What is design?

American graphic designer Saul Bass came up with possibly the best, definitely the most concise, answer to this question that I have come across. It’s a question you get asked a lot when your job is linked in any way with the interiors industry, second only to “so what are the trends right now?” when it comes up in conversation that you work in trend forecasting.

This is the answer I may give from now on, and its accuracy is borne out by looking through the sketchbooks or working process of any effective designer, whether that’s graphic or fashion or product or furniture. You can literally see them thinking around a problem, developing ideas across pages; scrapping ideas that don’t work out and visually exploring those which still might. It’s fascinating to watch, fascinating to do if you are lucky enough to do it, and it’s what intrigued everyone in the industry in the first place, and made them want to join in.

“Design is thinking made visual” – Saul Bass

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What is design?