What is Design

This excerpt had me think about what design, as a concept, actually is and how it effects my life. I had to look up the definition of design because the writer made me so unsure of myself. It’s a strange feeling when the ideas you once thought to be true, are challenged. But what I gathered from this reading is as follows:

Design is not just the intricate patterns on an ancient piece of metalwork or the color scheme of a website. Design is something that permeates our everyday lives. To understand that, one must look at concrete examples. It’s difficult to comprehend design as a “concept”. Design is the intention, the aesthetic, and the planning behind an object. Even the simplest of things require thought about how functionality can meet with visual appeal.

I look around me, and see a triangular, glass, coffee table. The function of a coffee table is to place things on it while one sits on a couch. It seems its purpose is purely functional. With that in mind, even a cardboard box can be a coffee table. A pile of dirt can be a coffee table. But we don’t think of a cardboard box or a pile of dirt as a real coffee table. This is because a coffee table is regarded for more than its functionality. It isn’t simply there for its functionality; we think of it as a decoration as well. This is where design comes in. Someone coffee table business knows this and purposefully designs a coffee table to be functional and stylish. This makes up design in its most basic form. A meeting of functionality and visual appeal. At least, when it comes to physical things.

Design is not simply about making things, however. It is a way of testing our world. It is poking and prodding at possibility and seeing if we discover anything. Most importantly, it is in our everyday lives. It breeds in the ordinary and mundane and allows us to improve the world around us. Not only does design improve the revolutionary, but the ordinary as well. It permeates into the things we cherish most. Design is traveling at the same speed as our advancements and there is no end in sight. The direction that we are taking as a society will always be closely intertwined with design. And knowing that, we continue to improve.