Reestablishing styling as a prime interest for the management of design.

O. Person, Dirk Snelders, J.P.L. Schoormans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    Styling is plagued by prejudice in the literature on the management of design – making it a taboo to talk about styling and designers as stylists. At the same time, the ability of designers to shape the look and feel of products still represents the most defining work of designers. However, reduced to superficial changes in form, styling has been misrepresented as simplistic decoration that is of limited strategic interest for managers of design, especially when compared to the more immaterial (processual) qualities that the discipline has to offer. In this chapter, we question the validity of the conceptualization above, arguing for a renewed interest in the work of designers as stylists. Building on a general reassessment of style in art and design, we appropriate Ackerman's (1962) work on style for studies on styling and the management of design. In doing so, we propose that styling relates to the problem-solving activities of companies, in which designers create and shape solutions and their expressions. By defining styling along these lines, we account for the ‘‘everyday’’ view that designers (as stylists) shape the look and feel of products, but we no longer disregard the central concern of designers to integrate their decisions on form and function when shaping the look and feel of new products in practice
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-177
    JournalAdvances in International Marketing
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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