What is design?

There are numerous definitions of design. Here are a few from my collection starting with a personal favorite taken from Swedish Design. An Ethnography. By Keith M. Murphy.

The basic starting point for crafting a just society.

what is design?

Q: What are the boundaries of design?

A: What are the boundaries of the problem?

– charles eames

Design is service.

– eileen tjan

The work designers make is inspired by taste, and taste is often derived from what we’re exposed to during our upbringing.

– anoushka khandwala

design is…

Design is a basic human ability to help autonomous self-realization.
– victor papanek

In English, the word design is both a noun and a verb…

– vilém flusser

Design is culture. Design changes the way we live.

– hank richardson


The core belief is that “not knowing” is a healthy prerequisite for discovery and that “making” is a physical process that involves thinking, drawing, and working directly with materials.
– william longhauser

An idea has no meaning until it finds physical form.
– calvin tomkins

Design influences.
– loretta staples


We have filled more dumps and landfills than any other profession.
– richard buchanan

… reporters, TV news anchors, graphic designers, and others hired to condense and deliver messages but to keep their mouth shut… 

– maud lavin

A good history of design isn’t a history at all. It’s a history of ideas and therefore of culture.
– tibor kalman

My quotes are not ‘responsibly’ sourced… i need to realize a more global scope.

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