This is NOT a good design

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I don't consider myself a design theorist by any means, and I may even be the least appropriate person to write this, but many times on social media, we hear things that are not well-focused and lead to errors that only devalue the sector. Inspired by a comment I read from the director of my design school, I decided to write this.

Over time, the word 'design' becomes more and more distorted, to the point where many people, including myself, repudiate its use. We live in a world where anyone who does anything, whether physical or digital, is considered to be 'designing,' but this is not the case.

To begin with, we would have to define what design is, and in general terms, it is the path or process followed through the application of a certain methodology to solve an existing problem.

For Bruno Munari, the design process applied to an example of 'Green Rice for Four People' would be as follows:

  • P (Problem): Green rice.
  • DP (Definition of the Problem): Green rice with spinach for four people.
  • EP (Elements of the Problem): Rice, spinach, ham, onion, oil, salt, pepper, broth.
  • RD (Data Collection): Has anyone done this before?
  • AD (Data Analysis): How did they do it? What can I learn from them?
  • C (Creativity): How can all of this be combined in a correct way?
  • MT (Materials Technology): What rice? What pot? What heat?
  • E (Experimentation): Tests, trials, flavors, textures.
  • M (Models): Final sample.
  • V (Verification): Alright, serves four.
  • DC (Constructive Drawings): Write the recipe.
  • S (Solution): Green rice served on a hot plate.

So, putting lights on a computer mouse is not designing unless you need them to see where your hand is going in the dark and this is an effective way to solve the problem. Decorating is not designing.

Design does not depend on tastes, as it seeks the solution to a problem, and if it solves it effectively and efficiently, it is a good design. This is something tangible and verifiable. Furthermore, it does not lose value over time, even as technology advances; the
solution will always have value, referencing its era.

A product is not a design since design is the path taken and the product is the result of that path.

Finally, considering the work of a designer, does it make sense to segment designers into types? Problems are just that, problems that need a solution, and with the right methodology and information, they can be solved.

Each person will move in the field in which they feel most comfortable and require less additional information, but there is no real distance between one designer and another because they both design, they both solve a problem.

I hope that at some point, we realize, like mathematicians, that the methodology and capacity of these individuals are applicable in any environment where day-to-day challenges force you to overcome obstacles.