"good" design

What is design?

Not all design is ‘good’ and ‘good design’ is rare. Good design follows a design methodology that responds to the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of the work.  

In truth, only a small percentage of designs can accurately be described as meeting all these criteria.  In order to be considered ‘good design’, design must be functional and consider the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact as integral parts of the solution. Designs have enormous impact on society and on our planet, often far beyond the intentions and reach of a particular product or message. A good design contributes value. A poorly conceived design causes damage. Designers must take their responsibilities seriously and the extensive process a professional designer undergoes reflects this.

All professional designing has at its core, a design methodology (see what is a professional designer?), integrating function, form, experience, a and context to generate a solution adjusted to a specified user. Design, unlike art, uses creativity as a response to a problem, the success of which is objectively measurable. The solution, replicated or experienced serially, refers to the serial reproduction of objects or images, the digital replication of interfaces or information, to processes or systems meant to be used by a multiple of users, etc.

As professionals – like doctors, lawyers, etc. — designers are accountable to society, aware of the social, cultural and environmental impact of their endeavors, in addition to their obligations to users, clients and other design professionals. Design places the interests of humankind and the planet in which we live, at the centre of its activities.