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101 Product Design

We’re surrounded by legions of products, most of them unremittingly lousy. What separates the good from the bad from the ugly? Take out your well-designed pencils for Product Design 101.

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    An Introduction to Product Design

    Last night I went to a corner liquor store to buy some toothpaste. While the beer and candy aisles of the store were heavily trafficked, the back “household goods” section was not. And that’s where I was, searching for Crest among reams of dust-covered carbon paper for typewriters nobody now uses; scissors made in China with finger holes too small for toddlers; and paper-thin polyester argyle dress socks hanging like petrified bats from plastic hooks.

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    Words You Should Know

    Charrette: An intense period of design activity in which a group collaborates to work out a solution to a specific design problem.

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    Best Buy

    Good design isn’t inextricably wed to a high price tag. These classic designs run the gamut of types and prices. 

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    Buyer Beware

    Bad design can be not just unattractive but unhealthy. Steer clear of this trio of second-rate offerings.

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    Like a Rock

    When it comes to great product design, the material is often the message. Matuse’s wetsuits prove why.

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    Product Developments

    We asked three product designers from three different fields what the future holds. Oddly, none of them mentioned crystal balls.

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