Definitions for Design

This semester at Wellesley College I’m teaching the course Basic Two-Dimensional Design.  At the beginning of the course, I ask students to fill out worksheets that ask them to verbally define and think about design as an idea even before we begin with studio projects. We do the same thing at the end of the course to draw comparisons about how their ideas of design have changed during the course.  Below are some excerpts.

We design to make order out of chaos.
Design is something that permeates everything in our lives.
Good design should be self-explanatory; it should speak for itself and be understandable to its entire audience.
Nothing lacks Design because Design is the creation of how something looks and is put together, built, or made.
A design in some ways has to work from the foundations set up by other past designs.
Having good Design lessens the harsh realities of the world
Design is the art of solving a problem in the best way possible.
Design is used to demonstrate an idea.
The role of design is to provide aesthetically pleasing but simultaneously  functional spaces and objects.
Design is not limited to any media.
If the existing way of achieving some goal contains any process that is painful, wasteful, or harmful, then there exists an opportunity for design.
Good design solves problems elegantly, which often means that good design is surprising and unexpected.

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3 thoughts on “Definitions for Design

  1. This class is a mix of students, although the majority tend to be freshman since at Wellesley 2D Design is an introductory course and many freshman enroll so that they are able to take advanced level courses later.

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