• What is Design?

    Arts & Culture


    Ask two people, one a designer and one not a designer, what "design" means. You'll get wildly different answers. And unfortunately for us, the non-designer is probably more correct.

    We don't own the word design, and we really shouldn't be using it. Design is too much of a generic term. We might as well call ourselves "makers" and then get irritated and self-righteous when anyone else refers to "making something." As far as the English language is concerned, "design" can be used to describe many things, only a few of which match the way designers use that word.

    Design can mean to plan something.

    Design can mean the appearance of something.

    Design can mean to create something.

    Design can mean the plan itself.

    Design can even mean ulterior motives, as in "I have designs on my brother's inheritance".

    "Design" is a vague, generic word that means everything and nothing. If we want the world to understand and respect us, we need to find a new word that isn't vague or generic.

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