Technology is going to new levels when it comes to design, and the proof ain’t in the pudding — it’s in Dell’s new line of laptops. Sleek, modern and incredibly unique, Dell’s line features the design expertise of an unusual hire — Ed Boyd, an industrial designer who used to dream up sunglasses and sneakers for Nike.
I was lucky enough to ask Ed a few questions about the products, his role in the design process, and why technology is being designed to fit in with the decor of our homes.
Tech Style: The move from sneakers and sunglasses, to designing laptops… how did that come about?
Ed Boyd: When I was approached by Dell, the company was really looking for somebody who understood technology and lifestyle. At the time I was at Nike, designing tech-based products like watches, speed and distance devices, sunglasses, etc. Prior to joining Nike, I was at Sony where I designed a wide array of consumer electronics. So, I am very familiar with the technology industry and the shift from Nike to Dell was not that difficult.
TS: What inspired you when designing these pieces?
EB: Actually, it`s not just me but a design team of 120 people at Dell that are working on these products. At Dell we spend a lot of time speaking with and really listening to our customers. We use their feedback and ideas to inspire our designs for products that meet specific needs and personalities. We also draw inspiration from other industries such as furniture, fashion, music, culture and essentially every space that gives us insight into how people are integrating technology into their lifestyles.
On a personal note, I draw inspiration from my childhood experiences, watching my grandmother, who was a multi-talented artist. I am also constantly inspired by my friends and colleagues in the technology and fashion industries. My goal is to consistently stretch my design antennae as far as possible and be inspired by as many things as possible.
TS: There`s a real push to incorporate technology with sleek and artistic design. Why do you think this is such a large growing trend?
EB: The PC industry is changing just like the cell phone industry or the automotive industry did. People are becoming very comfortable with their technology and they are using technology as accessories for self-expression. So, obviously they expect products to be designed accordingly. They expect products to be customized so as to reflect their own personalities and lifestyles. The days of the utilitarian PC as we know it are pretty much over. Customization is driving purchasing behaviour, so Dell certainly wants to make sure it plays in that space. We will continue to see a growing trend toward highly stylized technology products.
TS: Laptops like these are really becoming almost an accessory in a home`s decorating scheme. Do you ever take that into consideration when designing these pieces?
EB: Yes, absolutely. As we spend time talking to customers, one of biggest trends we have noticed is that people want their laptops and desktops to be functional but also to fit into their lifestyle — be it matching their personality or complementing their dÃ©cor. Dell`s Design Studio enables customers to customize the look of their laptop or desktop as they are configuring the system. They can select and customize colour and finishes to match their dÃ©cor or personality.
TS: What`s next for Ed Boyd? Are there other areas of design you`d like to venture into?
EB: I think I have my hands full at the moment with Dell! A tremendous amount of time, energy and work is going into delivering products with personalization options within the industry, and I’m very excited to be a part of this change.
For more information on Dell’s new line of uniquely designed laptops, visit the Dell Design Studio.