July 2007 Newsletter
Welcome to the Design for Sport newsletter. We hope you enjoy it and feel able to contribute to future editions - our aim is to showcase the role of innovation and great design.
Research and Development
E3 is the games industry's great launch pad where the hyper brands compete with the not so hyper for the trade's attention. This year not much impressed except the Nintendo Wii's new home fitness trainer. At Design for Sport we have been attempting to promote just this sort of fun / fitness model for years with little success. Great to see a major company coming out with a new(ish) concept along those lines. Only one criticism: perhaps not enough body movement involved for the aerobic training that truly benefits the whole body.
Actually this blog from Khoi Vinh is not specifically about sports design but it gets to the heart of the disposable culture that inhabits both consumers and manufacturers. In the world of sports it has an echo in the favourite pair of gloves / bat / hat that amateurs favour but you rarely see mirrored in the professional world. The yearly reinvention of a football club's three kits is possibly the most pernicious application of built in obsolescence. From our point of view the main determining factor in re-designs is progress. If the item to be replaced is outmoded, technologically obsolete or no longer meets the required regulations it should be rethought - if not then let's cherish the quality and relish the marks and patina of honourable use.
The Chinese computer firm Lenovo has been experimenting with design forms and colours in its home market for a few years. Its winning design for the Beijing Olympic torch shows how it is attempting to leverage the publicity and exposure to enhance its core brand.
Commissioning great and epoch changing design is a tricky business - Bruce Nussbuam recently gave a speech at the Royal College of Art in London giving his opinion on the way forward. Not everyone's cup of tea but we have some sympathy.