The Motive of a Product

3q_Polar Bench.jpg

The Motive of a Product

What does it mean for a product to have a motive? For arguments sake let’s define motive as: a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious; an element of a design or product that offers more than the face value of the intended use, an implicit quality. Conversely, an explicit motive is the most obvious: to generate revenue by creating value through design/quality/price.  This is by far the most widely created type of product.  Let’s examine inherent qualities.

 If you have ever purchased socks from Bambas, chances are high that you know that you donated a pair of socks to someone in need, the same holds true for Tom’s footwear and Ben & Jerrys Ice-cream.  There is an alternative inherent motive to those products collectively by you and the respective company.  You get your product, and in doing so help someone along the way.

In the case above, when you buy a bench, you adopt a bear through WWF; with polar bear paws in a full size gait carved into the bench surface.  The intent of the Polar Bench is to bring elements of the polar bear into your life, to understand the scale of these animals, and ultimately, a reminder that these animals need our help to survive. 

There is another type of motive: Products that challenge the status quo by pushing against pre-determined definitions.  These designs fulfill the purpose of the product and enhance the function and /or aesthetic through a sense of whimsy, nostalgia, unexpected materials, etc.…  

Droog for example, took random drawers and bound them together with a strap; in essence a new type of “chest of drawers” made by assembly, an alternative view of what it means to be furniture.  Droog was founded in 1993 by product designer Gijs Bakker and design historian Renny Ramakers. During the Milan Furniture Fair in 1993, the duo presented a selection of sober designs made of industrial materials and found objects. The presentation was titled 'Droog Design', because of the simplicity and dry humor of the objects (Wikipedia).


Along the same vein of thinking, Day-Studios took an institutional cafeteria tray (below), an antiquated familiar form, and transformed it into a coffee table, while still being able to function as a very large hosting tray.  Making changes to the products scale, material, and purpose from a benign form into a re-interpreted product.

Cafe Tray_Coffee_3Q.jpg

Café Tray

Both types of products are needed in today’s market place.  We create both types of products constantly.  Ultimately, the believe that products with inherent motives are worth more.  Our world is a richer place when these types of products are being made, to challenge the paradigm and offer an alternative motive. 

3d Printing and the Value to Small Production


Small Scale Manufacturing

The future has arrived – that’s what could be rightfully said about 3D printing and its effect on human lives. As you’re reading this, 3D printers are creating new shapes, uses and, consequently, shaping our future. They’ve been applied with inspiring success in aviation, education and, most importantly, healthcare. In the US alone, the value of this type of printing technology is expected to grow to more than $30bn by 2023. Much of that amount will be invested in manufacturing, considering how much it is already changing the production process by making it both easier and more creative. So, let’s take a closer look at what exactly is going on in this area.


You don’t have to know how 3D printing works in order to grasp its potential, and the most obvious way of acknowledging it lies in design possibilities. For a long time, designers struggled to get their ideas from paper into real life. More often than not, the most original ideas had to be discarded due to the fact that it was impossible to construct such a shape using existing machines and technology.  However, designers can today boost their creativity with 3D printers.  What’s more, it also gives more space for custom-made products. Nowadays, customers can decide to order a product which is going to be made according to their own idea.



Another great trait of 3D printing would be that it’s fairly easy to compose several different prototypes, print them out and decide which one is the best for the market. It also gives you a chance to easily and swiftly replace some parts if you feel it would serve the purpose better. Needless to say, this saves not only the time, but the money that would have to be invested in making various prototypes. In this way, more research is provided at a very low price.


Low-volume production

If 3D products are so amazing, then why not make more of them using only the printers instead of other machines? Actually, this has become reality, at least when it comes to low-volume production. There’s also the opportunity to change the products on a weekly basis if the occasion arises. No need to check for the whole operation process to change, or to order the new machines and parts. Simply input the new design and it’s good to go.

Having taken all into consideration, one thing is for sure: 3D printing has found its way into small manufacturing and it’s here to stay. As it seems, both consumers (lower price) and producers (easier manufacturing process) have a lot of reasons to be excited for the future.