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  White Paper - Human touch feeling overcomes commoditized digital technology in ID  
     
     
 
W H I T E   P A P E R
   
   
human Touch
 
   
   
Senior management
“Principles of Marketing” course
at Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
 
   
 
by Shombit Sengupta
 
Human Touch
   
   
   
The prime criterion of a humane Industrial Design
longevity in tomorrow’s world is how the human
flesh feels towards it

By the nature of its material and controlled manufacturing process, an Industrial Design has a mechanical cold form.
material
 
So the thinking process from inception is how to bring design closer to a human touch.

In designing the form and content of a lipstick, which has 7 to 8 design components, it conforms
to a subtle human touch, that of a woman delicately and elegantly applying lipstick.

This metaphor of aligning design to the comfort of human usage is applicable in all
forms of Industrial Design. It reaches a summit if design can use environment
friendly materials.
Woman applying lipstick
   
   
Folk design has tremendous human touch
“Kantha” is a traditional hand embroidery stitch of West Bengal. By joining different kinds of used
cotton garments, a grandmother would, with simple, freehand, non-linear kantha stitches,
traditionally design a soft handmade quilt called kantha for the new born babies in the home.

When this emotion is translated into 5 metres piece of fabric to become a sari, it acquires a very precious meaning for women. Today the kantha sari is available in very expensive silks, sometimes adapting intricate kantha stitches, or in low cost synthetics with simple, customary freehand flow lines to cater to the affordability of different buyers. Women love and value a kantha sari for its authenticity, its handmade stitch, its emotion, its beauty.

Adaptation of traditional
“Kantha stitch” into
contemporary saris
Kantha stitch
Mannequine - Kantha stitch
I consider the kantha stitch as a metaphor
of design with a
human touch.
Different categories have different defined purchase cycles: for example, FMCG is day, week, monthly driven; automobiles have a purchase cycle of 3, 5, 7 years; for consumer electronics it’s 3 to 5 years, and for fashion the purchase cycle is
6 to 12 times a year. The strategic brand promoter can totally control the purchase cycle of any category.
 
 
Medical instruments are too technical  
High efficient tools
These are undoubtedly high effi cient tools, but
the patient can be scared
In medical science, the more complicated the disease, the more sophisticated is the medical machine. But by nature, the mental stamina of a suffering patient sinks when he confronts a medical instrument, as he thinks he will be tortured. To get his psychological acceptance, the machine must appear to be his companion that brings him mental peace.

This will lead to better and quicker curing. This extreme example demonstrates that humane industrial product design can be masterminded through the human touch. How can it be done?
 
     
Earth movers look like warfare vehicles  
Earth movers
Earth movers polluting the environment
Earth movers are extensively used in developing countries, but
they are not humanized. Development takes years, and during
this time these machines pollute society. They may not be consumer products but people get affected when dumpers are used. The alchemy of multi-material synthesis for any consumer touch point can give a human aspect. It’s a thought for
Industrial Designers.
 
     
A speaker is isolated from human touch
Speaker   How can the speaker reflect the human
aspect rather be an
ugly rectangular,
square or tower box
is food for thought.
 
Old master artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo created exceptional sculpture using hammer and tongs to incredibly transform
a single, simple piece of marble into the human body
But in the last century, August Rodin left something more interesting.
He sculpted a very emotional woman as relief, and left the balance
piece of marble as brute marble. The stark difference between sensitive human character and stone is visible in the sculpture, proving that marble is only a material on which human value can be generated. That clearly shows how artists are in advance of their times.

This is the inspiration for Industrial Design. In the same way as a piece
of brute marble was totally humanised, humane industrial design also transform the scientific look of the material.
 
Michelangelo’s David Sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci
Michelangelo’s
David
Sculpture by
Leonardo da Vinci
August Rodins La Danaide
 
 
  Mobile phones are getting more and more user
friendly, but the feeling is that you are keeping
some plastic in your hand. Rethinking is required to bring it closer to nature.
Mobile phones - user friendly
 
 
 
Thinking
In today’s complex environment, industrial design will require the humanization aspect. The coming future will abolish all technical and material aspects from Industrial Design.

Ideally, the thought process of Industrial Design has to combine material with its feel on the human flesh. The car’s steering wheel is always handled by the hand. The test of design humanization is on how the steering wheel makes the user feel that he is touching a human aspect and not just material.
Human aspect
 
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