In this paper we present a discussion of the development of hardware systems in collaboration with professional artists, a context which presents both challenges and opportunities for researchers interested in the uses of technology in artistic practice. The establishment of design specifications within these contexts can be challenging, especially as they are likely to change during the development process. In order to assist in the consideration of the complete set of design specifications, we identify seven aspects of hardware design relevant to our applications: function, aesthetics, support for artistic creation, system architecture, manufacturing, robustness, and reusability. Examples drawn from our previous work are used to illustrate the characteristics of interdependency and temporality, and form the basis of case studies investigating support for artistic creation and reusability. We argue that the consideration of these design aspects at appropriate times within the development process may facilitate the ability of hardware systems to support continued use in professional applications.