Definitions Design

Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities. Many definitions of Art have been proposed by philosophers and others who have characterized art in terms of mimesis, expression, communication or emotion. Art’s definition is disputed and has changed over time, general descriptions mention an idea of human agency and creation through imaginative or technical skill. In any case, one of the primary functions of art is to interpret the subject matter at hand. Subject matter does not change all that much over time. Although new subject matter has evolved, the human condition, nature, and events still continue to capture the attention of artists.

Critical Design takes a critical theory based approach to design. Critical Design uses designed artefacts as an embodied critique. Both the designed artefact (and subsequent use) and the process of designing such an artefact causes reflection on existing values, mores, and practices in a culture. A critical design will often challenge its audience’s preconceptions and expectations thereby provoking new ways of thinking about the object, its use, and the surrounding environment. Critical Designers generally believe design that provokes, inspires, makes us think, and questions fundamental assumptions can make a valuable contribution to debates about the role technology plays in everyday life.

Design Thinking refers to the methods and processes for investigating ill-defined problems, acquiring information, analysing knowledge, and positing solutions in the design and planning fields. As a style of thinking, it is generally considered the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyse and fit solutions to the context. The premise is that by knowing about the process and the methods that designers use to ideate, and by understanding how designers approach problems to try to solve them, individuals and businesses will be better able to connect with and invigorate their ideation processes in order to take innovation to a higher level. The hope is to create a competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

Dutch Design  is a term used to connote design in the Netherlands. More specifically, the term refers to the design aesthetic common to designers in the Netherlands. Dutch Design can be characterised as minimalist, experimental, innovative, quirky, and humorous. For example famous Dutch Design Brands are Droog Design and Moooi.

Dutch Design has also embraced design as a strategic and integral part of product development. Designers are included in the very first phases of innovative processes and production development cycle. Rather than focus on technological innovation only, design is being used as a powerful business creator.

Product Design is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. It is the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products. In a systematic approach, product designers conceptualise and evaluate ideas, turning them into tangible products. The Product Designer’s role is to combine art, science, and technology to create new products that other people can use.

Relational Art is a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space. The artist can be more accurately viewed as the ‘catalyst’ in relational art, rather than being at the centre.

The artwork creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity. The role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real, whatever scale chosen by the artist.

In Relational Art, the audience is envisaged as a community. Rather than the artwork being an encounter between a viewer and an object, relational art produces intersubjective encounters. Through these encounters, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.

Social Design has many definitions and refers to design in its traditional sense, meaning the shaping of products and services. Other definitions refer to Social Design as the creation of social reality; design of the social world. Within the design world Social Design is sometimes defined as a design process that contributes to improving human well-being and livelihood. The idea is that designers and creative professionals have a responsibility and are able to cause real change in the world through good design. Designers can contribute to designing more ecological products by carefully selecting the materials they use. It is about designing for people’s needs rather than their wants. Designers have responsibility over the choices they make in design processes.

Social Design thinking within the design world joins developing human and social capital with new products and processes that are profitable. Profitability and ownership of the processes are the cornerstones of sustainability that underpins human well-being. It is not voluntary work but it should be seen as professional contribution that plays a part in local economic development or livelihood.

Sustainable Design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability. The intention of sustainable design is to eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design. Manifestations of sustainable design require no non-renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment. A dynamic balance between economy and society, intended to generate long-term relationships between user and object/service and finally to be respectful and mindful of the environmental and social differences. Sustainable Design is mostly a general reaction to global environmental crises, the rapid growth of economic activity and human population, depletion of natural resources, damage to ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity.

Urban Design is the process of designing and shaping cities, towns and villages. Whereas architecture focuses on individual buildings, urban design address the larger scale of groups of buildings, of streets and public spaces, whole neighbourhoods and districts, and entire cities, to make urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable.

Urban Design is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. Urban Design draws together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with distinct beauty and identity.

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