Interview with Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Div Des Ind

Winner of Care Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Div Des Ind shares insights


Interview with Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Div Des Ind at Friday 4th of May 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
ID : The Division of Industrial Design in the National Institute of Technology was founded in 1975, being today the oldest research group in design in activity in Brazil. Throughout this period we have developed over 200 projects in the areas of assistive technology, hospital medical equipment, packaging, transportation, agricultural equipment, electronics, etc. We also work in research, especially in ergonomics, biomechanics, usability, sustainability, social innovation and 3D printing. This resulted in five international and nine national awards, six books and dozens of articles and patents. The Division has two laboratories: Laboratory of Three Dimensional Models and Laboratory of Ergonomics.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
ID : To think of Design as a tool to improve people's lives. To research new solutions that generate positive impacts on people's lives, taking into account ethical and sustainable thinking and doing.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
ID : We are a group of designers and researchers who work in Assistive Technology Area, researching and designing new solutions that promote improvement in the people’s quality life with disabilities or limitations of functionalities. Because it is such a large and challenging subject, Assistive Technology allows us to develop other skills and perceptions that transcend Design itself.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
ID : When we think of a good professional, three characteristics are mentioned: humility, which can be used as a powerful fuel to always be in search of the new, curiosity, for the construction of a more interesting repertoire, and finally, ethics, a compass for good choices on the path we draw in life.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
ID : An excellent designer inserts the end user into the design process. to think an object or equipment detached from the needs and perceptions of the consumer runs great risks of being mistaken, or just not meet the yearnings of the one for whom it was thought, becoming obsolete.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
ID : A design project is a good design when it fits purpose. Especially when you’re designing for people with impairments. You need to make a proper investigation about who your target audience are and what are their real demands - not only regarding their functional abilities or limitations, but also about physical and social environment they live in, what are their aspirations, individual tastes, ecc. When you design an assistive technology without a proper search, it is easy to fall into paternalistic, irrelevant or even offensive design solutions.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
ID : We admire the work of the designer and researcher Graham Pullin, who wrote “Design Meets Disability”, a provocative book, that should be a required reading for those who design assistive devices. We also highlight the work of designers behind companies as Trust Care, Alleles, Scot Summit, Unyq, Art4Leg, Lindhe Extend, among others that challenge designers and society to perceive assistive technology not only as medical, technical equipments, but as something that could be fun, enjoyable, aesthetically pleasant and that can communicate positive characteristics about users’ identity - as any other design object people can purchase.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
ID : We understand design as a process, a way of discovering demands and achieving them, by looking at issues in a more holistic way. Paraphrasing the Argentine designer Jorge Frascara, we believe in the potential of design on transforming existing realities into more desirable ones, through products, interfaces, services, etc.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
ID : Many designers present only the final result of the work, which means, they present the finished product. As designers, however, we know that the process of research and development is just as important as the final result.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
ID : We believe the main designers goal is helping people living better, with more dignity and wellbeing. As designers we have the chance to attain what a person really need, joining the user’s desires with processes and technologies that better fit in solutions.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
ID : We keep open minds for the new challenges in the world. The science aways achieve new findings, people are constantly thinking about the way they live, trying new and better ways of doing things. This constant change are our better motivation.