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THE ESSENCE OF DESIGN

By December 1, 2015 August 2nd, 2016 No Comments

Good design is an exercise in restraint. There is a natural tendency to add more features, draw more lines, sculpt more surfaces, load more options, etc with the belief that by adding “more” more value is provided to the consumer. A good designer is trained to refrain from the compulsion to add. The objective of good design is to reduce; reduce the amount of parts, reduce complexity, reduce waste, and reduce cost. Design is the ability to make clear a product or services purpose or message.

Society thinks that the role of a designer is to beautify through adding decoration, but the true role is to remove elements to reveal an idea only adding what is necessary to craft a story. The desire for a product or service to do all things leads to no one thing being done well. As a result it becomes difficult to use and the consumer will find another product that does the intended role better.

With a society that demands new and improved and loses interest in a matter of seconds designers jump at the opportunity to add value. Society has the misconception that “more” somehow equates to better. We have become hard wired to believe this. The difficult task for any designer is to be able to remove elements while still communicating value. To understand the essence of design is better put as the principle of reduction. Reduce to reveal value. But to reduce takes knowledge. To remove what does not enhance a message or idea and leave what does, takes understanding, skill and vision. And a good designer or studio must be able to show the client this vision and the true value it brings.