Design surrounds us everywhere. If you have ever held a self-phone, ridden a bike or sat on an armchair, you can say without a doubt that you have been in contact with this type of art. However, there is a difference between design and good design. In order for it to be user friendly, one needs to take into account several different factors. Oot-Oot Studio explains what are these five steps that make good Estonian design happen.
Step 1: gather input
Gathering input is one of the most important steps in design process. With this step you will make sure what are the needs of the market. It is essential to find out which attributes and forms people around us need and look for. When the product does not follow that sort of input then the product will not sell either.
Having designed furniture for already 10 years, Oot-Oot Studio has always asked its customers what kind of products they are looking for. As a result of market input Oot-Oot Studio also knew what Voog armchair needs to be like. It turned out that people feel that there is a lack of armchairs that are at the same time simple and elegant but would support the back as well.
Step 2: draw the design
When input is gathered it is time to draw the product design down on paper. While doing that, a good designer always thinks through both aesthetic and technical aspects of the product. A product that is beautiful yet hostile to the user is no help to anyone. For that reason, a design can only be called great when the designer keeps themselves acquainted with the technical opportunities of production and knows how to set these opportunities against visual options.
Oot-Oot Studio’s armchair Voog was drawn on paper 270 times before the design was found where technical and aesthetical part play together in the best way.
Step 3: construct the product on a computer program
Product’s technical frame and parameters are set via a computer program. In this step we will know what are the materials and quantity of the materials that need to be used in order for the product to be ergonomical and durable.
The technical scheme of Voog armchair is complex: the armchair is constructed on a strong metal frame and its form is made out of molded foam so that Voog would last long and follow the curves of the back.
Step 4: make the prototypes
When the visual and technical aspects are set, it is time to start making prototypes. Before starting production, it is important to see what the product looks like in real life. This is the longest part of the design process and can last from a couple of months up to half a year dependent on the complexity of the product. Prototyping is an exact science – it presupposes patience since there can be many changes.
In the furniture industry one should also take into account how well the fabric fits on the product. Since every fabric is different it is important to make different patterns for each fabric as well. For Voog armchair Oot-Oot Studio made 38 fabric patterns.
Step 5: production training
After finishing the design process and before starting production, energy must be directed to training all the counterparts of making the product so that the product can make its way to the consumer without any issues.
Oot-Oot Studio will always put their heart and soul into making furniture. From idea to product, the design process of Voog armchair lasted for year and a half.
For harmonious result the design process is, in essence, holistic and needs to take into account not only the attributes of the product elements individually but also their relations.