Design is a global phenomenon, from misty and dark beginnings with placing one stone upon another, attaching this object to that, humans have slowly encouraged and inspired each other to design and create even more things from what we already have. Shapes, techniques, patterns, and motivations all help to adjust the focal point of our designs, with those which most suitably match their purpose propagating.
Like evolution of nature, from one slight variation spurs a whole list of further evolutionary steps until completely a new species comes into being. As human society progresses, the things we need in order to make the most out of our life in comparison to our neighbour and for our own sense of belonging increase also. Design comes first, first impressions have always counted and they will continue to do so. Practicality also makes an important factor, it may look good but if it doesn't work well then it's not good any more.
Well functioning and good looking objects persevere and breed new ones as they change and are adapted. Competition also causes manufacturers and designers to continually match what others do, with like for like or better abilities and services. We know that we get our ideas from things we've seen before, and unless we use focussed imagination it's very difficult to think of something absolutely unique and with purpose, so it goes to show that what people have designed before us directly feeds into what others design next. Rather than completely reinventing something, we tend to reinvent bits of it, components and methods can alter which over time translate into large changes.
So it makes sense then to have a great resource for designers to draw on, so that their ideas and objectives are met with the best and most diverse creative vocabulary as possible. We can always go and visit a museum and spend time engaging with the works and exhibits, absorbing them on our feet somewhere or other, or we can do it from home. It's now very easy to browse, but it is difficult to find real quality among all the junk. Well, never fear, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum has uploaded a huge collection of 3000 years worth of human design and innovation.
The archive digitalised images cover all kinds of areas in the design world, from cars, clothes, buildings, posters, and antiques This digitisation involves a process that creates representations of the 2D or 3D objects in a database, using barcodes to link pictures to the relevant information. This technique has allowed a quick and efficient uploading process where over 90% of the museum's collection is now digital and online. The archives are grouped in great ways, and its possible to search through, browse particulars, or just select from random and enjoy a visit to the online gallery. Have a look now!
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