Formerly my goal as a designer was to improve my own and others peoples life through product development. Although I do still believe that product design can improve people’s life, and want attribute to this, I think it can’t be stated in a direct form. Design can be a tool to help people, create awareness and form opinions. These happenings can then influence people to improve change their lives. So the actual impact of a product is more in an indirect way.
A big opportunity in product development is to design not merely a product, but a system of products. We are getting at a point were it is getting too complex and elaborate to create central controlled systems. These systems are commonly considered intelligent, while I believe it is a sum of predictable and repetitive ways of controlling structures. These systems will eventually have their limitation: there will be a point where the total picture grows out of proportion.
I am convinced that the way products are controlled and interact will be decentralized. The implementation of emergent behavior in products will lead to a situation where complex and intelligent systems can originate from comprehensive products. The input (product design) is the first and only step realized by the designer. The output will be the result of the interactions between products and users, products and products and users and users and will lead to unpredictable and complex systems. Where I do believe the aspect of product to product interaction will fundamentally change: it will be comparative to human social structures where it will be impossible to change and control the system as a whole. On the other hand it will be possible to influence the ‘product’ population by changing or introducing new aspects.
As a designer I would like to take the opportunity to research and create concepts based on the actual implementation of emergent behavior in design. Especially within the field of consumer electronics and public design I would like to contribute in ways to change the product- product interaction.