Media: Our Video Case Study of Whirlpool
April 9th, 2009 at 12:30 PM
Video case study to demonstrate economic benefit of design
By: Deborah Johnson Wood
Design West Michigan and Creo Productions have teamed up to create what they believe is the first-ever video case study highlighting the economic value of design. The study will follow the design and development of Whirlpool’s innovative Duet Series washers and dryers.
“Good design, classic design and economically valuable design starts with design at the beginning of the process,” says John Berry, Design West Michigan director. “Part of the issue of understanding design is the difficulty in defining design, and the all too often assumption that design is styling done at the end of some process.”
Berry says design is actually problem solving. Everything gets designed, and constraints like time, money and production capability are problems to be solved. Good design considers all the factors up front to help manufacturers determine how and where to cut costs.
Creo Productions will produce a 10-minute video that highlights the ethnographic research that identified the need for modern efficiencies in laundry appliances. That research resulted in the Whirlpool Duet series, which revolutionized the industry, Berry says. Some of the conveniences consumers wanted include faster drying time, side-by-side appliances, water conservation, wrinkle prevention, variable heights to reduce bending and stooping, and reduced noise.
The video will highlight interviews with Whirlpool researchers and designers, the ethnographic research, the incorporation of drawings and prototype concepts, and a visual timeline.
Berry will make the video available to individual businesses and online.
“The goal of Design West Michigan is to use design to help grow the economy of the region,” Berry says. “The case study will educate non-designers on the value of design where design has the ability to enhance their profits and markets. We hope to produce several case studies representing different design disciplines, such as graphic design, architectural design, digital interactive media design, et cetera."