Posted by Jacqui
Being a designer and promoter of design, I was naturally horrified when I came upon this statement from revered designer Paul Rand*,
then I paused and started to ponder “if this is so, then what is design?”
If you define design as anything that begins with a plan or intent then this statement immediately plunges into a very murky grey space…
eg. 1/ When I throw out my rubbish, while ‘designed’ to allow the garbo’s to collect my unwanted, is this creating really design or just fulfilling my need to get rid of stuff.
eg. 2/ The slamming of a door, while ‘designed’ to annoy me and force me to do something about it, serves no real function and was not the result of any plan or intent.
eg. 3/ A half empty bottle of wine may be ‘designed’ to tell me to stop drinking, but is not in itself the intention of the winemaker or anybody else that I can think of.
So, now I’ve distracted you with my rubbish, slamming doors and drinking habits, I pose the question “in order to constitute design does it have to be aesthetically pleasing or functional?” (certainly none of my 3 examples can be described as such).
My answer is a definite ”No”! Even bad design was created with intent.
And my inconclusive conclusion …
I’m not convinced that “everything is design” (please add your comments) but I am quite clear that not all design is good, so let’s have some fun and look at some examples of good and bad design.
Please Note. While it may be a matter of opinion as to which design is good and which is bad, to give you some help, all the good design is on the right hand side and available through Sooper Design Shop Online.
Left: Frisa Lamp, designed by Anika Engelbrecht
Right: Acacia Floor Light by Marc Pascal
Left: One divided by two,designed by Andrea Magnani.
Right: Dress Code by Toshi Ueno
Left: Glass Tank, designed and manufactured by Kyouei Design.
Right: Kenetic wine glasses hand blown by Emma Klau
Left: The Beware Stool designed and manufactured by RNB Design
Right: The Array Stool by Power To Make
Left: Limited edition Dora Aquapet
Right: Rokii ride on animal and egg rocker
Left: Witness flat chair, designed by Jurgen Bey
Right: Rope Deck Chair by Thread Architecture
*Paul Rand was an American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs. He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design. He designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, Apple, UPS and ABC. Rand died in 1996.