A definition of design
I believe that a definition of design needs to be more than a list of designers. A list is certainly useful but the definition should also capture:
– what is designed
– how design happens.
I think a longer – or more dimensional – definition is needed so that designers can better communicate with non-designers who may not understand design and who may therefore be sceptical/fearful/cautious of design – people who may see design as a kind of Emperor’s-New-Clothes-creating hype.
Design is a) the creation of b) a proposition in c) a medium, using d) tools as part of e) a process.
The nature of each component of this definition may differ between designers:
eg building, dress, kettle, car but also
eg software code, analytic algorithm, policy, process.
eg pencil sketch, 3D model, oil painting, words
eg the plan of a building or street grid of a city
eg computer game, smartphone application, spreadsheet-based model, immersive (virtual reality) architectural model, sound
ie designing with the medium of time eg a process: a construction sequence or cash flow model.
All the above are different forms of design medium.
Designers will use tools (pencil, knife, keyboard, other people’s opinions) in both:
Designers will use one or more means of design inspiration and design review, working alone or in collaboration with others.
While the nature of b), c) and d) may vary between designers, I believe the consistent ingredient is:
Design is innately creative and creativity is a rare and precious commodity that is fortunately found in abundance in the UK – not always buried deep but often sitting right at the surface.