What is design , Really ?

I usually refrain from comments on posts like these, but I couldn’t resist – you lost me at "What is the design of ‘Design’ ". So, what to do about this, you ask:

Put it in an envelope and tape it closed. Put the envelope in a steel box, weld the box shut and place it in a deep hole. Fill the hole with concrete and build a house on top of it.

Or, you could just press delete!

I hate to take a strong stance on a first post from a new member, but to play devil’s advocate here. Is that a true statement? There are many books on “The design of design” … in my opinion, most of them are BS. What little content they contain you can usually glean from the back cover. As Le Corbusier once said, “Design is not an academic activity”…

I think designers get confused because the word design itself has so many meanings, so we can say things like “everyone is a designer” (this time of year everyone is also an accountant), and “The Design of Design”… but just to show how maybe we are just naval gazing here, how do the following sound:

The accounting of accounting
The doctoring of doctoring
The medicine of medicine
The cooking of cooking
The therapy of therapy
The cleaning of janitorial services
The security of security (OK maybe that one works, who watches the Watchmen?)
The IT of IT

Seems a little funny… maybe that is how they would perceive the design of design

Of course we should be thoughtful with what we do, we need to understand out value and where we can add it (and where we can’t) and respectful of our profession, our peers, and our predecessors who have paved the way, but I think we should be careful not to over intellectualize what we do. When we do that we remove ourselves from the goals of the work itself.

dan, I love your comment lol, it does feel like something you should not touch or it will just explode!

and yes design of ‘Design’ is a horrible notion but then what else do you call it? (maybe it should preface it a little) what would you use ? , how would you address the concept of design and its design ? , its a totally MindF**k !



I don’t mind you taking a strong stance (was expecting a lot worse, to be honest ) , the act of designing is not an academic activity, that kind of my point though as a designer in that role we are producing something make an impact on of the world around us (making a change or aiming to, rather than presenting one or making a proposition as art attempts too, … ), we would be wasting valuable time & money in the practice of designing, should that stop one from sharping the tools we use to interact and articulate the work we do with others?

that’s kind of what am trying to get at, the design doesn’t have an academic foundation full-stop, there some journals on design but they are mostly collected from other academic fields that then tied into the design rather than the other way around.


there is a lot of BS design books out there! , and a lot of design fields that have popped up not for there value they can give or a specialism within design. eg service design (This is Service Design Thinking) just found out there is a doing one as well , i can’t for the life of me see why this specialism exist other than to sell into the public (just one of many design thinking/method books floating around

yes we shouldn’t over-intellectualize design but there is a middle ground somewhere

don’t you think we could benefit from removing some of the complexity surrounding the way the word design is used, and the many ways its implemented that wouldn’t be over-intellectualizing design would it?

we all know what engineering does but the same cant be said for design. what is your definition of design? just out of interest

I would there are a reflection on design, but most of the are total BS as you say, my point was it never really looks at the bigger picture and how all the pieces if together, i didn’t really make that clear but wasn’t point i wanted to make

it needs a shake-up,

Thank you for your input!

May I humbly suggest that if your immediate goals are for your thesis to be read and commented on, better attention to the needs of your audience is required. This would be better digested as a chapter-framed PDF, and that’s not including more attention to grammar and punctuation (e.g. Capital letters, periods).

You forgot spell check. For christ sake, spell check is automatic on every app there is. Laziness is not a quality I hold with regard.