Definition of Design

The first step for researching on design is having a personal vision of what design is, in order to use it as a tool for this task. This is my definition of Design so far,

Design is about projecting solutions. First, it starts as a personal process, both cognitive and personal, that requires engaging with people’s needs given a certain problem in a certain context. In the middle, it involves a communication process, with sharing of knowledge, values, perspectives, desires, and aims.

At the end, it concludes with the externalization of an idea, either for immediate use or as a basis for further design. Even more, within a social context, any projected solution and its materialization involve the conformation of stories in people’s everyday.

Under that definition I believe Design should follow these principles*,

  • Design should be human-centered
  • Design should be functional
  • Design should be aesthetic
  • Design should be empower communication
  • Design should be empower understanding
  • Design should be empower transformation
  • Design should be thoughtful
  • Design should be involved with sustainability
  • Design should be useful
  • Design should be rich

* I’ll expand these principles in subsequent posts. The first draft of this personal theory about Design can be found at my SlideShare.

Published by Omar Sosa-Tzec

Assistant Professor of Design Foundations at San Francisco State University