So what defines Design 3.0? I don't claim to have the answers, but I guess I can pretty much sum up some of the ideas that I have on what Design 3.0 is all about.
1) Design 3.0 is about USER-CENTRICITY: It's all about the user experience. Moving on from the days when Henry Ford gives the 'choice' that the "...customer can have any colour that he wants as long as it is black", Design 3.0 has been pretty much defined by the user, or what the designer thinks the user would like to experience when he is handling or INTERACTING with the product. Note that it is no longer about just the mere USING of a product, but what kind of experience that the product have to offer to the user or users. This have indeed paved the way to what some economists have termed as the 'Experience Economy', a step higher in the economical hierachy, above the knowledge-driven economy that has been THE pervasive idea propounded in recent times.
2) Design 3.0 is about collaboration: No longer is the design of a product just about a singular state of being of a particular product or process. And no longer is the design just a static state of existence too. Much like what Thomas Friedman have mentioned in his book 'The World is Flat', Design 3.0 can be stated as an amalgamation of ideas that have been shared and thought through globally. Hence no longer is a product just going to be marketed or a process/system only capable of being applied in a singular market, or state of being, but more importantly its ability to handle and diversify itself into other states of being or markets is what would make the design, and eventually the product or system, successful in terms of its profitability and degree of acceptance in its targeted markets.
3) Design 3.0 is about a CRADLE-TO-GRAVE/CRADLE existence: Much like what I have explored in my previous posts on Stokke's children's bed, the intent of design here is also to ensure the sustainability of a product over a period of time, and of ensuring a deeper and more meaningful state of usage, existence and being, from its product inception and initial usage, to its eventual 'demise'. Product or systems are seen to be an evolving one, where it is not only a passive contributor to sustainable design , but more than that, IT IS the epitome of what sustainability is all about. Product and systems are able to be managed more productively, efficiently and 'sustainably', in line wit the GREEN Revolution of sorts that the global society is currently promoting, whilst at the same time, also being able to satisfy much of her end-users' expected experience.
4) Lastly, Design 3.0 is all about Mass-Customisability: Beyond just the oxymoronic idea of mass customisation, the increasing use of relevant biometrics will see the convergence of the use of biometrics and technology into a more customised user-centric product or systems experience. Beyond just the mere current reality of face- and thumbprint-recognition in laptops currently, Design 3.0 will push this cutting biometric technology even deeper into the realms of unknown possibilities, of something similar to the user-specific marketing shown in the Minority Report, or even much much more than my mind can imagine right now. Perhaps your future iPod can play songs that would best suit your mood at a particular point of time, or perhaps your home entertainment centre (aka TV of the future) can play your favourite clips of your late mum on her death anniversary, with all the photos and video clips all edited and done to suit your mood at the moment, whether one of sadness, or one of joy that she has made you a better person.
So are these factors the only ones that can be qualified to perhaps define what the new age Design (aka Design 3.0) is all about. I do think that the list is indeed non-exhaustive, but it is a good start! I would to come back to some of these points later in my future posts, but in the meantime, let me contemplate on how I can make my young charges be ready for these then. :)