What if I just figured what design is? Is it too late?

I am a final year product and furniture design student. I have suddently realised what the hell design is, meaning that now I can see things in a broader, more intelligent way.

Have I woken up too late… or does this happen to us all.

Jumping Jumping Jack

what the hell are you talking about?

That’s about right on par, actually. School doesn’t teach you the reality of working in a field, only the technical skills necessary to do it. It’s not about the “big” picture, it’s about the details. The reality of a profession comes when you start exposing yourself to the professionals and people who do it everyday, or become one yourself. The sooner the better, by the way. This is a big reason why many students graduate only to find that day to day reality is a far cry from college curriculum. This is also why internships are so important, and why design professors should have more real world experience.

There’s one thing in your favor here: Design is something that is applicable to many trades. Consider if you’d spent the last 5 years studying to become a software engineer. Your first year on the job you realize that the true undercurrent of working in the field is not right for you. Now what? Your skills are so specialized that it’s going to be mighty hard to cross over.

So, what woke you up and what is it that you think design is? Inquiring minds want to know.

I guess it was a tutor i had alongside a few books by ideo that I have been reading that changed my outlook on life and made something click. I realised how I should face design, although everyone aways told us students that design is about making life prettier, simpler, better, it always sounded like a lot of fluff. However, my last experiences (ideo have some great books) just showed me proper ways of how we design out of our living context and a tutor that made me critisise everything and anything to make me realise what it was that I wanted in life, in design, in the world.

He gave me a good tip and told me that to be a good designer you have to find out how your own mind works and that this is a process that takes ages, but when you have it down, you have a good understanding of where you want your designs to go and why.

I wonder if this makes sense.

Thanks for your reply.

i just found out i am a man… is that too late? better late than never.

so … what did they say that brought you the revelation? Some, like me, are also thinking that the whole premise for design - to make life better, solve a problem, making things beautiful - sounds logical, rational and all, but it’s all sort of intellectually “yeah that’s true”.

How did you switch to a full realization?


well done.

design is not what you think it is. it will never be.

it is the dead catfish at the bottom of a river

it is the tomato on the floor in the produce isle

it is the little sharp piece of food between your eye tooth and cuspid

it is not only a job

it is only a job

get a life before it’s too late.