What is design ?

What is design ? More than a style, design is the will of the system. I will try to be clear. Just open your mind.

I Prejudices about design
II Etymology
III Made for…
IV Lack of design
V Will of the system
VI Necessity of dream

I Prejudices about design

When people talk about design, they often think about something like this.


That’s not design.

Design is not an aesthetic style. So, what is it ? Let’s take a look at the etymology to understand.

II Etymology

Coming from the Latin word designare, “mark from a sign, draw, note”, design has something to do with a plan. In architecture, the plan is on a sheet of paper, but also in the mind of the conceptor. The plan is both the drawing and the will.

Plan of the tour Eiffel. The drawing expresses the will of the architect, that will later be realized as a monument.

III Made for…

To know the design of a system, you must know what it’s made for.

A Kalachnikov is made to kill. It has a killer design.
A pan is made to cook. It has a cooking design.

Honestly, I am not made for compromise. I gather people around a dream, and the work to make it real.

Actually, every system in Nature is designed for something. Don’t make it religious, please take it as a philosophy and a way to see the world.

I don’t think it’s always a matter of how you use the objects, because they have a will on their own. TV is so strong that it makes many people resigned zombies, what is called “couch potatoe”. In this case, TV is the boss and humans have become the objects.

IV Lack of design

It’s often easy to notice when a territory lacks design. A good picture talks.

A room lacking design. Without effort, the territory gets chaotic.

The disorder from a lack of design can also be seen in a city that grows without common objective.

As I learnt in primary school, lazyness is the source of all vices. Unfortunately, many territories are not tidy, not hold by their “owner”, and the main personnality we can guess from the territory is the one of a lazy person.

As IKEA says : Organize your inside !

V Will of the system

Mind is everywhere. A rainbow has the mind of diversity, the sunshine has the mind of heat. This is just a matter of associations in the psychic space.

In our case, design is the will of the system. It’s the set of psychic forces that the system exerts.

Let’s take an example. Imagine someone facing a piece of chocolate.


The behaviour “Eating chocolate” is a mind modelized by a vertex in the mathematical graph theory. If the force for is above the force against, then the person will eat the chocolate.

This is just a matter of will. Design is the will of the system. And it looks like something like this.

The system applies attractive and repulsive forces to other minds.

To know a system, you must know what it truly wants.

VI Necessity of dream

What is the origin of psychic forces ? I think it’s fantasy. Fantasies tend to model reality at their image. When you take a soda, before you make this action, you imagined it. That was just a fantasy.

The first duty of a designer is the dream, because positive fantasy makes a better world.


Why aesthetics ?

A powerplant is asked to produce power. Why then should we care about aesthetics ?

Pragmatics is more important than aesthetics. If we focus more on aesthetics than on pragmatics, the result on the long term is a triumph of superficiality and absurdity, and in the end, this gets not truly beautiful.

So, why should we care about aesthetics ?

I’ve learnt that the psychic motors of people are not rational. People are moved by hope, by fear. It is said that love is not rational, but what is reason if not an expression of the love of truth ? 🙂

Petroleum is expected to be depleted in 2050. It makes environmental issues quite an emergency. Please let me be patient and strong.

Yeah, it’s extremely difficult. Sure the means should be higher than the difficulty. What does that mean ?


It means we need to use aesthetics to attract people into more ecological systems. We may lose some production, but what we lost in terms of Watts shall be gained later as a more environmentally-friendly and economically reliable lifestyle. Economics is a wonderful science, it’s just that the true value is much deeper and mysterious than money.