Love how passionate Mr. Sagmeister gets about the importance of beauty in digital design.
Stefan speaks like a master.
Notice that he delivers opinions and points of view that may even be controversial, but he does it in a humble and welcoming way. He never puts down other designers (or design movements) and he uses terminology like "we" even when it may not directly involve him, implying that as a community of designers, we are all in this together. I really appreciate that. As designers, we can sometimes be quick to separate and oppose each other, but at the end of the day, we are all in this together. We should be supporting, encouraging, and challenging each other as we collectively define what design is. Not letting our egos get in the way (which, despite being a "celebrity" designer, I really didn't see Stefan display any ego here - just pure passion for the craft).
Beyond that, holy crap is he well-read! Those references to architectural and cultural movements (and how they relate to design) were really impressive.
As an Austrian (no kangaroo) listening to two Austrians, one of them having a very strong Austrian english accent... this is very weird to listen to :D
It's so refreshing to hear a defense of Beauty and a harsh critique of Utilitarianism/Functionalism.
I deeply love SS, and the beauty of his work, however...
There is an unbelievable function in beauty.
I'm afraid he joins a long list of designers who've confused function with purpose :(
I think this semantic misunderstanding is where most of our industry's disagreement arises from.
At the most basic level, I'm sure we all agree that functions should be functional, and aesthetics are a critical aspect of our designs too – otherwise we wouldn't have CSS.
Also, shout out to how mental the start of his reply was—!
I think it's a gigantic mistake. I think we will reach a time pretty soon where we'll look back at this idea of pure functionality and we will shake our heads and we will think "were we nuts? were we crazy? Were we completely out of our mind?" Like, how could we even think that that would be good?
** I think that we will look back at that in a similar way that we look back at racism or slavery or like, you know, like we can't quite believe that we did that.**
But his later example of more expressive architecture was a lovely way to put it. We should definitely strive to make our work beautiful at every level (rather than just "skin deep", as SS says) – however that should always enhance the experience, not hinder the function of, our designs.
His point on Apple's product design was spot on too, but I think their web design has come on a long way recently. I'm starting to see both delightandbeauty in their product page design, whilst staying in keeping with their minimalist/modernist aesthetic.