Technology and Design: Mutually Influential

  • Author: Ash' Burnham

Technology, and design.

Two different words with different definitions and yet two extremely similar and closely connected things if you think about it.

‘Technology’, when looked up on oxforddictionaries.com, is defined as “The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” – whereas ‘Design’ is defined as “The arrangement of the features of an artefact, as produced from following a plan or drawing.”.

Of course, both definitions can stretch waaay further than that, but for the sake of this article if we think of technology as the ‘stuff’ humans make when they combine knowledge of how the world works with a bit of engineering talent (usually in order to enhance human life but unfortunately not always) and design as a word that refers to the pre-planned properties and characteristics of something that has been made with some type of purpose(s) in mind, then we can have an interesting conversation.

Technology and design, in terms of the industries that exist here on Earth (not just the concepts) are two extremely fast-paced, quickly evolving, innovation-rich and consumer-orientated worlds in which lots of things can affect many other things; and in which the seemingly insignificant can dramatically impact the significant if allowed to do so.

Technology almost always influences design and design quite regularly influences technology. Whenever technology evolves it usually does so in a way that drags the design world along with it; causing new solutions (aesthetic, ergonomic and otherwise) to be invented and implemented in order to cater for what’s being introduced to the world. And whenever design solutions become old and outdated, failing to keep up with technological developments, they can slow down innovation and prevent new technologies from emerging. Or at the very least slow down their emergence. Those are just two basic examples of they can affect one another but for the sake of not making this blog post more excessive that what it’s shaping up to be, I’ll let you look around and spot the other almost unlimited number of examples out there in the world to further demonstrate the relationship and mass overlap between the two.

technology - iPhone resting against iMac

When Apple reinvented the smartphone (and incidentally the entire market) by introducing a complete new design approach back in 2007, the technology and design shifts that we consequently saw ended up changing smartphones – and all handheld tech in general – forever as a result.

Remaining current and staying up-to-date with what’s going on is paramount; both in the world of technology and in the world of design. And just as importantly, understanding how they both impact one another is a vital part of success in either industry.

There are relationships between everything in the universe if you look hard enough. Everything is connected in some way. But technology and design are a brilliant joint example of things being mutually influential. Being able to spot the relationships and similarities between things is an advantage for any individual or company aspiring to reach the heights of great success. Implementing your knowledge of that and taking full advantage of it is a whole other ball game of course, and hats off to those who do, but being able to spot relationships and similarities between things in the first place is a great starting point and super effective upper-hand to have. And a skill that can be applied to many other areas of life.

Always try to spot the relationships between things and always think about the implications those relationships could potentially have, be them negative or positive. Be mindful of the real-world Venn diagrams that exist out there.

At Diony, we always try to ensure that we remain mindful of relationships and potential overlaps; particularly when it comes to technology and design. And it reflects in our work.