Subject design – understanding definitions and formats.

Subject design – understanding definitions and formats.

Subject Design is a cycle of actions of the author and / or the team of authors leading to the creation of an object integrated into the environment and human-human interaction, giving the user a new consumer experience and value.

Historical reference.

The concept of the Art Industry appears in Europe in 1863 after the Great Exhibition of Industrial Works of All Nations held in Britain, it was held in 1851 and later international exhibitions in Paris and Vienna.

The birthplace of the first specialized educational institution in Austria.

In the city of Vienna in 1868 the First Artistic Industrial School was opened, which trained specialists for European factories, manufactories and plants.

The transformation of the concept of Art Industry into Industrial Design and Product Design takes place in the late 80s-90s of the twentieth century in the USA and Europe.

The process of combining the engineering profession with artistic creativity, which began in the USA in the 1950s, fully formed into the new profession of Designer in the late 90s of the twentieth century.

The broad definition of design and the specialty of a designer comes to Ukraine after 2000, replacing the concept of an artist-designer with the advent of affordable computers and software.

Definitions of what is Design.

Design is a cycle of actions of the author and/or the team of authors leading to the creation of an object integrated into the environment and human-human interaction, giving the user a new consumer experience and value.

Design is an action and the result of that action.

The design reflects a person, society, the influence of external and internal changes as a time capsule.

Design is a balance between the beauty of form, ergonomics, functionality, and the availability of human interaction.

Design is when we use an object organically naturally and do not notice how complex or simple it is made.

Not uniformity of definition Design.

The design has a number of directions formed in the historical process of the existence of the creative and technical social environment.

In certain historical periods, Design was called art and creativity, sometimes engineering or construction.

Three pillars of design Subject, Architectural and Fashion Design have evolved in a continuous manner over tens of millennia.

A new type of design such as Industrial design came to us relatively recently and began its inception about 600 years ago and are relatively young – this is the path of the pioneers and inventors of the first printing presses, lathes and other mechanisms.

And there is a very young one, you can even say a baby by its age, it is, Product design.

It arose during the transition of the analogue world of products to the digital world in the late 90s of the twentieth century.

This is a kind of digital display of books, magazines, newspapers, but with the addition of new functionality for interacting with the user.

Design directions have formed historically.

Object design includes the whole range of everyday utility items of a person’s daily use. Such as dishes, furniture, home textiles, tools and cooking tools.

Fashion design emerged almost alongside product design and developed in synergy in parallel.

The main utilitarian function of clothing is the protection of a person from adverse weather and seasonal conditions in their natural habitat.

At a certain stage of development, clothing and its design showed the status of a person in the community and are still a certain marker in the modern world.

Architectural design appeared at the dawn of mankind as a means of protection from natural phenomena and has grown to the technology of 3-D printing of architectural objects.

Architectural design is associated with Product Design through thousands of years of synergy and joint integration into the human environment.

Industrial Design or Industrial Design grew out of the first manufactories and factories.

In the early period of the first industrial revolution, the formation of this separate direction began.

The design of the first printing presses, lathes, water mills, looms, steam machines and sewing machines is the era of the birth of modern industrial design.

This has grown into automotive and aircraft design and the transportation industry as a whole.

A separate area in Industrial Design is the military-industrial complex, which spends significant funds on systems with which the combat operator interacts.

Product design appeared in the era of the information revolution and covers the entire range of solutions for digital devices and information platforms. At the intersection of art and technology, cinema and photography appear, which in a short time finds its place in digital communication channels. The product design combines both digital devices and objects, and the information and communication environment built into these objects.

That is why it has led to the unification of software IT products and digital devices into one conceptual state Product Design.

Subject Design and its main segments.

Modern Object Design is also not a homogeneous concept and it has its own specialized segments.

We will consider the main and largest of them.

Gallery Product Design

The format of single creative copyright products aimed at decorating interior spaces with objects with clearly expressed individual ideas, bearing semantic accents.

The main idea of ​​such products is the artistic and decorative component of architectural spaces.

These items are created in limited quantities; 3-10 units and mostly written by a designer and / or a small creative team.

The cost of such items will start from 1000 euros with an average check of 5000-10000 euros for an item with a “name”.

Craft Item Design

The format of small-scale, personalized design products made in a small workshop or in an original manufactory by the designer himself and his micro-team.

Such products harmoniously combine utilitarian and accent-decorative function in a residential or public space.

Small commercial batches from 10 to 200 units and a personal author’s approach to each completed item are the main features of craft object design

The cost of such items will start from 500 euros with an average check of 1000-3000 euros for an item with a “name”.

Product Design for MASS Market

A format for large-scale design products that are created by designers or design studios for large and global manufacturers or retail chains.

Such Product Design products have maximum unification in materials and manufacturing operations, they are simple and understandable functionally.

This is the most massive and widest segment of products, which includes three consumer price groups: economy segment, middle segment and middle plus segment, this is a fairly conventional division.

Products in this segment are compact, delivered in specially designed promotional packaging or simplified transport packaging.

Designed for a wide range of consumers in different countries and on different continents.

Large commercial quantities from 10,000 to 10,000,000 units allow to reduce production costs and offer a low price to the consumer market.

The cost of such items will start from 10 euros with an average check of 200-500 euros for an item with a “name”.

In this segment of Subject Design, SV & Partners studio has key competence and experience.

Product Design for High Market Level

The format of serial design products that are created by world-renowned designers with names or eminent design studios for small and medium-sized factories and family-type factories.

Such Product Design products have an author’s artistic style and expensive finishing materials, they are mainly included in the complex of interior solutions for a customer or a company.

Compared to other segments, a small segment in terms of quantity with very high prices for items.

In this segment, there are practically no discounts and warehouse leftovers, since everything is done under a live order of a design or architectural bureau, or a direct client.

Products in this segment are supplied in specially made individual packaging and transport containers.

Designed for a very small number of consumers with extremely high income in different countries and on different continents.

Small commercial batches ranging from 100 to 1000 units allow for serial production with repeatable high quality and attention to detail.

The cost of such items will start at 3000 euros with an average check of 10.000-50.000 euros for an item with a “name”.

Product Design for Customized solutions.

The format of individual design products and products that are created by name designers or eminent design studios in small and medium-sized factories and family-type factories for one personal customer without the right to repeat.

Such Product Design products have an author’s artistic style and expensive finishing materials, they are mainly included in the complex of interior solutions for a customer or a company, but are produced only for a specific object with reference to it.

These are the most complex and time-consuming solutions in the design of interior complexes for private and public residences, ocean yachts, private jets, private and club HORECA establishments, personal and corporate offices.

Products in this segment are supplied unassembled and installation is carried out directly on site as well as a network and ready-assembled free-standing elements.

Designed for a very small number of consumers with extremely high income in different countries and on different continents.

In this segment, there is no concept of batches; there is a concept of contract delivery. All technical and design solutions go through various stages of approval and manufacture of test elements and samples. The final options for finishes and the choice of materials and forms of processing are finally approved, after which the production of products is launched.

The cost of such contracts will start from 500,000 euros with an average check of 2,500,000-5,000,000 euros for a complex individual solution with a “name”.

Processes in Product Design.

We need to figure out what way Industrial Design is now going from its “Idea” to the final consumer.

This will give an understanding of the cost and value of the processes of creating a competitive and demanded product in the domestic market of Ukraine and the World market.

Modern Product Design can be decomposed into the following major processes:

Design & Strategic Marketing

An Idea or Task that has a life cycle horizon and useful interaction of 3 years or more.

Search and Research of analogues and market opportunities in a given direction.

Creation of the concept of future product Subject design.

Product modeling and prototyping, taking into account the person-centered model and manufacturing capabilities.

Supply Chain, Engineering and Manufacturing

Analysis and improvement of the subject for the target group of consumers.

Engineering CAD Design | CAM of a product of Object Design.

Creation of an industrial design that meets the requirements of the market and has the prospect of useful interaction for 5 and more years.

Content marketing and “product packaging” in a selling shell.

Industrial production in the most efficient way with the lowest production costs.

Sales and Communications

Advertising communication conveying the benefits and value of the Product Design to the partner and consumer.

Promotion in channels, sales that provide contact and interaction with the target audience of consumers.

Interaction with the consumer studying the degree of satisfaction and customer experience.

Involvement of new consumers in communication and interaction with the Product of Object Design.

Each previous component significantly affects the next and the system as a whole. The time when it was possible to skip some stage is irrevocably gone.

An inseparable chain from the Idea of ​​Product Design to the consumer gaining experience and value from interacting with the created Product of Product Design.

We highlighted the various Object Design formats and revealed the main differences in them.

We saw the relationship and kinship of Product Design with other areas of Design that were already historically formed.

Understood in the complex structure of creating Product design.

Subject Design in Ukraine 2020.

In the current historical period, Ukrainian design, like the Ukrainian society and state, is going through a difficult stage in its development.

The growth phase of the Creative Industries of successful Subject Designers and small design studios that emerged in 2014-2019 has significantly stopped under the influence of the global economic crisis and the COVID 19 epidemic.

Accurately and definitely, we can say all the challenges, both external and internal, that are currently taking place will allow us to form a strong professional design community of Ukrainian Subject Designers.

Many colleagues are already well known in foreign markets for both their awards and interesting products in Object Design.

The development and growth of the Creative Industry of Ukraine is possible in the case of purposeful and well-coordinated actions of Ukrainian Subject Designers in the US and European markets together with the Ukrainian Furniture Business.

Under the influence of digital transformations and restrictions, new, simpler and more effective formats of interaction between Product Designers and the Furniture Industry appear.

Perhaps this will give prerequisites for the creation of alliances, collaborations, clusters and new models of monetization of services for the creation of Product Design.

New challenges, a paradigm shift in society, and a conscious consumption of Product Design products will dictate an active change of outdated model lines of a large number of furniture companies.

In the future, 6-12 months, we will see a tremendous demand for the work of Subject Designers for foreign and local furniture companies.


We, as a studio of subject design SV & Partners, together with our partner we are preparing a systematic program for entering the US furniture market in 2020-2021 for Product Designers and Furniture Business in Ukraine.

Anyone interested in the program of exporting furniture and interior items to the USA, please contact Lyubov Suknenko, the official representative of HPM, and Valery Sukhitsky, a partner of the EF cluster.

CDO of full-cycle product design studio “SV & Partners”.

The author of the text is Valery Sukhitsky

May the creative force be with you!