One lecture I will never forget from my university days started with the inspirational words, “boring is safe”. These poignant words left me wondering why the hell I was studying to be an engineer……..
In today’s world of competition and shorter and shorter time to market, a boring safe product will not sell, risks have to be taken, new ground has to be covered, the market is always looking for something new. One of the ways to get ahead is to get the right balance of Design and Engineering. But doing this well at a top level is like getting blending rocket fuel. An excess of one component and your rocket will fail to lift off and catch the eye of the customer, too much of another and your rocket will explode destroying the clients payload.
From a satellite perspective, designer’s values are based on feelings; in effect the designer is the sensory representative of the customer’s interests. The dreamer and the visionary. The engineer on the other hand, traditionally has the responsibility for making sure the product functions and performs in a safe way; black and white answers in a world of calculations and tests. Too much ambition by the designer and the inspired product will not perform as the end user wishes, conversely too much of an engineer’s touch and the ingenious product will look “boring and safe”….
A solid innovative process requires the right mix; the engineer and the designer must respect each other’s imaginative visions and focus on a common challenging goal. The rocket must not only look good but fly smooth and stay on target. Flair, edge, arguments, unrealistic targets, bent visions of reality, pushing, compromise, and lonesome reflection are some of the sweet and sour tasting sub-elements that are needed to create the right mix. New concepts can hurt feelings, resourceful ideas can generate conflicts, for the unimaginative they are hard to handle and even harder to get out on the market. No one ever achieved anything original and of importance whilst operating in their comfort zone. The right mix is always volatile and if not controlled in the right way, will soon become unstable.
Within any good team with clear ambition “safe” ideas are few, “boring” concepts do not exist. Here at Attention passions flair, artistic visions flow, productive minds invent, numbers are crunched, card is cut, foam is carved, metal and plastic are shaped, great ideas are transformed proficiently into reality. Behind the comforting hum of the machines, beneath the sweet smell of the marker pens, for a split second we are not engineers or designers, but the perfect blend feeding the rocket engine of innovation…………