What is Design?

What is Design?

Design is to have a creation that relates to its respective circumstance, the people involved and henceforth predicting how the situation may develop and how the people may evolve with time.

“Design is 200,000 different things to 200,000 different people,” according to Tom Peters, author of the Pursuit of Wow.

Design also has the power to be 200,000 things to one individual person, as it is to me. Design is a word that cannot be confined. Nevertheless, I have produced a top 10 of the most relevant design elements:

  1. Design is storytelling with a purpose
  2. Design is in every field of work and in every aspect of life
  3. Design is authentic
  4. Design is improvement
    • Many great designs have come from improving an already existing product and asking: How can it be better? Or, how can we provide a better user experience?
  5. Deign is a prototype
    • “Every revolution was once just a thought of man…,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  6. Design is both intentional and unintentional
    • The design of the chocolate chip cookie was an accident. Ruth Wakefield owned the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. In 1937, she was making butter cookies and decided to make chocolate cookies instead. She cut a bar of chocolate into pieces and added them to the batter. Wakefield’s hypothesis was that the chocolate would melt, but it didn’t; thus, accidentally designing “chocolate chip cookies.” [Thanks, Ruth!] Today, that cookie is known as the Nestle Toll House Cookie, or the original chocolate chip cookie. (Business Insider, 2013)

This example is also relevant because when we think of design we often think of fine arts or just blueprints, but design can manifest itself in every field in its own way.

  1. Design is inclusive.
    • High-quality design should involve the opinions of other people
  2. Design can be both unnoticeable and attention grabbing
    • For example- if one gets plastic surgery the design should not necessarily be noticeable, but it should garner attention. Good design, even in surgery, should be just enough to grab people’s attention, but not so much to make people gawk. People should be left in amazement, awe, or wonder of good design- not skepticism (at least in most first analysis’).
  3. Design is thoroughly researched
  4. Design is freedom

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection – not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away,” said Antione De Saint- Exupery.

Design can manifest itself in many ways, how do you see design manifesting?



Antoine de Saint-Exupery. (2013, March 16). Antoine de Saint-Exupery Quotes. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/antoinedes121910.html

Emerson, R. W. (n.d.). A quote from The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/433695-every-revolution-was-first-a-thought-in-one-man-s-mind

Krake, K. (2013, March 16). The Chocolate Chip Cookie Was Invented By Accident. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chocolate-chip-cookie-was-invented-by-accident-2013-3

Peters, T. J. (n.d.). The pursuit of WOW!: every person’s guide to topsy-turvey times. London: Macmillan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar