Fred Showker, Editor and Publisher of DTG, recently posted the following question in the Designers’ Talk Discussions section of LinkedIn:
My question: WHAT is DESIGN?
So many readers often write to ask about becoming a design professional. Many ask “What is Design” or “What is Graphic Design?”
Among the established definitions you’ll find that just about anyone you ask — you’ll get a different answer. So, in the May issue of DTG we’ll be asking …
WHAT IS DESIGN?
My studies at The Dynamic Media Institute at MassArt bring up many questions about design, media, communication and creativity. The question What is design? seemed to perfectly resonate with recent thoughts and discourse with the fantastic community engaged in these discussions at DMI.
Here is my response:
WHAT is DESIGN? What an excellent question. And what an important question to ask ourselves on a daily basis.
Here is my quick interpretation of design …
First of all, I think of the word design as more of a verb than a noun. An active process. A process that can contain elements of expression, research, planning, thinking, doing, conversing … but design is best when there is a lot of active exploration, research and process behind the end result.
As a second notion to consider … here is a layman’s linguistic deconstruction of the word as interpreted by someone personally and professionally involved with design for a decade or more. So here is my breakdown by syllable …
The ‘de’ part of DESIGN … ‘de’ reminds me of the word ‘di’ in Italian, both in phonetic | aural similarity and in direct translation of meaning … ‘de’ = ‘of’ in English.
The ‘sign’ part of DESIGN … ‘sign’ is the root of the word ‘significance’.
Literally translated DESIGN means ‘of significance’. More importantly, the interpretation I come away with is something more like the infinitive ‘to bring significance’. I think of it as a process where the designer brings meaning … actually brings something significant to the world. Or at the very least to a certain targeted audience.
So … in the end, we not only need to ask from day to day the all-important question ‘WHAT is DESIGN?’, but we also need to continually update and define ‘WHAT is the role of a DESIGNER?’ … the answers to both of these questions are shifting and changing more and more often in these times, due in part to the speedy development of new technologies and also immensely influenced by a confluence of so many eclectic fields coming together to define and design new significance, new meaning, new thought, and new methods of communication.
View the original LinkedIn Answers question and responses here: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=92232&discussionID=2742196&commentID=3023128&goback=.hom.anh_92232#commentID_3023128
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