Friday, June 25, 2010

Starck’s Design for Life

Famous product designer Starck continues his journey to find the best young creative talent in Britain. As I watched this episode I was amazed to discover I had missed an episode. The weeks go by so quickly. Apparently in the last episode Starck nearly eliminated all the contestants.

The budding product designers had badly underestimated the real design task set by Starck. He complained they presented vague notions and confused concepts. He wanted clearly defined ideas with technical drawings. All the students appeared upset and angry some making statements like ‘His is only one man’s opinion’ ‘He does not clearly explain what he wants’ ‘His feedback on our design proposals was in adequate’

I remember one of my first bosses being similar to Starck. I was sixteen and working in a big dental practice. I planned to work as a dental nurse until I was old enough to get into nursing at the age of eighteen. As a junior dental nurse I worked in surgery one with the head nurse. Unfortunately the senior nurse left a few weeks after I started work. This was not an unusual occurrence, in this dental practice nurses who worked in surgery one did not last long. I was left on my own with a nightmare of a boss.

Like Starck he had high expectations, yet did not clearly express his requirements. The nurse was expected to know what he wanted without him saying a word. I learnt a great deal from this experience. Each night I went home with the patient list with the each required treatment noted. Using the dental nurse’s handbook I worked out the instruments and materials required for each treatment. I also talked with his former nurses who explained how he liked things done. With fear and trembling I started each day early. I set up the surgery treatment trays got all the materials ready and had lists of each procedure written out ready to view.

Fear can be a great motivator. I had to learn to sink or swim and very quickly. To the amazement of the boss (and myself I might add) I swam very well. He ended up having great respect for me and would make comments like “I expect my nurses to be two steps ahead of me, but see this little thing she is ten steps ahead of me”

Hard work, showing initiative and going the extra mile will always bring positive results. Strack had the same effect on the student designers as my boss had on me. They rose to the challenge when they were given a second chance with the design brief.

Four designs have been selected to be created as proto types. Unfortunately four students were sent home.

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