Jeff Weber, designer of the Herman Miller Embody chair, featured in “Design Is The Difference,” an ad campaign by REACH. Coincidentally, the toothbrush was designed by another Herman Miller design partner, Yves Behar of fuseproject.
It’s really quite gratifying to those of us who’ve been doing design for decades to see that, as the REACH folks say, design is the difference. You hear it all over, from those advocating design thinking to solve world problems to, in this case, a toothbrush. There’s a growing recognition that how something works, what it’s made of, how it’s made, and how it looks all matter. Perhaps more important, people are starting to see that these aspects are all wrapped up in the definition of good design. This wasn’t always the case. Charles Eames coined the phrase “good goods” after his wife Ray’s car was robbed in New York. The thieves took all sorts of things, mostly found items Ray had collected, but they left a valuable bolt of cloth. Eames said, “What robber could break into a car, feel this material, and not in his heart immediately say, ‘Somebody should have it’?” We should all have such a discerning eye for good goods.