ICONS AND ARCHETYPES MOVING FORWARD
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Scully, Amos; Uniyal, Aishwarya
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology, United States of America
Section: Ethics and Social Issues in Design Education
Archetypes and iconic products along with their creators have inspired many of us to enter the design field. As designers we aspire to a lifestyle filled with these bits of perfection, and we hope that the clarity of vision that ushered in these works will be a part of our own legacy. Although many iconic works sit atop pedestals in museums, many other designs far more humble are part of everyday life. Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa’s magnificent book Super Normal, Sensations of the Ordinary direct us to take note of these everyday genius designs that lie at our feet, designs that likely cannot be improved upon. Yet as designers we are constantly called upon to innovate, create new works, and challenge the standard. This paper proposes that many architypes in everyday products should not be tossed out for they possess an important underpinning to culture. The proposition that an entirely new design denies an understanding and a sacred power that people of that place recognize and cherish their familiarity. The familiarity of icons and architypes are what we as designers should indeed cherish and perpetuate, moving them forward with subtle enhancements while retaining their legacy. We can each call up an image of iconic forms such as the Coca–cola bottle, Ray-Ban sunglasses, or the humble canning jar. The concept of product icons and archetypes were proposed to a graduate class of fifteen students. They were tasked with finding a humble existing architype from their region of origin, and perform subtle updates to this vernacular form casting it in ceramic slip.