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Messy page[edit]

I believe this page is a mess, and it needs a top level view to suceed. For now, it would be useful to separate the "See Also" links into some categories. Matt Whyndham 13:35, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I organized the "see also" section. I'm not married to the category labels if anyone want to suggest changes. Oicumayberight 06:38, 2 February 2007 (UTC)Th

This page is worse than a mess! It just gets worse. It is not a reliable entry. Yes, I know the response is 'well, be our guest', but it really needs most of what's there to be deleted and someone to start it all over again - and I expect there would be lots of complaints and reverts if someone does so. Nigel Cross 18:29, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd rather have a messy article than no article at all. Design (in general) is one of those subjects that many are involved in but very few people profess in. I've put a lot of effort on this page in the hopes of just getting people interested in the general subject. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of takers. What do you suggest would be an improvement other than just deleting everything at the risk of having no article at all? Oicumayberight 18:47, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the "Design disciplines" section of "See also" is large enough to to it's own article? I've been hoping to have some time to help here, but I've gotten bogged down in changing Design methods from an essay to something encyclopedic. --Ronz 18:57, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
That would be better than just deleting material and starting over. Oicumayberight 21:30, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a need to start over. I think the progress that's been made with the article is commendable. --Ronz 21:48, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Design Education[edit]

This section was both unfounded and incorrect. I have removed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


I've removed some things from the article.

First, I'm trying to expand the philosophical part of the article, and this definition, unfortunately, does not expand to cover all senses of design now discussed in the article:

Design is a process of arriving at a finished work, or as finished as time or energy allows, usually based on an idea/thought/impression.

Second, I'm removing this, because I don't understand why architecture needs special treatment, above and beyond that given to, say, industrial design. Hopefully someone will restore the relevant parts.

When applied to architecture, design is both a noun and a verb. You can design a building, and your building is a design. ... The operative notion is that design embodies the countless nights of thought, iteration and re-design, to approach a level of completeness that all parties can agree upon. In architecture this usually happens when the architect, client, building code inspector, and finally the construction industry can agree to a finished design.

Here are some thoughts that I would like to refine and somehow incorperate into the article: In the realm of the arts, design is more relevent to the applied' arts, such as graphic arts, architechture, product design, ... Design implies a concious effort to create something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example a graphic artist may design an advertisement poster. This person's job is to communicate the advertisement message (functional aspect) and to make it look good (astetically pleasing). The distinction between pure and applied arts is not completely clear, but we could take Jackson Pollock's splatter paintings as an example of pure art. Sure his art may convey some message, but there are obvious differences between the kind of concrete information in a poster and the message of a Jackson Pollock. Second, I think that a reasonable person would agree that Pollock worked more intuitively than the graphic artist's concious effort to design the poster. This is not to say that Pollock did not have some sort of a priori idea of what he was going to paint before he started (I have no idea whether he did or not). I guess my point is that on the spectrum between pure and applied art, degree of design is the the most important factor. User:Ike9898

I included this in the article with WP:NPOV language. Oicumayberight 00:36, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

"Design implies a concious effort to create something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing." This is totally wrong. There is no 'both' and 'and'. A car's gearbox is most definitely a conscious effort to create it, it is most definitely designed yet no effort is put into it's aesthetic at all. There are cases when both has to be taken into account but it is not a universal requirement. Only functionality and conscious effort are. Even if it is an artwork. A painter could consciously study people, then consciously create the layout of the picture, chose the colours and so on to achieve the desired functionality: telling the story, creating the mood. (You'll find the many study-paintings as the painter researches the subject) This picture was designed. On the other hand, a painter can do all these subconsciously to arrive to the functionality. However, that picture was not designed because it is not a conscious effort. (It doesn't mean it is a bad picture though!)

One more comment, on a slightly different might say that anything that a person makes is designed. To an extent I guess this is true. Things can be well designed or poorly designed. But i would say that something produced with out significant conscious effort is not truely designed. At the moment I am having trouble thinking of uncontroversial examples, so he's a controversial one.... Assuming you agree with mainstream evolutionary therory (as I do) living creatures are not designed, their bodies are the way they are as the result of a natural, unconcious process (evolution). (Please, I realize that not everyone agrees with evolution, let's not discuss that here). User:Ike9898

Many people agree with your assessment that, given the validity of evolutionary theory, living creatures are not designed. Some (e.g. Dennett) disagree, opting to employ design in a broader sense, such that something doesn't need to have had a conscious, sentient designer to be considered designed. I've tried to clarify this somewhat in the article. --Ryguasu 23:13 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

sounds like design to me. change and adaptation is true, never was in question, but many species require that all their organs and nerves be in a certain place and in certain order and "design." In that it is incorrect to say it is undesigned, especially sense no matter what changes have evolved, the blueprint and function remains the same. You will not see penguins over time evolve into flying birds. Just won't happen. So you could say in the natural world there is an implied design, but an even more uncomfortable topic many wish not to acknowledge due to the controversy, a designer. The second part of the statement is what keeps this observable fact surpressed until a cause can be found for a universe magically being created through natural causes, doesn't fly in the realm of true science and not psuedo or theroretical "science." To avoid an edit war on this article, avoid making any reference to Design Theory because both sides are wrong, equally biased and ignorant, and just stick with what we know, not what we speculate. Science and Religion have never been at odds. It is the starting theological points of that are at odds, not the validity of claims and observations.


Why has this article got a disambiguation notice? Above (in this talk) there are some fantastic ideas for an article. If I take off the {{disambig}} notice, is it ok to leave the really long "See also" section, which is useful for readers? Any thoughts are welcome.--Commander Keane 17:00, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I wonder, too. Surely Design can stand alone as a topic? The 'article' is a mess as it stands. I'm not so sure about the fantastic-ness of the comments, though. The article should avoid straying into art versus design, and into 'intentional design' (creationism). I think there could be a perfectly straightforward article on Design, and the beginnings are there. Nigel Cross 18:26, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I removed the {{disambig}} tag - it's an article now, maybe it will develop.--Commander Keane 19:11, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Article content[edit]

I have revised and rearranged the original bits and pieces of content in order to try to begin a coherent article. It could use more work. I really don't understand what the intention(s) of the author(s) were behind the 'Basic Categories' contents - I don't understand them. Unless anyone can explain, I suggest that they get deleted. Nigel Cross 15:44, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and I have deleted them. The code is below if someone wants to revive it:

==Basic categories==

  • [[Image]]
  • [[Function]]
  • [[Morphology]]
Volfy 00:09, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Defining Design[edit]

Defining water and its forms=Design

This discussion about trying to define Design is very good to read. from all the the words from Designers, i would like to discuss in layers. Oceans, Sea's,Rivers,Lakes,ponds,Dam waters, tap waters, tank waters and what not? so many names. And names depending upon the states of water, liquid, rain, moisture, dew, ice etc., we try to capture(existing things) and relate it to something (humans). The properties of water are, it takes the shape and form of the container, it takes the color of the container too. That is what i think we are trying to do here, trying to define Design. The Oceans, sea's ... are based on the context. The state rain,moisture... are things with some purpose(function) for the context. From the discussion there is a vague understanding that Desing is transient (thats how it is used individually). The scale and Bandwidth or spectrum is huge and wide respectively. Depending upon intra personal, interpersonal and societal perception, words do not stand the same. So is Design. so can we say defining Design = defining Water ? will it stand similar?

Design is both process and product. Water is mere product. To put it in terms of water, design is to designs what hydraulics is to water.
If you are saying that design is very broad and general, it's true. I think that's reflected in the "see also" section. It would be nice if there was a little more organization of the list rather than just an alphabetical listing of the broader fields mixed with subfields and redundant alternate terms. However, if you are suggesting that we use an abstract metaphor to describe what could be expanded on with literal words, I don't think it would work well, particularly with the scientific analytical types.
What's important about this article is the broader definition without going into too much detail of the individual fields and sub-disciplines. The goal is a little more than what you'd get from a dictionary definition, but a little more generalization and inclusion than what you'd get from only one of the many professional perspectives. Oicumayberight 21:38, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Some suggested references for the definition of design:

There are some very important authors missing from this definition of design: Bryan Lawson, Michael Brawne, Peter Rowe, Peter Downton, J C Jones, Robin Evans, Christopher Alexander, Donald Schon and Nigel Cross (who has contributed to this page himself). Each of these authors offer constructive definitions of design that are not limited to any particular discipline. I hope this is useful to anyone attempting to revise this section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

The definition given is overly wordy, muddled in terminology and vague in its conclusion. The need to appeal to a veriety of attributes of related processes which surround the design phase of any porject during the course of bringing it to fruition reveals the weakness of the statement as a definition. My experience comes from over 40 years in aircraft, defence and commercial engineering in design, planning, manufacturing and quality. However I want to respect the ideals and values of the Wiki encylcopedia. I also need to appologize for not being able to strongly reference what I am about to say but I would claim that the following is very widely known accross the engineering profession. There are three distinct phases to the execution or creation of a design.
1. The Design phase is where the specification is written, it is no more or less than the creation of piece of signal information, (even if it only ever resides in the mind of its creator). This also includes any material specification.
2. The Planning phase is where such questions as where, when, how many, what tooling is required, what is the quality standard, source of material, batch size, etc are answered.
3. The Make phase where such issues as training, qualifications, cost collection, OH&S, workshop procedures, machine availability and alternatives etc are considered.

Mixing up the above terms detracts from the clarity of what they actually mean, whereas they are all distinct, identifiable and present in all creative activity even the abstract arts. In this context 'signal information' is also in need of a definition which at this point does not appear to be in the encyclopedia. Without going too far along this path I hope that you my appreciate the above description of 'design' (point 1.) is simple, comprehensive and does not confuse the reader with other parts of the creative process. Examples may be appropriate to illustrate the meaning but should not be a necessary part of the definition itself.

Vh mby (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:42, 27 July 2009 (UTC).

This relates to the definition as well as the history of Design: The word is related to the Italian Disegno, meaning "drawing", which is the painter's preparation for a painting. Also useful: A "design", especially in literature, is used for a plot or scheme that a character is planning. I think these sources of the word help define it, even if the article itself is more strictly geared to the engineering-type contexts of the word. --Realedr (talk) 13:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I have no problem with a broad spectrum of examples however the fundamental meaning should not be clouded in such a way as to confuse that meaning.. the discipline is irrelevant for instance considering the following.. in the article..

"Here, a "specification" can be manifested as either a plan or a finished product, and "primitives" are the elements from which the design object is composed."

So to not to exclude the biosphere I would also propose DNA meets the criteria for a design specification of a living organism. Vh mby (talk) 13:17, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

History of design[edit]

What about the history of design? In some ways, design is not a very old profession; the separation of designer and maker only happened in the past 200 years. Industry gave room for a person who could outline a prototype or even just design an object on paper and have a factory produce and assemble it. Unknown user 04:04, 27 November 2006

Good suggestion. I would imagine someone would have to find the first recorded use of the word "design". My guess is that it originated in the industrial revolution. If I were a historian, I would research and write the section myself. Oicumayberight 04:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Reagarding the history of design: Wasn't the entire field called "industrial design" until about 1960? Every time I go to this article I find it as confusing and all-inclusive as a beer-fueled all-night college bull session. Please get to the point!~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Odd changes to opening[edit]

The latest edit of the opening section was a major change. I've read it several times, and it's not obvious to me why certain words were deleted and included. Here was the version before the edit:

Design, usually considered in the context of the applied arts, engineering, architecture, and other such creative endeavours, is a homonym, used as both a noun and a verb. "Design" as a verb refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a new object (machine, building, product, etc.). As a noun, "design" is used both for the final plan or proposal (a drawing, model, or other description), or the result of implementing that plan or proposal (the object produced).

Designing normally requires considering aesthetic, functional, and many other aspects of an object, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.

Design as a process can take many forms depending on the object being designed and the individual or individuals participating.

In philosophy, the abstract noun "design" refers to pattern, or to purpose/purposefulness (or teleology). Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity.

and after 23:33, 28 November 2006 Markwiki:

Design is the manipulation of elements to create a functional and/or pleasing product. It is a homonym, used as both a verb and a noun. "Design" as a verb refers to the process of planning. As a noun, "design" is used for the final plan or final product. The process of designing often includes research and modeling.

The word is most often used in relation to concrete products, such as in the applied arts, engineering, and architecture. In designing concrete items, seven elements are commonly recognized. These are form, mass, shape, line, color, texture and pattern.

In abstract applications, such as philosophy and theology, the noun "design" refers to pattern, or to purpose. Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity. The philosophical study of abstract design is teleology.

Is it just me, or is there a lot of odd changes here?
1) The word "manipulation" often implies a controversial adjustment. A design can be an arrangement as well as an adjustment.
2) I don't see why the examples in the parenthesis were removed. The sentence may have been a little long, but it could have been divided into multiples sentences rather than stripped of the examples.
3) The word "aesthetics" was removed, a simpler word that could include the seven elements.
4) The seven elements seem to be too specific to graphic design, which excludes the other forms and disciplines of design.
5) Functional design is relevant, but was deleted. It isn't clear if or where function is included in the seven elements.
6) Design seems irrelevant to theology unless you are talking about intelligent design, which is a theory, not a known discipline of design. Oicumayberight 09:49, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted the last two edits including the reference to the teleological argument. There seems to be an association with Intelligent Design, which has no place in this article. This is an article about what is known regarding the various disciplines of design. Oicumayberight 00:19, 30 November 2006 (UTC) open to evary downlod — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Design process[edit]

Why all the definitions etc from Dino Dini 'in a talk at Liverpool University'? It isn't anything new or especially helpful - many people have said similar things before, with more authority. Or am I missing something? Somebody could rewrite it more objectively? Nigel Cross 17:17, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Be my guest to rewrite it more objectively. Oicumayberight 23:39, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

There is a whole field of design research! I am very disappointed by this design entry (in agreement with Nigel Cross). The answer to his request("be my guest...") is too easy, it is also the responsibility of an author of an entry to look for high quality sources and thorough historical background, or isn't it ?

I doubt there is a school on the planet were one could profess in "genera design" in the broadest scope of the word. I doubt there is a widely accepted authority on the meaning of design. I doubt there will ever be a scientific definition of a design process. Are we suggesting that the section be removed? Oicumayberight 19:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)


I moved design process and design philosophy to this page. Oicumayberight 23:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Copied talk from design philosophy page
I believe that design process should be split from the article. A number of other processes follow the same principle. Inwind 18:50, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
If there were only one or a few widely accepted design processes, I would agree. However, since there are multiple processes within any one discipline and countless design processes overall, I doubt that a focus or neutrality could be maintained in such an article using such a generic term. Oicumayberight 21:50, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I find it odd to restict Design philosophy to Software engineering only. This should be a very general article IMHO. Patrick L. Goes 12:00, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Design vs Engineering[edit]

Oicumayberight: I see you just made a change saying that "engineering is a form of design". I also see that the discussion under the heading "Design versus engineering" includes what appears to be (IMO) a misinterpretation of the two definitions supplied immediately above it. That discussion says that The most significant distinction (is) the application of "scientific and mathematical principles". However, the full definition of Engineering just supplied is The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.

So another important distinction is being ignored altogether, namely that Engineering is a much broader term, which includes Design as just one component of the definition. The two terms are not equivalent, because Design does not include Engineering. And while one might (speaking very loosely) say that design was a form of engineering, I believe it would be much more accurate to say that design is an aspect of engineering. And one certainly cannot say that engineering is a form of design, because design does not cover the manufacturing and operations aspects of engineering that are included in the definition supplied.

I view this as the general case of the discussion we're having elsewhere about Software Development and Software Design, in which the latter is a subset of the former. And I don't agree with the caption you just (re)wrote, because it is inconsistent with my understanding of the terms, and with their definitions as supplied in the article itself. Regards, Chris Loosley 02:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry if it's seems biased. I see your point that engineering is applied in production as well as design. According to the referenced definition engineering is not a subset of design. That doesn't mean that design is a subset of engineering. They may simply overlap. Both design and engineering are forms of problem solving. Designers don't like submitting to the harsh constraints associated with engineering any more than engineers like the open-ended expectations associated with design. This is a debate that will not be resolved on the wikipedia. I made changes to reflect a contrary and a neutral point of view to both the subsection and the caption.
According to the definition, when math and science is not applied to problem solving, would you still call it engineering? If so what would be the difference between that and design? Oicumayberight 02:45, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I see your point about some kinds of design not ever being a subset of any kind of engineering, and I think your use of "overlapping" is OK. So I agree that you have reworded the article to a neutral POV now, except that production is itself a very imprecise term. (In IT, for example, designers use it to mean "creation," while developers use it to mean "operation". This is because software products are similar to machine tools, which are themselves produced, but are then used in a production line). Engineering (after the design phase) also covers the manufacturing, installation (if required), operation, and ongoing maintenance of the artifact produced. Chris Loosley 03:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I expanded the sentence using the word "operations". That should cover any other areas where engineering is applied. I didn't link it to business operations, because business is a narrower scope of the word "operations." Oicumayberight 04:38, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. No doubt someone will need to wordsmith it further, but you have captured the essence! Chris Loosley 05:58, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Commercial Character Design?[edit]

The Commercial Character Design link under the design disciplines is probably not unique enough to be listed as its own discipline. I'm afraid if we allow that, some will want to list "Greeting Card Design" and every other rare application of communication design. Anyone else with an opinion on this? Oicumayberight 03:06, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Removed sections[edit]

I removed the section on "Design Pollution" from the terminology section. It has little to do with terminology. Pollution is not a common term to describe bad design. The section also lacked WP:NPOV by implying that bad design is rarely if ever the fault of the designer. Oicumayberight 19:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Article Icons[edit]

Can we start a discussion here about the icons rather than edit-warring? Please follow WP:TALK and WP:CIVIL while doing so. --Ronz (talk) 15:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Sure. I don't see a problem, with having them. The only 2 users that have had a problem with them are just arguing their own opinions and taste. They can't speak for the millions of readers when they say that the icons don't help visual learning. Even if they seem childish, it snobbish to delete them for that reason alone because children read the wikipedia. I have yet to hear a case for why the icons are misleading. They've been there for over a year with no problem. I'm going to put them back up so anyone who wants to weigh in on this will at least see the icons we are discussing. Oicumayberight (talk) 18:10, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I am all for visual learning (I want to see icons on DAB pages for example) but these seem out-of-place. Example pictures of "design in art" or "design and engineering" would be great, I just don't see what a series of KDE application icons have to do with design. Plus, almost all of them picture dividers, so it's unclear how the differ. The dividers all have a Qt logo in their hinge, which is a non sequitur. Furthermore, it's just nonstandard for Wikipedia articles to have icons for each section heading. With all that in mind, I don't see any reason to keep them. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 23:59, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Icons are pictures. Just because they are illustrated and not photographed doesn't make them any less clear. If anything, illustrations are more reducible. Oicumayberight (talk) 17:23, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I find the icons somewhat confusing, and maybe unnecessary. I honestly couldn't tell what some of the icons represented, either literally or symbolically. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Confusion is relative to the observer. Tell me what's inaccurate about the icons. Oicumayberight (talk) 17:23, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
So, what's the verdict? Only Oicumayberight is in favour, so can we have them removed now? Oicumayberight can't speak (or edit) for 'millions of readers', either. The icons seem to have been put there by someone with nothing better to do. They are just eye-candy, not visual learning devices. Bristolian46 (talk) 13:39, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Get rid of the icons. I dislike them. Necz0r (talk) 04:40, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a Democracy. Get a moderator if you want to get rid of them. Oicumayberight (talk) 17:23, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia operates by consensus, and I see consensus for removal. Only one editor wants them to stay, and that may be a sign of ownership issues. (talk) 19:24, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
A compromise has been reached as treatment of the icons have since been edited by one of the objectors. Oicumayberight (talk) 20:16, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Didn't see this before i removed the imaged but as per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(icons)#Help_the_reader_rather_than_decorate .Wiki is a serious encyclopaedia not a children's book. I removed the images and they should not return . They really lower the tone of this very high profile article Gnevin (talk) 19:34, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
The icons are for more than decoration, so the manual of style doesn't apply in this case. There is an obvious visual learning association here, and only a complete idiot would not see the association between what is discussed and the imagery of the symbols. As for the tone, that's a matter of personal taste. This article benefits young readers more than old snobbish "expert" editors. If there were less primary colors used in the icons, would you have less of a problem with them? Oicumayberight (talk) 20:16, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
The icon don't add any additional information and thus are decoration. Idiot and snobbish are a Personal attack. I don't care how many colours are in the icons, they are not need. Gnevin (talk) 22:49, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
No personal attacks were made because "idiot" and "snobbish" weren't directed at any specific user. The icons add visual information to all but the blind. Face it, it's highly unlikely any professional designer will read this article for any reason other than to get confirmation of what they already believe or know. It's mostly young readers that actually learn from articles like this. This notion that the icons do not help visual learning is baseless. You'd have to interview every person who has read this article to prove that none of them were helped by the icons. It would be one thing if you said that the icons were misleading. But personal taste is no reason to undo the work. There is no harm in them being there even if you don't like them. At least Necz0r gave logical reasons for not liking them and found a positive compromising solution. If you can't do that, then get a moderator if you don't think they should be there. Oicumayberight (talk) 23:15, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

(de-indent) If this method of "visual learning" is so effective, then why is this the only article on Wikipedia that uses some of these icons? There is a huge difference between using an icon image in something like {{algebra-stub}} (found at the bottom of tagged stub pages) and as an inline image to decorate the section headers. How is a generic square root symbol illustrative of "Design and Engineering"? It's just gratuituous, and it doesn't have support from any editors here. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:31, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

It's not true that there is no support for the icons. After much more reasonable discussion than what's been used against me in this section, Necz0r agreed on this talk page that the icons were useful in the terminology section. But since you two are ganging up on me in an edit war, I'm not going to fight your lack of concern for younger users who are less familiar with design anymore. I've added more photos and captions to the section so they can at least have a visual reference for what is being discussed. Oicumayberight (talk) 01:04, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
The new images you added in that section are significantly more informative—or dare I say "encyclopedic"?—than the abstract icon images. Thank you for that substantive improvement to this article. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:05, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Allow me to second that. Those images exemplify their topics rather than just being icons. Good work. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 11:32, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


This article has more than one problem. It's not sourced well enough to be making the claims it does, in my opinion. It's not very well structured to give any sort of basic understanding to design. Considering its role as a sort of crossroads leading out into all the various branches of design that may be, it does a bad job at being the tying knot. If people don't mind, I'll go ahead and be bold when possible. Necz0r (talk) 01:54, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate your contribution and integrated much of it with my last edit to restore text. Please be more specific about what is inaccurate or poorly written. Please do not delete text or links without explanations. We don't want to oversimplify the subject or edit it for the sake of people who already know the full scope of the subject. From my interviews with people, I gather that it's mostly teenagers who benefit from this article. Oicumayberight (talk) 18:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
You're right, I should probably have expanded a bit on that. But I really quite like the resulting new text! However, the introduction of an article is actually the one place where simplification is encouraged in order to better pull in readers at all levels, as the remaining sections of an article is used to expand on all these things. The introduction should never be too in-depth, less so with teenagers. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Design is one of those words that are easy to oversimplify. Most introduction sections define the term and scope of the term. We could have a section titled "what is design"; but that wouldn't leave much for the introduction section. There are many wikipedia articles with long lead sections just because the scope of the term cannot be summed up in a few sentences. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm satisfied with what we have now, at the moment :D Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Alright, let me post some of my immediate qualms with this article except from it being unsourced. For one, it's not very well pulled together, it doesn't flow very well. In the section of "philosophies for guiding design", all we see is a definition on what a design philosophy is, although you'd expect that bit of information being right in the section above it, and then one very broad and unsourced sample of one such. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
This article has come a long way. The reason I got involved was because it seem that nobody else was willing to give this article the attention it deserved. This is what it looked like before I got involved in it. True, it lacks sources. However, not everything on wikipedia that should be there can be sourced. There's a fine line between WP:OR and WP:POV stating the obvious. Those unsourced POV statements of the obvious are the glue that holds most wikipedia articles together, especially the ones that involve art. The goal should always be to get sourced information; but unless there is a problem with an unsourced statement, there's no need to remove it. Unsourced information is better than no information. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll spend some time gathering some useful sources. Indeed, some stuff is obvious and does not need sourcing. But I think we could go a while before only having those left. Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
But I also want to question the positioning of the entire section on design philosophy. Speaking clearly, ones' design philosophy is simply used to decide which parts of the design process would be considered important or less important. Considering the paragraph in the introduction about so much attention being put on the process of design, it would be much better to expand on this basic concept before going into the philosophy section. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
If I'm heavily involved in editing an article such as the case with this one, I structure it in order of what I think those less familiar with the subject would be interested in. I may be wrong on this, but I assumed that the first question an aspiring designer or someone who was just curious would ask is why. Philosophy attempts to answer why even if the answers are not correct or expected. Process attempts to answer how. But if you feel strongly that process should come before purpose, we can give it a try. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Well indeed! This is certainly the best thing to start an article. But I definitely think that design philosophy is but a performer on the stage of the design process, and so it would be, in my opinion, a more solid foundation to expand a bit on the design process before going in depth with the various philosophies. It would b like trying to explain cooking philosophies without explaining how cooking basically works. And all design basically works by the process. Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
However, the design process section is not too well put together, either. In the subsection that is meant to define what a design process is, which doesn't really need a subsection because it should be the most basic information of all in this section (and thus should come before subsections), 75% of the text is taken from some talk. The problem is that the definition of a process could probably be found in more than one source. The other problem is that it's badly sourced, the way it's put up. There is no reference to the resource where one would be able to find and verify this information, and it's a Wikipedia editor relaying the information. More appropriate would be to refer to the available resource and then make use of direct quotation. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
This again is a case of something being better than nothing. If you have some information that is better, I would suggest you add it to the article. If it's saying the same thing that the unsourced information says, then I would say replace it. However, if it neither contradicts nor repeats what is said, I would integrate it, keeping what is important, regardless of who said it or if it's sourced. It's more important to have a complete story with a combination of sourced and unsourced content than to have a bunch of fragmented but sourced content that doesn't cover the scope of what most people would be interested in regarding the subject. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
But after having passed through these sections, it breeds only further confusion that the last section in the article before seeing various disciplines, external links, etc., would be one trying to define the word design again?! "Terminology" - "The word "design" is often considered ambiguous depending on the application." - wait, so this entire article I haven't even been clear what the term means yet? What about the introduction? There has to be a more clear way of relaying the point of that section. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I moved the terminology section to the end because it's the least important. Most of it is semantics. I would probably say that the article didn't need it at all, but "Design" is one of those words that are used loosely so often that most people are rarely certain of what it means, or even the extent of the meaning in context. The section is to contrast the meaning from other terms. The only term I can think of that is used more loosely and is more vague in context is the term art. The wikipedia article on art doesn't start with the terminology dispute. There is a whole separate article on classificatory disputes about art. I don't think that is necessary for design. But again, this section could precede the other sections if you think it's more important. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
It's definitely the least important. I am just dabbling on how to improvement, no bids yet, simply stating a problem. Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Finally, considering the section "process design" and in the introduction, "More recently, processes (in general) have also been treated as products of design, giving new meaning to the term "process design".", I'm surprised such a statement can be put here by an editor without any sources. We learn that this is a recent development, so where's the obviously existing source...Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I made that POV statement because process design was a chemical engineering term long before it was used as an information age consulting business term. A simple google search will yield both uses of the term. The only reason it's in the article is to make that contrast. The only thing yet to be proven is which came first. If there were an article for business process design, we could just link the term in the design disciplines section. But for now, there should at least be some explanation of the alternate use of the term in the article, sourced or unsourced. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Alright. Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
This is what I think in general, and I don't like the icons. Necz0r (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
What specifically is it that you don't like about the icons? Are they inaccurate, too vague, or too juvenile? Personal taste is not enough of a reason to remove content from any wikipedia article. I'm not completely against removing them, but I'm guessing that they help more than they hurt. Keep in mind that the people who benefit from them will probably not be editors and wouldn't be reading the talk page to know that their usefulness is in question. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I wanted to write that "I think they definitely hurt more than they help. They distracted me more than a few times during reading, pulling away my concentration. They're not useful", but actually, what I mainly don't like would probably be the placement. I think it'd be better to place them close to the headline, not out on the right. The first one appearing in the page, and the next one, simply confused me at first. But they're useful in the terminology section. Necz0r (talk) 14:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Considering the flow of the article, we should probably decide on the last line of the introduction as it can be used to lead into the first section. If the "philosophies" section comes first, it would be more meaningful having this be the last part of the last sentence in the introduction. If we move up the design process section, as it is now would be good :D Necz0r (talk) 09:53, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I moved the section up. I appreciate your input on this. I would like to see more people involved in editing the Design article. I started the Design Wikipedians category and user box with the hope of getting more people involve. If you browse the edit history, you'll see that I've put more than a fair share of time in attempting to improve this article. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Edited a bit, mainly icons and images. I'll be back in a few days with some books and ideas. Design is such an excellent subject, I believe the overlying article leading out into all the branches of design should be nothing short of excellent and feature-worthy. Necz0r (talk) 15:29, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Substantial Page Rework[edit]

I am willing and (having just finished my PhD dissertation on Design Science) hopefully qualified to put a lot of work into improving this page. I started by reworking the introduction. I tried to integrate some of the existing text where it fit, but ended up replacing a lot of it. Please leave comments here. I'll give it a week or two, and if no one objects, I will rework another section or two. I think that the major topics that this page should address are: 1) design philosophy, 2) design science, 3) the design process, 4) design methods and method engineering, 5) differences between design in different disciplines, 6) the relationship between design and ethics. Some of these are already here, the others I propose to add. Thoughts anyone? Paulralph (talk) 19:19, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

As nobody has objected, I'm going to update the second section to reflect diverse views on the steps designers engage in. If anyone has any suggestions or objections, please discuss here. It may take a few days for me to put together the content. Paul Ralph (Lancaster University) (talk) 23:30, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I have reworked the second section (design as a process) to better reflect diverse views on the activities designers engage in. Existing text is partially preserved in the subsection about typical stages associated with the Rational Model. I've referenced the content as much as possible, focusing on well-respected books and peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. I have also begun migrating to a citation/bibliography split format, which makes more sense when you refer to the same papers multiple times. If this is acceptable, I will continue the migration soon. Please check my work for typos, bias and other mistakes. If you feel that this is not a good update, please discuss improvements here rather than reverting. Paul Ralph (Lancaster University) (talk) 17:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the rework. Can you indicate where all the references were actually used? --Ronz (talk) 17:42, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
@Ronz, thanks for positive response. The Footnotes section should provide the mapping between the text and the reference list - or have I misunderstood your request? Paul Ralph (Lancaster University) (talk) 22:05, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
My mistake. Good work. --Ronz (talk) 23:00, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Content removal needed[edit]

Half of this article is written by one person--presumably Dino himself--on what Dino Dini thinks design is. Unless somebody can show the notability of this person in the field of design and how this doesn't constitute original research I'm pretty much going to remove that entire section. Wentomowameadow (talk) 13:56, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Ha, I was just removing it as you wrote that. Dini, as he stated in his additions, is a video game developer; he is not really enough of a famed design guru to be filling the article on "Design" generally with his opinions. (talk) 14:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
It was reverted again. I removed the section and asked the editor to discuss it here. This section is unsourced and POV: the only source given is a link which is unavailable. We don't publish original research which this is: WP:OR, WP:V, WP:NPOV all apply. freshacconci talktalk 14:55, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
If anyone can find independent sources demonstrating Dini's views are worth including, then a small portion might be reintroduced, if properly verified, neutral, and without undue weight. --Ronz (talk) 15:33, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Design Philosophies / Philosophy of Design[edit]

I'd like to open a space to specifically discuss philosophy and design. At the moment the article includes a welcome attempt to describe issues in this area but it leaves a lot to be desired.

In attempting to improve this area I would suggest making a clear distinction between design philosophies (working theories, ideas, attitudes etc that guide the work of practicing designers), and the Philosophy of Design (contesting theories about the nature of design produced by recognised theorists, philosophers, academics etc.). Of course in reality there might be some blurring or fluidity between these distinctions, but nevertheless I think it is helpful recognise that the philosophical study of design is not the same thing as the working conceptual schema of everyday design practice. A useful comparison might also be that of the theories and philosophies embodied in art movements vs theories and philosophies of aesthetics.

Applying these distinctions to what is currently represented in the article, it is not unfair to say that the current content is muddled, speculative, and fails to represent much of what has been published on these topics. The attempts to actually try to give design a philosophical definition in this article are appalling and uncalled for. What is needed is an overview of what key authors/groups have said regarding design, and an account of dominant areas of philosophical debate within the (very young) field. Ideally an additional article on the philosophy of design would be useful to link to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kirrmy (talkcontribs) 02:12, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Operational design[edit]

It's interesting that there doesn't seem to be any discussion of operational design—the relatively new process used by the US military (and others) as a competing process for solving a problem (in simplistic terms). I don't see it as a design discipline at the bottom of the article either. There's been a few dozen books and articles written on this though. Have any other editors here heard of this? --Airborne84 (talk) 00:41, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Design as a Process[edit]

The beginning of this section seems a bit too formal and too cautious. It is not necessary to "posit" anything about the model. The model doesn't exist independently - you won't discover later that you were wrong. Since the model is itself a concept created by a person, it has whatever characteristics designers most often associate with that model. So, you can just move directly to describing it (as the rest of the section does very well).Blcklbl (talk) 22:48, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Design and the sciences[edit]

Seems like there could be a (sub-)section on design and the scientific method - specifically the conceptual processes in research design and design of experiments. Perhaps under terminology?--A12n (talk) 20:47, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Experience optimizaation[edit]

Experience optimization (contextually - IT domain) can be defined as a symbiotic process between design (Interaction which is outcome research and analysis, editorial, Visual) and technology (implementation process) that work towards achieving the short term and long term business intent.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kumaramanikandan (talkcontribs) 05:32, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Blacklisted Links Found on the Main Page[edit]

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Fixed the blacklist problem[edit]

I have deleted the broken and blacklisted link and the message from Cyberbot II,  jacksalssome   17/01/2014 —Preceding undated comment added 05:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Definition in lede[edit]

I removed the latest addition to the definition in the lede of the article. There ae some good points here that need to be addressed [1]. The lede should have a concise definition, while the article body should expand upon the definition and address related issues. --Ronz (talk) 16:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Karl Ulrich of the University of Pennsylvandia defines design as: "Conceiving and giving form to artifacts that solve problems." [2]

Ulrich draws upon the definitions proposed by Edgar Kaufmann Jr. and Klaus Krippendorf. Kaufman, while curator of the industrial design department at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) 1946–1948, defined design as: “Conceiving and giving form to objects used in everyday life” [3]

Klaus Krippendorf and Reinhart Butter defined design as: "The conscious creation of forms to serve human needs.” [4]

Another definition for design is a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective.[5]

Here, a "specification" can be manifested as either a plan or a finished product, and "primitives" are the elements from which the design object is composed.

  1. ^ Kumaramanikandan
  2. ^ Karl Ulrich, Karl T., DESIGN, artifacts in society. University of Pennsylvania Press. (2005)."
  3. ^ Kaufmann, Edgar. 1970. Introductions to Modern Design: What Is Modern Design & What Is Modern Interior Design. New York: Museum of Modern Art Publications in Reprint.
  4. ^ Krippendorff, K., and Reinhart Butter. 1984. “Product Semantics: Exploring the Symbolic Qualities of Form.” Innovation 3 (Spring): 4–9.
  5. ^ Don Kumaragamage, Y. (2011). Design Manual Vol 1

Current tagging[edit]

stub for process Lycurgus (talk) 23:28, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Do see 1 problem with clause 'and even methods of design". The given source talks about methodology oriented software development technologies. I sort of expected something about patterns. Pattern construction would have worked. Will wait for overall text review before doing anything. Lycurgus (talk) 23:48, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Conceptual design[edit]

Conceptual design — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Definitions from ISO and SEBoK[edit]

Well, my edit has been reverted by Freshacconci. He not only left no comments but also marked his edit as "Minor edit". He anyway violated the rule: "A check to the minor edit box signifies that only superficial differences exist... Examples include typographical corrections, formatting and presentational changes, and rearrangements of text without modification of its content. A minor edit is one that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute". It is clear that both my edit and Freshacconci's edit were not minor at all. So I want to get answer why my edit was reverted and why Freshacconci is violating rules. Евгений Мирошниченко (talk) 18:19, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

your edit was reverted because your definitions are from very specific domain, namely systems design, while the term is extremely generic. And Freshacconci probably has the default setting to label his edits as minor. He must change his edit preferences unless vast majority of his edits a re minor (types, etc.). - üser:Altenmann >t 23:18, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you but it is you assumption, not his answer. Nevertheless my edit was not vandal and used very reliable sources, so Freshacconci had to substantiate his reversal very seriously. But he left no comments and marked his edit as "Minor". It is not a behavior pattern of an experienced user. As to you argument, well. Now the article is.. very strange, I can say politely. It is actually about systems design so it seems to be a fork for systems design supplemented with some week references to "arts" field ("industrial design") and little-known theory of "The Rational Model". The majority of the "Terminology" section is about systems design: "Design and engineering", "Design and production". The majority of the sources is about engineering, mainly software engineering. And finally the current definition from "the Cambridge Dictionary of American English" is also about systems design. So there is no such a thing, "design" in general sence. There are quite different meanings of this word, and these meanings simply cannot be described in the same article. Cannot be and must not be. This artice should be turned into a disambiguation page providing simple access to different meanings of "design". I don't want to force my opinion and don't want to "fight" for it. So I say goodbye and thank you all. But guys, trust me, this article is actually abominable and you should do something with this. Евгений Мирошниченко (talk) 12:24, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes the article is shit. The subject is very generic. It waits a review by an experienced and involved person. Quite possible there are sources which discuss "design" in very generic terms. May be these sources are already used in the article. Unfortunately I don't care. - üser:Altenmann >t 03:08, 3 May 2016 (UTC)