Welcome to my Blog

posted Nov 1, 2012, 2:37 PM by Matthew Fisher
13 oct 12 - Reno NV - 
This bog will be the Trakker Design perspective on design and manufacturing. When we talk about design there are so many aspects that we imagine. Everything from the cosmetic styling of the product to the functional aspect of the parts and pieces that make it up. For the purposes of this blog questions about parts and pieces breaking or not breaking will live under the umbrella of part engineering. Design here will be the sum total of form, function, and experience of a product. This includes the looks, the materials the weight, and texture as well as the basic functional question - does the product work. For complex electronic products Design encompasses both the outside telling you about the inside of the product, but also the interface and accessibility of the great technology inside.

Because I am located in Northern Nevada there will be specific examples drawn from local companies and products. We will also address design in a broader context of questions and challenges I see and experience in my work as a product designer. My daily routine takes me to Asia, all across the USA and often to Europe with different clients and their products.

All the products we will talk about will be physical products. While I sometimes am involved in website design for a client. That is usually out of expedience rather than deep expertise. Physical products may be as simple as a one piece road reflector or as complex as the Volvo V1-V2 designs I contributed to. They contain the challenge of taking an inspired idea and bringing it form in a manufacturable end product. 

My background is very wide, with experiences from development projects in South Asia and travels in the region to living and working in Hong Kong and Tokyo. This leads me to a broad view of product design as an expression of  the many people who contribute to a product making it to market.  This holistic view is not common, but it leads me to many insights that might be otherwise missed.  The care and creativity of thousands of people go into every product we use and I honor all of them.  The things I have seen - A cobbler in Dhaka Bangladesh  carefully mending a sandal strap with both hands while holding the sandal in a vise like grip between his two big toes. A optical physicist energetically  explaining WDM [wavelength-division multiplexing]on a white board in Silicon Valley as his audience of engineers and business professionals became more and more confused.  A team of five workers in a China factory meticulously fine tuning the tiny race cars that would soon be found in a Happy Meal - shoot straight Lightning McQueen.  All these people are part of the design of a product if they know it or not.  They are important parts of  larger and larger processes that we all share in. The whole grand oneness that is our human world.


Oops I am getting ahead of myself. I want to start with the foundational questions of design  and why we need it.  Then we can circle back to the big stuff from time to time.