Our company is in a slightly different position to most design work in that we actually have our own design department, and we follow the design process through and at the end of the day we may well produce that design if it is in our capabilities. But then we also sell the design because we have our own retail shops. To me that is completely following the design process from the idea to actually giving that item to the end user. The first thing I always do is do a sketch, and the sketch to me is the starting point. And the sketch is very much for me, itís not for anybody else, and itís to translate the shape that is in my head onto paper. Having done that Iíll normally then move into the workshop and start making models. I started off with this particular shape, and this was a shape that was in my head. But this model transpired to be Ė although I rather liked the shape Ė not actually very good to use. And for me thatís no good. So finally we came upon a shape that was both functional, and I was also quite happy with the shape of it. It certainly had to me, something going for it.
From that, the design was put into the computer, and a 3D model of that particular design was created. And then a computer model was made, and then the peppermill finally went into production and this is the final thing. So you can see how, from the original design concept that was in my head to the actual production piece, there has been quite a change.
I suppose everything is a compromise to a certain extent, and itís weighing up the different parameters and which one is the most important to you. And then the other aspect as well is, if youíre designing something that is actually going to be produced, is actually designing it in such a way that it can be produced.
Itís rather difficult to define the length of time that it takes to get a design right. Weíve had some projects where weíve spent six months on prototyping and fiddling around. Sometimes you can actually almost get something right first time, so itís a number of hours. I think each designer knows when they have got it right, or theyíve got it as far as it is possible to get within the constraints.
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