What is good design?

What is good design?

Well hello there!  I'd like to get you started with a bit of thoughtful consideration about what design actually is...or at least examples of it.

Let's get started.

I'd like you to browse the internet.  Hold on!  There is a purpose here; this isn't a license to roam free.  ;-)

177px-BMW_R32_gearshift_and_logo Your job is to find pictures of 5 examples you think show design.

  1. These could be products, buildings, clothing, cars, posters...just about anything that is a clear example of design.
  2. Pick one example that shows not just that it is designed, but also is an example of "Insanely Great" design (in Steve Job's terminology).
  3. Apple computer, cell phones, BMW vehicles, and Dyson products are specifically excluded.  We all know they are designed already.
  4. IPhone_5S_home_buttonPick at least 3 of your examples from lesser-know companies rather than the worldwide ones.  Maybe find examples from companies or individuals from your home country.
  5. Find a variety of kinds of examples.  Eg: if your first one is a car, look for 4 others that aren't cars.

Once you've collected 5 examples, move on to the next section.

For each of your examples, load in into your portfolio for sharing.

In addition to the picture, write a brief note explaining why this is an example of design.

For your example of Insanely Great design, also explain why you believe this design is outstanding.

Then, pull up your portfolio on your computer screen and display as many of the examples you loaded as you can.  Walk around the room after than, looking at everyone else's examples of design.

As you do, think about why these all show design.  What is it that makes something designed?  What makes outstanding design?

Finally, when Number One says the sharing time is finished, write an entry (or two) in your portfolio, explaining your answers to those two questions.  How can we define design, and great design, broadly enough that it will include everyone's examples?

Finally, take a look at these examples, in Number One's collection.  Would each of them qualify as an example of design under your definition?

If not, why not?  And...should they be included, or are they really not examples of design?  What do you think?  Post on your portfolio in response.

Gratz, Visitor.  You've starting thinking about what design is, which brings you closer to the mindset of a professional designer.  Good work today.

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