design

design

[dih-zahyn]
design, plan or arrangement of line, form, mass, color, and space in a pattern. A design may be created to serve a functional purpose as in architecture and in industrial designs or else purely to provide aesthetic pleasure. The design may refer to preparatory stages for a work of art (see drawing; cartoon) or it may be extended to include the compositional elements in a finished work of art.

Programs pursued as a means of improving the urban environment and achieving certain social and economic objectives. Evidence of urban planning can be found in the ruins of ancient cities, including orderly street systems and conduits for water and sewage. During the Renaissance, European city areas were consciously planned to achieve circulation of the populace and provide fortification against invasion. Such concepts were exported to the New World, where William Penn, in founding the city of Philadelphia, developed the standard gridiron plan—the laying out of streets and plots of land adaptable to rapid change in land use. Modern urban planning and redevelopment arose in response to the disorder and squalor of the slums created by the Industrial Revolution. The urban planner best known for his transformation of Paris was Georges-Eugène Haussmann. City planners imposed regulatory laws establishing standards for housing, sanitation, water supply, sewage, and public health conditions, and introduced parks and playgrounds into congested city neighbourhoods. In the 20th century, zoning—the regulation of building activity according to use and location—came to be a key tool for city planners. Seealso Pierre-Charles L'Enfant.

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Technical aspects of a theatrical production, which include lighting, scenery, costumes, and sound. While elements such as painted screens and wheeled platforms were used in the Greek theatre as early as the 5th century BCE, most innovations in stagecraft were developed in the Italian Renaissance theatre, where painted backdrops, perspective architectural settings, and numerous changes of scenery were common. Italian staging was introduced in England in 1605 by Inigo Jones for court masques. In the late 19th century, staging was influenced by the new naturalism, which called for historically accurate sets. In the 20th century, simplified scenic design focused attention on the actor. Staging techniques and the design of theatres have been greatly affected by advances in lighting, from the use of candles in the Renaissance to oil lamps in the 18th century and gas and electric lights in the 19th century. Modern stage lighting, which employs computerized control boards to achieve complex effects, can unify all the visual elements of a stage production. Seealso stage machinery.

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Design of interior spaces, closely related to architecture and sometimes including interior decoration. The designer's goal is to produce a coordinated and harmonious whole in which the architecture, site, function, and visual aspects of the interior are unified, pleasing to mind and body, and appropriate to the activities to be pursued there. Design criteria include harmony of colour, texture, lighting, scale, and proportion. Furnishings must be in proportion to the space they occupy and to the needs and lifestyles of the residents. The design of such nonresidential spaces as offices, hospitals, stores, and schools places clear organization of functions ahead of purely aesthetic concerns.

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Argument intended to demonstrate that living organisms were created in more or less their present forms by an “intelligent designer.” Intelligent design was formulated in the 1990s, primarily in the United States, as an explicit refutation of the Darwinian theory of biological evolution. Building on a version of the argument from design for the existence of God, proponents of intelligent design observed that the functional parts and systems of living organisms are “irreducibly complex” in the sense that none of their component parts can be removed without causing the whole system to cease functioning. From this premise they inferred that no such system could have come about through the gradual alteration of functioning precursor systems by means of random mutation and natural selection, as the standard evolutionary account maintains; therefore, living organisms must have been created all at once by an intelligent designer. Proponents of intelligent design generally avoided identifying the designer with the God of Christianity or other monotheistic religions, in part because they wished the doctrine to be taught as a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution in public schools in the United States, where the government is constitutionally prohibited from promoting religion. Critics of intelligent design argued that it rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of natural selection, that it ignores the existence of precursor systems in the evolutionary history of numerous organisms, and that it is ultimately untestable and therefore not scientific. Seealso creationism.

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Design of products made by large-scale industry for mass distribution. Among the considerations for such products are structure, operation, appearance, and conformance to production, distribution, and selling procedures; appearance is the principal consideration in industrial design. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in London in 1957 and within 25 years had members in more than 40 countries. Two significant trends have persisted: streamlining, a design principle pioneered by Raymond Loewy and others in the 1930s; and planned obsolescence, design changes that tempt owners to replace goods with new purchases more frequently than would normally be necessary.

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The art and profession of selecting and arranging visual elements—such as typography, images, symbols, and colours—to convey a message to an audience. Sometimes graphic design is called “visual communications.” It is a collaborative discipline: writers produce words and photographers and illustrators create images that the designer incorporates into a complete visual message. Although graphic design has been practiced in various forms throughout history, it emerged as a specific profession during the job-specialization process that occurred in the late 19th century. Its evolution has been closely bound to developments in image making, typography, and reproduction processes. Prominent graphic designers include Jules Chéret, Piet Zwart, Paul Rand, Alexey Brodovitch, Milton Glaser, and David Carson.

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Design is used both as a noun and a verb. The term is often tied to the various applied arts and engineering (See design disciplines below). As a verb, "to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component with intention. As a noun, "a design" is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan in the form of the final product of a design process. This classification aside, in its broadest sense no other limitations exist and the final product can be anything from socks and jewellery to graphical user interfaces and charts. Even virtual concepts such as corporate identity and cultural traditions such as celebration of certain holidays are sometimes designed. More recently, processes (in general) have also been treated as products of design, giving new meaning to the term "process design".

The person designing is called a designer, which is also a term used for people who work professionally in one of the various design areas, usually also specifying which area is being dealt with (such as a fashion designer, concept designer or web designer). Designing often requires a designer to consider the aesthetic, functional, and many other aspects of an object or a process, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.

Being defined so broadly, there is no universal language or unifying institution for designers of all disciplines. This allows for many differing philosophies and approaches toward the subject. However, serious study of design demands increased focus on the design process.

Design as a process

Design as a process can take many forms depending on the object being designed and the individual or individuals participating.

Defining a design process

According to video game developer Dino Dini in a talk given at the 2005 Game Design and Technology Workshop held by Liverpool JM University, design underpins every form of creation from objects such as chairs to the way we plan and execute our lives. For this reason it is useful to seek out some common structure that can be applied to any kind of design, whether this be for video games, consumer products or one's own personal life.

For such an important concept, the question "What is Design?" appears to yield answers with limited usefulness. Dino Dini states that the design process can be defined as "The management of constraints". He identifies two kinds of constraint, negotiable and non-negotiable. The first step in the design process is the identification, classification and selection of constraints. The process of design then proceeds from here by manipulating design variables so as to satisfy the non-negotiable constraints and optimizing those which are negotiable. It is possible for a set of non-negotiable constraints to be in conflict resulting in a design with no solution; in this case the non-negotiable constraints must be revised. For example, take the design of a chair. A chair must support a certain weight to be useful, and this is a non-negotiable constraint. The cost of producing the chair might be another. The choice of materials and the aesthetic qualities of the chair might be negotiable.

Dino Dini theorizes that poor designs occur as a result of mismanaged constraints, something he claims can be seen in the way the video game industry makes "Must be Fun" a negotiable constraint where he believes it should be non-negotiable.

It should be noted that "the management of constraints" may not include the whole of what is involved in "constraint management" as defined in the context of a broader Theory of Constraints, depending on the scope of a design or a designer's position.

Redesign Something that is redesigned requires a different process than something that is designed for the first time. A redesign often includes an evaluation of the existent design and the findings of the redesign needs are often the ones that drive the redesign process.

Typical steps

A design process may include a series of steps followed by designers. Depending on the product or service, some of these stages may be irrelevant, ignored in real-world situations in order to save time, reduce cost, or because they may be redundant in the situation.

Typical stages of the design process include:

Philosophies and studies of design

There are countless philosophies for guiding design as the design values and its accompanying aspects within modern design vary, both between different schools of thought and among practicing designers. Design philosophies are usually for determining design goals. A design goal may range from solving the least significant individual problem of the smallest element to the most holistic influential utopian goals. Design goals are usually for guiding design. However, conflicts over immediate and minor goals may lead to questioning the purpose of design, perhaps to set better long term or ultimate goals.

Philosophies for guiding design

A design philosophy is a guide to help make choices when designing such as ergonomics, costs, economics, functionality and methods of re-design. An example of a design philosophy is “dynamic change” to achieve the elegant or stylish look you need.

Approaches to design

A design approach is a general philosophy that may or may not include a guide for specific methods. Some are to guide the overall goal of the design. Other approaches are to guide the tendencies of the designer. A combination of approaches may be used if they don't conflict.

Some popular approaches include:

  • User-centered design, which focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of the designed artifact.
  • Use-centered design, which focuses on the goals and tasks associated with the use of the artifact, rather than focusing on the end user.
  • KISS principle, (Keep it Simple Stupid, etc.), which strives to eliminate unnecessary complications
  • There is more than one way to do it (TMTOWTDI), a philosophy to allow multiple methods of doing the same thing

Philosophies for methods of designing

Design Methods is a broad area that focuses on:

  • Exploring possibilities and constraints by focusing critical thinking skills to research and define problem spaces for existing products or services—or the creation of new categories; (see also Brainstorming)
  • Redefining the specifications of design solutions which can lead to better guidelines for traditional design activities (graphic, industrial, architectural, etc.);
  • Managing the process of exploring, defining, creating artifacts continually over time
  • Prototyping possible scenarios, or solutions that incrementally or significantly improve the inherited situation
  • Trendspotting; understanding the trend process.

Philosophies for the purpose of designs

In philosophy, the abstract noun "design" refers to a pattern with a purpose. Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity.

To study the purpose of designs, beyond individual goals (e.g. marketing, technology, education, entertainment, hobbies), is to question the controversial politics, morals, ethics and needs such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs. "Purpose" may also lead to existential questions such as religious morals and teleology. These philosophies for the "purpose of" designs are in contrast to philosophies for guiding design or methodology.

Often a designer (especially in commercial situations) is not in a position to define purpose. Whether a designer is, is not, or should be concerned with purpose or intended use beyond what they are expressly hired to influence, is debatable, depending on the situation. Not understanding or disinterest in the wider role of design in society might also be attributed to the commissioning agent or client, rather than the designer.

In structuration theory, achieving consensus and fulfillment of purpose is as continuous as society. Raised levels of achievement often lead to raised expectations. design is both medium and outcome generating a Janus like face, with every ending marking a new beginning.

Terminology

The word "design" is often considered ambiguous depending on the application.

Design and art

Design is often viewed as a more rigorous form of art, or art with a clearly defined purpose. The distinction is usually made when someone other than the artist is defining the purpose. In graphic arts the distinction is often made between fine art and commercial art.

In the realm of the arts, design is more relevant to the "applied" arts, such as architecture and industrial design. In fact today the term design is widely associated to modern industrial product design as initiated by Raymond Loewy and teachings at the Bauhaus and Ulm School of Design (HfG Ulm) in Germany during the 20th Century.

Design implies a conscious effort to create something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, a graphic artist may design an advertisement poster. This person's job is to communicate the advertisement message (functional aspect) and to make it look good (aesthetically pleasing). The distinction between pure and applied arts is not completely clear, but one may consider Jackson Pollock's (often criticized as "splatter") paintings as an example of pure art. One may assume his art does not convey a message based on the obvious differences between an advertisement poster and the mere possibility of an abstract message of a Jackson Pollock painting. One may speculate that Pollock, when painting, worked more intuitively than would a graphic artist, when consciously designing a poster. However, Mark Getlein suggests the principles of design are "almost instinctive", "built-in", "natural", and part of "our sense of 'rightness'. Pollock, as a trained artist, may have utilized design whether conscious or not.

Design and engineering

Engineering is often viewed as a more rigorous form of design. Contrary views suggest that design is a component of engineering aside from production and other operations which utilize engineering. A neutral view may suggest that both design and engineering simply overlap, depending on the discipline of design. The American Heritage Dictionary defines design as: "To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent," and "To formulate a plan", and defines engineering as: "The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.". Both are forms of problem-solving with a defined distinction being the application of "scientific and mathematical principles". How much science is applied in a design is a question of what is considered "science". Along with the question of what is considered science, there is social science versus natural science. Scientists at Xerox PARC made the distinction of design versus engineering at "moving minds" versus "moving atoms".

Design and production

The relationship between design and production is one of planning and executing. In theory, the plan should anticipate and compensate for potential problems in the execution process. Design involves problem-solving and creativity. In contrast, production involves a routine or pre-planned process. A design may also be a mere plan that does not include a production or engineering process, although a working knowledge of such processes is usually expected of designers. In some cases, it may be unnecessary and/or impractical to expect a designer with a broad multidisciplinary knowledge required for such designs to also have a detailed knowledge of how to produce the product.

Design and production are intertwined in many creative professional careers, meaning problem-solving is part of execution and the reverse. As the cost of rearrangement increases, the need for separating design from production increases as well. For example, a high-budget project, such as a skyscraper, requires separating (design) architecture from (production) construction. A Low-budget project, such as a locally printed office party invitation flyer, can be rearranged and printed dozens of times at the low cost of a few sheets of paper, a few drops of ink, and less than one hour's pay of a desktop publisher.

This is not to say that production never involves problem-solving or creativity, nor design always involves creativity. Designs are rarely perfect and are sometimes repetitive. The imperfection of a design may task a production position (e.g. production artist, construction worker) with utilizing creativity or problem-solving skills to compensate for what was overlooked in the design process. Likewise, a design may be a simple repetition (copy) of a known preexisting solution, requiring minimal, if any, creativity or problem-solving skills from the designer.

Process design

"Process design" (in contrast to "design process") refers to the planning of routine steps of a process aside from the expected result. Processes (in general) are treated as a product of design, not the method of design. The term originated with the industrial designing of chemical processes. With the increasing complexities of the information age, consultants and executives have found the term useful to describe the design of business processes as well as manufacturing processes.

See also

Design disciplines

Commerce

Applications

Communications

Scientific and mathematical

Physical

Design approaches and methods

Other design related topics

Design organizations

Design tools

Design as intellectual property

Impact of design

Studying design

Designs for the future

External links

Footnotes

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