beanz Magazine

What is Design?

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Design is about solving problems, from donuts to race cars, how we eat to what to wear in cold weather.

Everything we see, touch, and taste in the world is designed. The cars we drive in, the buildings we occupy, the bag of popcorn we stick in the microwave. These are all solutions to design problems: How do we get from one place to another? How do we shelter ourselves? How do we eat?

The fun part about design is that there are so many kinds of design. There’s graphic design, furniture design, web design, car design, book design, all kinds of activities use the word design to describe what they do. Software definitely is designed. Yet what really is design?

When we think of design, likely we think of something polished that requires lots of effort. Your dirty socks are not a design.

But a nice looking web page definitely is a design. So is a beautiful dress. Or an ugly dress if someone spent time thinking about colors and cloth and sewing and who would wear their dress. Not all designs work or please everybody.

So, if design isn’t beauty, or dirty socks, and there are many kinds of design, what is design really?

The dictionary defines design as “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is built or made.”

However, design is more than what you have left after the process of thinking, weighing options, trying different things. Design is more than a plan. The creation process actually is a more accurate definition of design: it’s how we identify, define, and solve problems for ourselves and other people.

Design is a fun very human activity. Everybody designs, too. You don’t need permission to solve a problem for yourself. In fact, you do it every day.

Design Examples

When you hear the word design, what do you think of? Here are some examples of design. Can you figure out what problems had to be solved to create each design? Can you figure out what other possible solutions could have been made instead? Design is all about asking questions, listening, building, discussing, and many other activities. It also helps to be a contrarian, someone who thinks differently on purpose. Maybe someone says the sky is blue and they ask why not red? Or green? Sometimes asking odd questions leads to ideas and better designs.

Race Cars

What design problems do race cars have to solve? They have to go fast but how do you make them go fast? And they have to be safe to drive in a race so how do you design a car to be safe? And think of a color you find ugly: what prevents race cars from being that color? Are they painted red for a reason? These are all questions a car designer might think about.

Donuts

So how DO you design a donut? Could you stay in business if every donut you made was hand crafted and many different sizes? Or if the batter was mixed differently for every donut? Lots of bakers have thought about how to make donuts that taste good but are easy to make and easy to guarantee taste the same. What might you do to design a better donut?

Coats

Would you wear a heavy snow coat or a rain coat on the beach in the middle of summer? A coat that keeps you warm at zero degrees has to be thicker than a coat that keeps you comfortable at summer temperatures. Also, do you design for kids, babies, adults, puppies, goldfish? Everyone who might use a snow coat is different. And would you use buttons or zippers? There are lots of questions and decisions involved in designing clothes.

The LAUNCH Cycle

Teachers AJ Juliani and John Spencer developed the Launch Cycle as a way to meld classroom and student needs with design thinking. It’s a great way to think about a process to design solutions to problems.

Learn More

What is design?

https://www.kidscodecs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/concepts-what-is-design-launchcycle.jpg

The Meaning of Design

https://shakuro.com/blog/the-meaning-of-design-what-design-is-and-why-its-important#color-in-design

What Do We Mean By Design

https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/what-do-we-mean-design

Kids Think Design

http://www.kidsthinkdesign.org/index.html

Graphic Design for Kids

https://www.create-learn.us/blog/graphic-design-for-kids/

Architecture Activities for Kids

https://www.aiaaustin.org/architecture-activities-kids

What is Automotive Design

https://www.strate.education/gallery/news/what-automotive-design

Car Design for Kids

https://www.toyota.co.jp/en/kids/car/design.html

Car Design Facts

https://kids.kiddle.co/Car_design

Kids Design Cars of the Future

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/kids-asked-design-cars-of-the-future/

Industrial Design

https://diy.org/skills/60

History of Industrial Design

https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/industrial-design/275051

Fashion Design Kits

https://artfulparent.com/fashion-design-for-kids-made-easy-fun-with-kits/

What is Fashion Design?

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/2860/what-is-fashion-design

What is a Fashion Designer?

https://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/fashion-clothing-industry/what-is-fashion-designer

What is Packaging Design?

https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/packaging-design-successful/9781118358603/chap02-sec001.html

How to Bring Package Design Into the Art Room

https://theartofeducation.edu/2019/07/05/how-to-bring-package-design-into-the-art-room/

The Difference Between Interior Design and Decorating

https://newschoolarch.edu/academics/school-of-design/bachelor-of-interior-design/interior-designer-and-decorator/

Interior Design Facts for Kids

https://kids.kiddle.co/Interior_design

Interior Design Activities

https://diy.org/skills/62

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