Industrial design Czech Republic: Effect of design on the innovation process

| Author / Editor: Roman Dvorak, Editor-in-Chief, Publisher / Susanne Hertenberger

Today´s considerations will be focused on the field of industrial design and an effort will be made to specify what role it plays in the competitiveness of a particular innovated product.

The Czech designer Martin Tvarůžek was presented in 2015 with the Red Dot Award in the category Product Design for the design of the FCW 150 machine tool, produced by Škoda Machine Tool.
The Czech designer Martin Tvarůžek was presented in 2015 with the Red Dot Award in the category Product Design for the design of the FCW 150 machine tool, produced by Škoda Machine Tool.
(Bild: MM Industrial Spectrum, Czech Republic)

Design is not merely a tool for obtaining an original and aesthetic product but offers a number of further advantages and profits.

The end user meets with many different approaches to industrial design and also with many levels of its real utilization. The situation in this field in the Czech Republic and also in many other Eastern European countries is doubtlessly better than in the nineties of the last century. At that time, many – today successful – innovators only copied products from advanced markets. However, over the years, even they found out that they longed for their own products. This is a thing where design is a very useful factor. And it was great luck that the number of producers actively searching for this service grew in the last years.

The utilization of design in industrial enterprises in contrast with producers of e.g. electronics or domestic appliances is quite different. There are many reasons - partly historical partly political – why our firms do not actively and on a mass scale work with it. After the revolution in 1990, present owners of firms do not have a strong emotional attitude to their products which could drive them further. Let us not believe that people in the management of firms lack belief in that they could accomplish or build something and are still excessively focused on where they could profit from personal contacts. They can experience daily positive emotions from a luxurious product (luxury car), however in spite of this they do not believe that this could be the way leading to their own success.

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Interconnection of individual departments

Industry must be creatively supported. The development of products usually starts with questions pertaining to the business model: for whom is the product intended, to what territories will it be supplied, how often and in what places will the product be serviced, what about maintenance, installation, assembly, packing performed, etc. The leading Czech designer Martin Tvarůžek aggregates these items and a number of others under the term new aesthetic value. This is followed by the creative process of innovation which merges into the phase of supervision of work on the design and the author´s supervision of the production of a prototype.

Probably the greatest trouble of Czech producers is the fact that when they have already decided to execute the development of a product with participation of a designer, very frequently they do not know how to work with this fact in the field of marketing and business.

People in the sales department often grumble that those in the design department are only “playing” while they must sell, etc. And the management does not realize that the interconnection of individual departments can be profitable. Only in this way, the departments can mutually inspire and enrich one another and can better utilize the experience and knowledge of each of them.

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