This paper represents my interpretation of design in general. I’ll be talking about multiple disciplines together; because in reality, I believe they all are overlapping themselves. Therefore, I think its important to provide as much as a holistic overview. There are different understandings on what design is, and as long as a designer can explain and communicate his work in a rational and logical manner, there are no right or wrong design interpretations. _ _ _ _ _ _
What is design? The question that many have tried to answer, but no one has succeeded to give a definite answer. Perhaps this question can never be answered. Maybe design is some kind of abstraction; an entity with no real definition…? Design is a field that involves problem finding and problem solving, analysis, invention and evaluation. All of this is guided by sensitivity to the environmental concerns, human centered aesthetic, functional as well as cultural needs. In the last decade, or so a new design trend has emerged, new products have been created that were not just functional and void of any unnecessary detail. A new idea was born, which was to create an emotional bond between the product and the consumer. Problems that we are facing today are far more complex and they require an additional knowledge, which has not been common among the designers. We need a better understanding of the consumer, environment and sustainability and that’s just the start.
Design as it is. Design today, is more than simply styling or art. Instead today, we need to adopt theories and practices that threat creativity as both psychological and sociocultural processes. Therefore, sociologists, psychologist, philosophers and marketers are being called to work with designers in multidisciplinary teams to discuss new possibilities and development of completely new product and services. Designers today are able to create concepts from scratch. The multidisciplinary knowledge helped create the idea of sustainable design –a solution perfect in theory, as defined. Sustainable design creates a win-‐win situation for everyone with fewer expenses, cheaper products and clean and safe environment for all.
Design as I believe. Out of an academic level, I define design as both the way to and the goal itself, i.e. design as a process and/or the artifact, both an idea and/or the result of the idea. You can also say design is the conscious way of using creativity through an innovation process, where creativity means possibility of combining ideas to solve problems and develop possibilities. But the definition doesn’t restrict here. Designers have evolved from using ink and pencil to a variety of computer programs and to what I think, design is, it no longer only about the
visual context; its do define what the problem is and thus solving it. To explain what I think design is now, there’s a small example by Seth Godin, which I would like to put across. The business of blueberry and apples. If you serve yourself blueberries by the handful, you wont be able to inspect each one and so just one rotten blueberry can ruin the entire bowl of cereal. An apple is different. Its handpicked. Pick the wrong one and its not such a big deal, you can just pick another one. If you sell apples, then the goal is to make the great one great, really great. If you are in the blueberry business, on the other hand, the goal is to eliminate defects. An artist who works on matters of personal taste, then, can afford to go to the edges…infact she must. Let the buyer choose! Books and paintings and houses are apples The manufacturer of fungible items on the other hand, embraces six sigma, because recovering from a failure is expensive (and its your fault). Sutures are blueberry. Experience is the opposite of being creative. -‐Paul Arden The competition between designers today has become fierce. There is a need but what it says ‘minimum three years of work experience.’ So what is happening here? I think it’s the exploitation of the young designers. I think young designers are creative and better problem solvers than the senior designer around. From what I have observed so far, students are ready to experiment and they believe that they can make world a better place…if only somebody could give them a chance. Sir Ken Robinson, in one of his TED talks talked about the same context, “when we are young we are ready to take risk and as we grow old we tend to take a safer way and become fearful.” Besides that, junior designers are more familiar with state of the art technologies; they often are matching the cultural profiles of the young costumers, and they have gained a degree of influence over corporate working processes and artistic direction. In time of corporate competition and ever evolving global market, the interdisciplinary partnership between design and consumer is becoming necessary. In order for something like this to work, it is important to professionals in design understand each other professions, be it be a co-‐worker, client or a consumer. This process is causing a change in the initial definition of design, with the areas of knowledge and skills that comprise it. Future students who would like to like to be designers, in say post ‘post-‐industrial’ economy will enter an inherently multidisciplinary profession. In the future, the distinction between analyzers and creators, or between researchers and designers is expected to fade considerably. The new tread anyhow, in the design practice tells us that solution may be artistic and beautiful, and may even fulfill the need but unless the method is a conscious problem solving process, its not a design.
I do believe in the better future, although I am aware how little I know about it and I like what someone said, the best way to predict future is to create it.