My dad is a salesman…and he has something to teach us.

Industrial Design: sales or order taking?

Reframing the view: From The Colorist:::Architecture (the__colorist__arch)

A key thing I recall hearing is what he calls the difference between a sales person and an order taker.

An order taker does exactly that — on presenting what they’re selling to someone, the person either wants it or they don’t. If they want it, an order is taken. If not, they move on.

People often laugh when I meet them and they find out what I do. They always seem to have some example of a terrible product design and ask what I think of it and the poor soul who must have designed it.

It’s a difficult question. On my better days I laugh it off, but on other days I struggle. I have perhaps an unhealthy compunction to link a conversation like this to the broader problems in our relationship with the built environment and my seemingly ineffective, or even worse complicit role in it all. I’ve certainly been in the position of having to use a certain material or make a connection between 2 parts in a certain way rendering the product impossible to repair, all as directed by the client in the ongoing drive to be competitive in a difficult marketplace.

Slightly obsessive Industrial Designer.