Friday, January 04, 2008

Design and Writing

I disagree with nearly everything Jeremy Clarkson says, but I agree with him that there is some indefinable essence that certain items are imbued with. Good design.

Good design transcends the value it gives by way of looks and usability and becomes a joy - something to treasure and value simply because it exists. Human ingenuity overcoming the mindless perversity of the universe and converting matter into something that does something well.

Things like the iPhone, and the Nokia 6310i.

Similarly some people write so well that what they write is good simply because of the way the words are arranged and which words are used. Stephen Fry and Terry Pratchett spring to mind. (incidentally I've never been more affected by the news that someone I don't know was ill than when I read that Mr Pratchett had Alzheimer's - the content of his books speaks of a very pleasant and very wise person, it is very sad that he will be robbed of something he and so many other people enjoy so much).

Good design is to be celebrated as much as good writing. It doesn't provoke wonder so much as joy that we can make this difference and do this thing so well.

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