I have a feeling…

So, our first web blog assignment is to write about how we define good design. It’s odd to try to put this into words as I’ve never thought about verbally defining what I perceive good design to be. Good design to me has always been just that – a perception. That’s to say it hasn’t ever been anything I’ve objectively defined to myself, but rather a feeling I’ve experienced whenever I’ve encountered it.

So what is that feeling? It’s a sense of ease. Of flow and symmetry. Of unity between elements in what I’m encountering that allows me to experience them as a whole rather than as parts.

And that experience applies to both the tangible and intangible as well as the natural and man-made worlds of objects. I can experience good design in looking at a flower, appreciating the lines and elements of a car, reading a well-turned sentence or listening to a favourite song.

Design is an act of creation – of purposefully bringing together various pieces to yield something new. It is the making of some “thing.” Whatever is created (tangible or intangible) will necessarily have structure and in that be directed toward fulfilling some purpose.  This purpose could be anything: to attract bees ensuring pollination and biological viability; to look good while driving to the corner store, to communicate observations about social mores, or makes sounds that cause our moods to lift.
Where whatever purpose is met and there exists an immediate, visceral experience of any designed object’s “rightness”, therefore, I think exists “good design.” Whether that perception is experienced universally by all who encounter the object or whether it’s experienced solely by the person having created it, is another matter.