Conceptual design

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Conceptual design is a type of art that focuses on hypothetical functionality. It is the creation and exploration of new ideas, distinguished from conceptual art, as emphasizing utilitarian, function ideas. It generally differs from design in that it illustrates the potential design for an idea. Conceptual design is a subset of concept art, wherein a novel idea or product is created instead of a visual representation—which would directly be used in a final product, e.g. a film, animation or video game. It can be defined in several ways, "A movement in which concept—the idea expressed—[is] more important than straightforward function,"[1] and Rebeca Mendez describes it, "rather than products, [conceptual artists/designers] are designing situations, intervening in existing arrangements, framing everyday activities in ways that make us think of them, unexpectedly, as 'design'."[2]


Animal Superpowers: Ant and Giraffe (2008)[edit]

Animal Superpowers: Ant and Giraffe is a concept design, shown at the Talk to Me exhibit at the MoMA in 2011, created by Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada. It uses virtual reality technology to create sensory enhancement which mimics the reality of either a giraffe's or an ant's visual perspective.[3]

Bat Billboard (2008)[edit]

A concept design created by Chris Woebken and Natalie Jeremijenko, Bat Billboard is the conceptual idea for a billboard that houses urban bats in a disease-free environment, demonstrating the importance in reclaiming urban infrastructure for wildlife. The billboard would also act as a public face for the bat population by "translating" their call patters into text displayed on the billboard. This project aims to resolve the misunderstanding humans have for bats.[3]



  1. ^ Exhibition Dictionary, Milwaukee Art Museum. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Nick Currie, Conceptual Design: Building a Social Conscience, AIGA, November 1, 2005. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Antonelli, Paola. "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication Between People and Objects", Museum of Modern Art, New York. 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.