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“To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatise, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.” - Paul Rand

Over previous years, several new aspects of design have emerged and experienced a greater weight of importance. These are wide-ranging: graphic design, speculative design, interior design, transition design and social design, amongst many more.

Design can be regarded as a form of expressing intention and meaning. It is a mirror that not only reflects perspective, feelings and emotions, but also depicts evolution and transgression in historical periods. Looking back, the Australian woomera weapon is just one fascinating example of how design has evolved over the years. These tools are equipped, not only with cultural aspects of a particular region, but also with our human senses which help us understand the correlation between form and function. Nowadays, these have been transformed into objects we call utensils to facilitate activities undergone on daily basis’.

Elements forming part of creating a desirable design outcome have also evolved in the past years, mostly due to the acceleration in technology and increased global connectivity. In order to supply the society with this demand for modern design and enable these outcomes, new design processes also exist and more diverse communities habitually contribute to collective change-making on a larger scale.

A new phase in design does not replace an old one, but instead, is coated over to give meaning to our present life situation. The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a clear example of how, specifically interior design, has transformed and shaped our surroundings over the past two years in order to ensure the safety of everyone. Companies and offices suddenly started allowing for more open space following the new social-distancing guidelines, which additionally increases natural light in buildings and contributes to a reduction in energy usage.

Many are not aware of the important role design plays on an everyday basis which perhaps is the whole point. Design is actually the human capacity to shape our environment in imperceptible ways to serve our needs and give meaning to our lives. Design is not only a scribble created by a pen on paper, but instead the outcome of creative choices and solutions. Another example of an abstract idea transformed into a design outcome is the alphabet itself, a beautifully designed form of communication, the symbols of which allow us to visually captivate and transmit thoughts in a way we weren’t able to do so easily prior to their design.

It is therefore important to realise that, in the same way that design has been modified over the years in order to improve standards of our lives today, it will continue to change and adapt to challenges presented by society for many years to come too. With goods and services experiencing constant redesign, however, the question is: will designs hereafter consider aspects of the future and its potential crisis or will it just simply follow a current trend? What is for sure, is that technology and design, hand-in-hand, are the basis for our future. Article and illustration by Paloma P, Year 13

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