what is design? [lecture 1]

the quintessential question that design students always encounter on the first day of class.

what-is-design-lecture14

and the one that we will continue to try to answer for the rest of our lives.

design, as defined by Richard Seymour:
“making things better for people”
–but is that too broad?  mailmen and sanitation workers make things better for people…
design, from London’s Design Council:
design as translation:an activity that translates an idea into a blueprint for something useful”
–ah, that word ‘utility’…
design, according to the Danish Design Centre:
“design = aesthetics + added value”
–interesting that the DDC views design as a ‘result of deliberate and creative work on an idea, a problem or a desire for change’ — do they see design as an end product, instead of a process?
design, as grudgingly defined by John Heskett:
‘the human capacity to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature, to serve our needs and give meaning to our lives’

–…inspirational, but what i actually agree most with is his opinion that discussion of a design definition is simply fraught with confusion because the word has too many levels of meaning.   in his book Design, A Very Short Introduction, he asks us to consider this sentence:

design-as-john-heskett2

every use of the word ‘design’ is grammatically correct…

i get tired of answering this question [akin to the eons-old ‘what is art?’ wrangle], and wish to ask instead, what do we really gain by trying so hard to define it?


2 Responses to “what is design? [lecture 1]”

  1. 1 zzani

    haa.. i found it. tq


  1. 1 hiswitness' me2DAY

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