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The role of inspiration in good design.
Co-Founder of Mule Design, Author, Research & Design Expert
Good design is context dependent.
Beyond aesthetics, good design solves interesting problems with the widest reaching implications.
Inspiration is the design of a complex system, reflecting how the world works, and improving it.
Lesson: Design Research with Erika Hall
Step: #9 Inspiration: The role of inspiration in good design
What good design is, again, is very context dependent, and that's something I harp on again and again. Everything is very context dependent. I look for inspiration, not to necessarily the solutions that people have already created, but I look at the problems that are out there to solve.
Again, there are some… I look for people who have chosen the most interesting problems to solve with the widest reaching implications. A lot of times when people think about good design or design inspiration, they are thinking about something that's aesthetically pleasing, something that's pretty. Something that's well laid out, and that can be very important.
The kind of design I find inspiring is the design of a complex system, a design that really reflects the way the real world works and improves it, you know, a design that I really admire is the design of the Zipcar Car Sharing Service, which has a web component, it has a customer service component, it has this humans, all have to share cars and kind of interact with each other.
It's a whole set of rules and that whole system that has really changed things for people, like there are people who don't need to own cars anymore in urban environments. I think that's a very interesting and successful design because there are so many things that touches.