There are a number of good design awards that allow individuals, studios, manufacturers and organizations to enter their recent outputs into a number of categories that are then judged by panels – the Red Dot Award immediately comes to mind.
Whats is good design and how can we measure it – can we measure it? This question is one that all designers must ask themselves, after all don't designers want to produce 'good' designs?
Lets look at some of the factors that might be used to measure the success of a design.
Basic elements include:
• Fit for purpose
• Meets demands of consumers.
• Good value
• Offers good functionality and performance.
But we know that these attribute are the base elements, because for design to be truly 'good' we need to look further for our answers. It todays product saturated markets a good design needs to move up to being a superior design. How could superior design be achieved? For a start a superior design should solve real-world problems, it should put into practice the principles of inclusive or universal design, it should convey a high degree of functionality or versatility in an understandable way, it should be capable of being upgraded or repaired when necessary, it should make good use of technology and 'new' materials, it should incorporate new methods of, its should play a part in assisting regional industry, its should have a long and useful life, it should be made and sold in an ethical manner, its should encourage creativity in the user, its should contribute to the developing of a sustainable society, it should humanize technology.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but if designers begin to incorporate these attributes in their design proposals we will truly be able to say that now there is no reason why good design should not be available to everybody.
Check out the Red Dot Design Awards at http://en.red-dot.org/design.html