Design should solve problems, ideally in an aesthetically pleasing way. Take smoke alarms for example. They save lives, but man, are they ugly. So ugly apparently, that some people don't use them because of how they look. Now I'm not saying I agree with this thought process, but I do understand it. My own struggles with wearing the insulin pump come to mind here. Everyday I live with a designed object that helps keep me alive, but at the same time has some serious design drawbacks. The trade off I make between great engineering and less than fabulous design, is one I am begrudgingly willing to make. But when I think of design in it's highest form, I don't think there should have to be a trade off. Design should enhance the decision to have an life saving object in ones life, not deter it. Design should make it easy to do the right thing.
Like this fabulous example, the chick-a-dee smoke detector by the designer, louise van der veld. Who wouldn't want this wonderful bird in their house, regardless of the fact that it is also a smoke detector? This sweet product leads with design and assumes engineering and function. At the very least, it takes away the excuse of making a bad decision that could lead to great harm. In this case great design not only inspires a smart choice, it also makes it hard to make a bad one. I just love this!
Thanks to the wonderful style files for this happy link!