Introducing VISI’s Latest Issue: 130

VISI Cover issue 130

There really is no excuse for bad design.

For one thing, good design doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be expensive; it just means whoever created the poor piece has been lazy and applied very little thought to its form and function. Even worse, if they have thought about it and it’s still a shocker… well, then perhaps it’s time to consider an alternate career plan.

That all obviously begs the question: what defines a piece of design as “good”? I guess it’ll always be a subjective call, but legendary German industrial designer Dieter Rams pondered this at some length and ended up with a list of qualities he believed defined the key principles. Good design, said Herr Ram, should: be innovative; be aesthetic; make a product useful and understandable; be unobtrusive; be honest; involve as little design as possible; be long-lasting; be thorough down to the last detail; and be environmentally friendly. These qualities have been widely adopted as the benchmark.

Interestingly, back in the 1970s, Ram was one of the first people to talk about the environmental aspect of design – a principle that, in 2024, has moved beyond a feel-good addition to being a critical imperative for the survival of life on this beautiful planet of ours. That’s a big statement, but it really is that serious. How a design impacts our environment needs to be Consideration Number One. Yes, good design should tick all of Ram’s boxes, but the first one to get the pen stroke should be sustainability. It needs to be a given.

Leading the way here are businesses and organisations working to establish a circular economy that’s driven by the idea of circular design. At its core, circular design challenges our traditional linear “take, make, dispose” model, emphasising instead a closed-loop system where products are designed with durability, reparability and recyclability in mind. The ultimate goal is to create a continuous cycle of use, reuse and recycling, reducing the environmental footprint associated with manufacturing and disposal. It’s something that VISI is committed to, and it’s the reason why we have partnered with Circular Squared. Please read the Story on page 32.

And that, of course, is just the tip of the design iceberg that is VISI130. There’s a big focus on small spaces is this issue, with a 28-page special section offering a slew of tips and advice on transforming small rooms and maximising space. As ever, we celebrate our local designers – news on the Always Welcome/ HK Studio collab is on page 50 and the Nando’s Central Kitchen refurb in Lorentzville on page 42 – plus we showcase how some local young designers have harnessed AI in our inaugural VISI/MonkeyDonkey AI Design Challenge on page 64.

– Steve Smith, Editor |

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