Introduction to Design

design is where creativity meets logic

Design is the nexus of art and science, and often requires that a designer be well technically versed as well as imaginative and aesthetically aware. The “design sphere” thus incorporates everything from mass manufactured bedroom suites and that Bmw x5 for sale, to purpose made, and unique, items of jewellery as well as websites like uPrice, etc.

Of course, aesthetics only applies to fields of design where an actual, physical artefact is to be produced. The term, “design” is used in a variety of contexts, and can be broadly defined as the formation of a plan for the construction of an object or the implementation of a system.

The precise form that the design will take is dependent on the discipline in which it operates. In architecture, for example, the design of a structure is expressed in sets of drawings and models that a building contractor then uses to construct the final, concrete building. Engineers often use similar means to convey information about a built structure, and process designers may use diagrams, flow charts and narrative as a medium to express design parameters.

In certain disciplines, the design and designed object are conflated into a single whole, and the one therefore cannot be physically separated from the other. Graphic design is one of the design disciplines in which this conflation occurs. Design disciplines vary widely in their scope, and can include everything from fashion design to architecture to set design to engineering design to logistics designs to organisational structure, etc.

The Wikipedia entry pertaining to design (as a general undertaking performed by any individual who puts energy into conceptualising an artefact/process before manifesting it) describes the term, more or less, in the following way:

…an exact description of a final artefact/process (expressed in one form or another) anticipated to realise certain objectives in a specific situation by using a set of fundamental constituents to meet the predefined requirements.

In order to achieve the above, an agent performing the design must be appointed. Designers are therefore tasked with defining the means by which prescribed goals can be met in a particular way by an object or procedure (or set of procedures).

Owing to the broad description of design, no universal design language has been uncovered as yet, and theories relating to the design process are usually primarily philosophical in nature. This is to say that there is no defined approach or singular methodology that pertains to all types of design. Empirical research, though, does indicate that there are two “types” of approach that can be adopted by designers, although one is seen in practice more often than the other.

The “rational” approach (which maps onto the so-called rational model) is centred on defined procedures and pre-emptive analyses and responses. The action-based approach is more empirical and intuitive: designers will often start off with a few broad ideas which act as tests. This is to say that ideas are implemented with the intention that they will give rise to other, more refined and appropriate responses based on their performance. Put simply, the one approach is based on full conceptualisations while the other is based on action and reaction.

Whatever the approach is, design is a deeply fulfilling endeavour as it exercises some of our most creative and deeply rooted impulses, and by so doing, has a positive impact.