The Hand and the Glove... ramblings about making.

Jonathan Ive on Rapid Prototyping - the root of all evil?

In a recent Design Week magazine (30 April) Jonathan Ive of Apple asserts that RP is distancing designers from the physical process of design and creating 'a lot of lousy design'.
And in the following edition of the magazine numerous commentators are asked for their reaction. Most just echo Ive's sentiments
I agree with Matthew Lewis (Metropolitan Works) that knowledge of materials and processes is fundamental to successful design (and to any creative process), but it is wrong of Jonathan Ive to blame the tools. RP and now RM (additive layer manufacturing (ALM) or whatever you want to call it) open up enormous creative possibilities, and should be seen as a way of connecting the designer with the consumer in the same way as in pre-Industrial Revolution craft based societies.
As ALM frees the designer from tooling and mould making, there is the potential and the reality of every product being tailored for a specific requirement in the same way that a potter would have served the needs of the farmer or cook. In theory this should fully engage the designer with the complete creative process and the need to understand the capabilities of materials are capable of.
As applied artists/designers/creatives we have new tools in our toolbox. ALM/RP doesn't replace the other tools, it complements them and should be used appropriately.
Jonathan Ive should really be addressing the Colleges and Universities who are closing their 3D workshops and sitting students in front of computers as the cheaper option. It is central to the success of design innovation that knowledge of materials and processes is a fundamental part in the education of the next generation of creatives.