where design can be manipulated to a form which lends itself more to the eye.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #33
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SomeSailor,
As to the original question I think there is no doubt.
"A" design itself has no subjectivity or objectivity any more than an anchor has warm fuzzy feelings. I guess you could call design a plan and a plan can be based on objective ideas or subjective ideas. But it can't be based on subjective or objective materials other than the choice of same. Fiberglass just isn't objective or subjective. But the CHOICE of FG or steel could be VERY subjective or objective. One could choose steel because it's the best (we don't know that) material because of durability and strength or one could choose FG because it's warm and smooth and shinny. It may be none of those things but if it is perceived to be such and chosen for those reasons the choice could be objective or subjective. But as to "a" design (as in a specific boat) it can't be subjective or objective any more than a log because it's not an idea or a plan anymore than an anchor could be a Democrat or a Republican.

So I'm say'in Design is full of objectivity and subjectivity but hopefully 100% objectivity. And we can hope also that "a" design was achieved with objectivity.

And "a" design is no more objective than a cup of coffee.

And Marin I hope you haven't called me a dog and if said dog wants to speak French just let him.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #34
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Fiberglass just isn't objective or subjective. But the CHOICE of FG or steel could be VERY subjective or objective.
I agree. A Naval Architect was given requirements that were aligned to certain business requirements and design constraints. "Choosing" fiberglass is both a design and a business decision.

When boats are manufactured from molds that are used at the rates that Bayliner needs to hit the price point the market will support, there are certain design decisions that must be made. Modular manufacturing techniques, production facilities, etc, all drive the design. So, in this scenario they don't have the subjectivity we envision them having, and certainly don't have the design latitude that other design teams are afforded.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #35
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Form or function? Carbon fiber, sponsons for wide beam aft, light, fast efficient, drop dead stunning (IMO).
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #36
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Drop dead ugly. Looks more like a littoral combat boat than a luxury motor yacht.

See the similarity?



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Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #37
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Most designs are both objective and subjective with tons of concessions all along the way, depending on your main objective. I guess we could leave the word "subjective" out of the equation if 'aesthetically pleasing' is part of the objective. In addition to function, people like things to be good looking and easy on the eye. So, how much is objective and subjective when a basic function is required but also limited by size and cost?
Also note that the common usage of a word or phrase is not always dictionary correct. When I speak in generalities, I usually see something that is very pleasing to my eye or out and out fugly, I will say "Great design" or The designer should be shot". When referring to function, I usually qualify the word 'design' by stating "that's a great 'engineering' design". But I come from Brooklyn and English was always considered a foreign language - go figya.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:19 PM   #38
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And Marin I hope you haven't called me a dog and if said dog wants to speak French just let him.

Not at all. I was just expression my frustration when people don't know how the language works.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #39
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Drop dead ugly. Looks more like a littoral combat boat than a luxury motor yacht.
No argument there.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #40
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Truth be told, a design engineer is the worst person to ask for a solution that is elegant in form. Engineers will always draw a straight line and meet your spec as closely as possible.

Very true. The original design of the 7E7 (787) was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous plane and it would have had the same impact on the world as the 747 did in terms of elegance and instant recognition. I produced a bunch of marketing films featuring that design.

Then the engineers got hold of it and the 787 is the boring, straight tube you see on the ramp today. Actually, I think the 787 is most boring, uninteresting airplane design Boeing has come out with yet, outside of the wing which is beautiful. And the reality is that an airplane is all about the wing. The fuselage just keeps the wind out of your face and provides a place to store the booze.

But...... there were very good reasons for what the engineers did. The original fuselage design, while amazingly elegant, would have been very difficult--- which means extremely expensive--- to stretch or shorten. And the airlines made it very clear at the outset that they wanted several capacity choices with the 787, not just one. So for that to be practical and cost-competitive, it dictates a straight tube. To do anything different would be a very expensive mistake and would have given an advantage to our competitor right at the start.

Every product, be it a jetliner, car, boat, or washing machine, has to be compromise between design aesthetics and engineering practicality/reality.

And Eric, I completely agree that a material--- wood, fiberglass, etc.--- is not subjective. The material is just the tool chosen to execute the design. The choice of which material to use is, I believe, both subjective and objective. There are usually practical and aesthetic reasons for choosing one over the other. And these can be in conflict sometimes so you have to decide which one will affect the product's success more.

And whether the final product is considered beautiful, utilitarian, or just plain ugly is all in the eyes of the beholder, so is totally subjective.
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