Kenya Hara’s “What Is Design?” is an in depth timeline of where the concept of design has come from since the beginning of human existence, all the way up to now and the realms of possibility that it has opened. From the very first time the first paleolithic human ever used an object to help him perform a task, the object of design has been in orbit. Growing with years, through cultures and with added intelligence, the use of a simple object as a tool has become the basis of most progressive thinking. In terms of design, we have used these processes with a consideration to aesthetics and combined the worlds of functionality and visual pleasure for a more thought provoking, emotion seeking form of creation.
This excerpt of Hara’s answer to the question, “what is design” is possibly an attempt in helping others better understand the need for design. From my experience, just as most art careers are, design concepts and graphic design are looked over as “easy” and lacking in requirements for high intelligence. To someone who can do something like operate on a bodily organ or keep a guilty defendant out of jail, the concept of design work may seem arbitrary. However, as Hara explains, almost everything in the world has some kind of design, even the rhythm in which a surgeon cuts a knife into flesh. Design not only lays out the physical purpose of an object, but gives it relevance, as well as catches the eye. Life the Bronze Age Chinese cutlery that Hara references, there is something to be said anything that is more than just its function, but even so, something that is designed JUST to do its job, has also been designed.
Design is not just the way your pants are hemmed, the print on your shirt or the layout of a business card, but the basis of all inventions and progressive movements to have ever existed. Hara’s cause for enlightening the reader of the history and reason for design was not to “turn into any beautiful story of design theory,” but to belabor the importance of design in our every day lives.