handheld camera concept - click on image to return
Smart camera 1987

This single-handheld analog camera concept was a design proposal for DCI (Design Club International), a Japanese based design consultancy. There was nothing like it at the time as it was long before digital smartphones, even mobile phones had only just appeared. The idea was to make a slim pockable camera that was simple to use and easy to handle, requiring only one hand to operate. DCI felt it was a great idea and I received an extra payment in acknowlegment. The speed at which designs changed during this period was so dramatic that I began to question the whole business. As soon as one design was completed its replacement was already being considered. It was a sign of how the next decades would unfold with similar products being replaced at regular intervals from numerous companies, sometimes without even having been fully tested. It led to a creative frenzy in product design with many companies producing an array of mediocre products for an ever expanding international market. For many designers there was little time for thinking carefully about the next generation of products, instead new and different was the cry and if the product did not sell the next was already in the pipeline. As one example, Nikon in the analog 1970s had just three types of camera: hobby, amateur and professional, which remained basically unchanged for years, if not decades, apart from minor updates. By 2000 they had so many models, some overlapping, that it became impossble, even for Nikon enthusiasts like myself, to keep up. New designs were appearing monthly and being replaced just as fast, largely due to the fast growing digital technology.