Herman Miller designs a lot of furniture on campus. Seeing what students carry around helps us do it better. So, recently we asked them to send us pictures of the contents of their backpacks.
Backpacks have built-in limitations, which makes you stop and think about what you need to carry around. And, for each of us, the definition of “need” is as individual as our fingerprints. Oh, there were certainly the expected items: pens, books, cell phones, laptops. But there were also some surprises: deodorant, changes of clothes, and toothpaste. Hmmm.
Anyway, filling a backpack certainly involves making decisions. Which reminded us of ideas that designer Ayse Birsel advocates—you can design the life you love and doing so involves good decision-making. For Birsel, good design means good decisions. For us, seeing the decisions students make when it comes to filling their backpacks is fodder for making good design decisions.