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Nov 2, 2010


Too often people are mistaken. I once was too.

Design is not art.

I came to the realization a few years ago, and I'd like to think that it's better late than never. My ex-boss - an interior designer of course - likes to call himself an artist, and he makes sure clients see him that way. And rightfully, under his influence, I had the conception designers are artists back then.

Now that I'm in this industry for a longer period and have grown much wiser - not that my ex-boss isn't, ha - to understand art is very personal, I can also see how design has a far greater social responsibility. Art can be liked and appreciated or it can be not. Art doesn't have a function, and it doesn't really matter what other people think about it as long as it expresses the emotions and ideas of the creator.

On the contrary, design is a business. It's contextual. It has to solve a certain problem for certain people.

I'm not saying good design cannot possess a sculptural appeal. But if it meets other requirements like cost efficiency, material optimization and good functionality as well, it's all for the better!

And now to my staff Dorcus who posed me this question "Do you think design is art?" in the car that day, I hope I answered your question well and clear.


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4 comments: on "DESIGN VS ART"

rukhsana said...

I know what you mean.
But I find myself getting too practical sometimes and have to force myself to think like an artist to get a more beautiful design.
I like doing artsy stuff like drawing and painting to keep the creative juices flowing freely or else I fear the engineers will take over my thinking!!

karlsson.m said...

Good Art Is Interpreted. Good Design Is Understood.

berry said...

Very insightful article, my friend.

Design is often defined as art because pop culture and slick marketing have both shaped our thinking to merely focus on aesthetics, hence making us to equate it with art.

I agree design can never be art because it has a commercial component tagged to it. But the end product can look arty and this depends on the skills and expertise of the designer.

Kus said...

Rukhsana, it does happen to me, too.
The sad part is when we are able to fused practical design & artistic element, it kill by the budget (or other) constraints :(