What is "good design"?

I am a student in High School looking to get into the industrial design field and I am working on a project. My question is what defines good design (in general/ for you)?

This question has no “one” answer in general and depends more on your own understanding than anything else. There’s no right or wrong here.

A good design may merely be a well-crafted form which pleases the eye and at the same time, doesn’t get too boring or too edgy either. It could also be an ergonomically developed product, “judging” on how efficient & user-friendly it can be. Or it could just be something simple.

Then there are loads of cultural & ethical thingys…like how well does a car designed for India work FOR India? Or something ethical like “how to design packaging for beef products in India?” (cow is considered sacred and beef is not eaten by many people here)…things like that.

But considering your level right now, I reckon you should just focus on the function and keep it simple. Think on the lines of “what is this project for? what is my goal? what’s the best & the simplest way i can go about it?”

Here’s a good start:

I think, most of all, good design is appropriate to the context, and is beautiful within that context.

As stated above, it’s all about context.

Often the best waiter in a restaurant is the one that doesn’t get noticed, but gets the job done… Sometimes, “good” design can be just that. Fill a function perfectly without creating a lot of noise.
Sort of the unsung heroes of the “productshere”…

A good design is like an attractive woman. They come in all varieties, and you just know it when you see it.

Which is an excellent reminder not to drink and design. The effect on judgement could be similar!

There are many definitions of good design, but there is a lot of overlap. I’m sure we can find a lowest common denominator between most of our definitions.

For me, good design forwards the brand it comes from, and satisfies both the consumer’s desires and needs.

Great design does that, and also embodies the broader culture that it comes from. It you go to a fine art museum and go to the ancient Egyptian, African, South American sections of the museum, you will find they are filled with the artifacts of everyday life, elevated to art forms. In 500 years, great design will be able to be in the “early 21st Century” section of the Met. What would you put in that museum exhibit. The iPod, the TT…

Which is why I stick to herb mon. If the retailers only knew how ripped I was when I thought of their product! :wink:

Check out Dieter Rams’ Ten Commandments on Good Design. Vitsœ