A design is an abstract idea or pattern for the construction of a structure or an object, either in the form of an original concept or as the end result of this concept, or the effect of which it may produce. The word ‘design’ is related to the Latin ‘disease’ which means ‘formation’. Therefore design includes all areas of human thought and artistic activity, including art, architecture, literature, computer science, engineering, mechanics, and so on. Design can be used in many contexts; however it is predominantly used in the field of architecture and industrial design.
The term design can also mean the rational model developed by experts in order to achieve a certain result. The rational model is used in product design solutions for example, in the case of product design solutions to improve production and save cost, in automotive production, and in spacecraft structure designs. In all cases, the rational model is required to simulate reality as accurately as possible. Designing is one of the key activities of the discipline of architecture.
From the perspective of the architects and engineers, the designing process generally proceeds through a series of steps. In the execution phase, an action-oriented perspective is required, whereby designers determine the problem and design the solution that addresses those needs. Often, it is discovered that in the execution phase of an important issue is overlooked, and that by following the design process, it will be found that the solution can easily be implemented.
This is the critical point at which a designer decides what should be sketched and what should be drawn and decides on the relationship between those two decisions. From this point, a sequence of steps, often referred to as a logical diagram, is drawn, which describes the relationship among the designer’s chosen design features and their effect on the product being designed. The diagram becomes a map of sorts that directs the designer throughout the product development project. The most logical diagrams are those that provide for easy understanding, and as such they are used in many of the processes of design.
From the perspective of the designer, the idea of the logical diagram may seem to be an overly restricted view of the process. In other words, a logical diagram may be seen as limiting the scope of the product development project and perhaps even as an impediment to the actual problem-solving process. This is why many product designers use more than one logical diagram in the execution phase of the design process. In applied arts terms, this is called a problem-solving tour de force.
A problem-solving tour de force is simply the product or item that is designed in such a way that the designer can explain its problems, get feedback about its design, solve the problems and then get feedback on how well the solution has worked. In industrial design this tour de force is sometimes called a problem-solution tour de force. Many design schools, art schools, and graphic design schools utilize problem-solving tours as part of their overall training methodology. Problem-solving in the graphic design field is often seen as a more abstract approach to product design, however. Some designers may use a more literal interpretation of the term, arguing that it refers to the ability of a designer to solve the problems of the graphic user.