What is design? Design is one of those things we encounter every day all day without realizing it. We take design for granted more than we do everything that our parents do for us. Take for instance the chair you’re sitting in as you read this. Someone came up with the perfect design for us to be able to sit in and maximize comfort. The first chairs were from nature. They were the logs and the rocks that our ancestors sat on. When they went on to design chairs they took what was best about those and eliminated the bad till they were successful. The design followed from nature’s design as many elements do. Not all elements of design follow from nature. Some are born from the great imaginative minds of human beings. We designed the skyscrapers that slice clouds in half. We came up with language, symbols that on their own would be arbitrary have meaning and give off sound. As you read this you hear voice or if you are familiar with me you can hear mine but that is because someone designed these symbols with a spacial relationship so that they could be repeated in a way that lets them mean the same thing over and over so that they can be taught.
Design starts with the simple and moves to the complex. The beginning of a masterpieces begins with a stroke of the brush or the drawing of a line. Great masterpieces begin with geometric shapes arranged together. We begin as kids without realizing it. My first wagons I drew were a line with two circles between them becoming wheels. What it comes down to is that design comes from the ability of man to shape his environment to suit his needs. Like Daniel Pink said, Designers are Alchemists.
So how can design help me? Besides allowing me to understand the elements of design that other people have it allows me to bend the world and create design of my own. It allows me to make a cover for a book I want to be published. It can mean that I establish something as a sign post for a revolution. I could design the next peace sign or high five. I could invent a new smiley face to show happiness. I could design something equal to the american flag to symbolize freedom to cause people to rise up. Or I could design a new chair to make sure I am comfortable when typing to you!