A very warm welcome to our blog – Design Nonstop. Before formal introductions, let us begin from the beginning – the beginning of design.
Long long ago, while man was still evolving, he lived in the wild like other animals. But then in the process of evolution his natural defenses like claws and hair were lost, teeth became smaller but the brain started to develop. This large and complex brain is what differentiates man from other animals. With the lowered natural defenses, man became an easy prey and it also became difficult for him to hunt. This is when man made his first tool using stone. Not only did man understand need of the hour, he could also comprehend the material and foresee the effect of his action. And that was the first time when he cautiously acted upon the natural environment and moulded it for his own betterment. This shows the ability of man to create and to plan and that eventually led to the creation of tools / objects, shelter / settlement and communication / language. Design is thus a basic instinct of human being.
Commonly design is interpreted as aesthetic treatment, patterns, layouts, element of decoration, fashion, interior furnishing and so on. But design is really the sum of whole and much more. The meaning of design has changed over the last century. Until the beginning of 19th century design was associated with surface treatment or form – dealt with by guilds of artists, sculptors and crafters. Later with the industrial revolution, there came a wave of specialisation and design became a planning tool – in this case the professional was a designer. Now the designer was an expert – expert of the process. Design became a process of problem solving. With scientific advancements came questioning. Designers not only gave form to an object but also questioned its function and its context. Design although primarily revolves around a need, it also is an activity of giving form and communicate.
John Haskett quotes, “Design is one of the basic characteristic of what it is to be a human, and an essential determinant of the quality of human life. Design matters because, together with language, it is a defining characteristic of what it is to be a human.”
Going further with this thought, meaning of the word ‘design’ and the act of ‘designing’ has lot of connotations created in the culture. The expression and power behind it can even be understood in our immediate environment. The laptop, chair we occupy right now, furniture and walls around us, flooring beneath, the roof above or even the plant spices under which you might be seated are altered by human being. Today practically very few things you will find are pristine on this planet. Infact, the act of designing in order to add value to human life is profound. Inadequate lighting, non grip-able small objects, badly formatted information are few examples that we come across in our day today life where we can experience the lack of design input while working around them.
Weather good or bad; design is never confined by technological processes, economic systems, social structures or any such objective parameters instead it is chiefly the outcome of contextual choices that we make. Since the act of designing is so subjective we needs to understand that along with the power of making choices, also come the responsibility of understanding the consequences. The fundamental questions that always stand before a designer are whom you design for? What you design? And how you design? The designers as well as the users need to have developed sense to collect ‘good’ things from their environment and respond back to add a value in human life.
Through this blog, we intend to set a dialogue to explore and investigate the power and value of design. So whenever something intrigues us we should take a pause, think and try to understand the cause and effect of its existence.
Again as John Haskett Says “(design) rather like the word ‘love’, the meaning of which radically shifts depending upon who is using it, to whom it is applied, and in what context.”
This is our journey to find the meaning of our ‘love’ and beyond.. hope you are with us!