Definitions of Design

In our supporting texts for the National Curriculum we define design as 'Design shapes ideas to become practical solutions and propositions for customers and users. Design is all around us, everything hand or industrially made has been designed. The majority of designers work in teams, following a design brief and a process towards realising a commercially driven product, building, system or service.'  

A definition and description of design process and practice is complex and will include not only the products, processes and systems that design embraces but also design as concept and thought, and the relationship designers establish, both as individuals and in teams, with diverse groups of clients.


Definitions of Design: 


‘Design is that area of human experience, skill and knowledge which is concerned with man’s ability to mould his environment to suit his material and spiritual needs.’

Archer, B (1973) “The Need for Design Education.” Royal College of Art


‘Making things better for people.’

Seymour, R (2002) Design Council – Design For Business


‘Good design begins with the needs of the user. No design, no matter how beautiful and ingenious, is any good if it doesn't fulfil a user need.’

(2014) “What is Design “ Design Council


‘Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.’

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc.


‘Design is not a single object or dimension. Design is messy and complex.’

Natasha Jen, designer and educator


‘Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.’

Paul Rand, graphic designer


‘Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.’

Massimo Vignelli


‘Thinking about Design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous.’

Ralph Caplan