Just had an epiphany about design during a discussion with a friend at work. To make something that works excellently, in a brilliant package – that is great design. Making something work well is something an engineer can do. It doesn’t take a designer to do that. Making something good looking is something a make-up artist can do. That alone does not mean design either.
Its like a building. Making a building whose structure supports itself – its civil engineer can do all that. Having beautiful drop lights and chandeliers, wall hangings and wind chimes and all those tiny things that give it a wow-feel – the interior designer can do that. But having either of these alone is not enough. I want a house that won’t crumble. And I want to live in a house that makes me feel like the Queen. A truly great building is one which has both – the
sturdiness of structure and the aesthetic beauty of interiors. This happens when it has a great architect. And when the architect produces truly world class design, many more things fall in place perfectly. The building also gets ample sunlight and ventilation, a good view from the windows, placement of rooms that makes sense in everyday use, sensible yet artistic furniture – all of it.
Outer beauty and feel plus inner efficiency and effectiveness – when these two come together, that is when great design happens. And this doesn’t just apply to buildings. So far, in my head, it has applied to everything I can think of – businesses, people, institutions, everything.