Identifying Design Goals and Design Solutions

Designing means “to make something beautiful or useful.” Designing can refer to artistic creation, scientific invention, or the combination of two things. Designing can be used to express an idea, to produce a certain type of structure, to create an object, or to build something. Designing can involve physical activity such as drafting, modeling, or building construction. Designing can also involve the process of arranging things in a particular way.


DEFINITIONS. Design refers to the arrangement of parts in space. It can refer to an art product which is designed for a particular purpose (like a refrigerator) or for a practical purpose (like an automobile). A rational model is one in which the end-result is a model that satisfies all or most of the design goals. Rational models in engineering design processes are more important because they are intended to serve as guide systems or rules for designing.

RATIONAL Model. In applied arts, a rational model is a model that solves a specific, real-life problem. These models may be used as guides in the development of artistic expression, technical solutions, and even business strategies. In design, a rational model is a model that guides a designer or craftsman in the process of designing. Rational models can help a designer to reduce problems or find alternative solutions to problems. A rational model is also a guideline so that designers will know what is possible for a certain design.

APPEALABLE Thematic REFERENCES. Aesthetic and logical considerations can lead to some interesting conclusions about what it is to be a “designed” object. For example, objects that have multiple functions can be regarded as “designed,” because their multiple functions exhibit a degree of rational purpose. An object’s ability to perform a certain action can also be considered an attribute of its being designed, because it can be used to measure the object’s design (its ability to act) and/or usefulness (its utility).

Action-Centric Perspective. In applied arts, a more action-centric perspective characterizes the critical success of a design. This perspective characterizes how designers evaluate and select their reference materials, conceptual models, and models of the creative process. In an action-centric perspective, designers use a variety of empirical data to construct models of the creative process, including a combination of visual and textual information, as well as non-visual analogues. On the other hand, logical models rely solely on deductive logic, with no reliance on empirical evidence. The former approach is more closely related to scientific model building, while the latter relies on the systematic use of knowledge in the construction of knowledge.

APPEALABLE Model. A familiar acronym that describes the elements that make up an object – APPEALable. Objects are designed in a manner that allows for “matching” or “comparison.” This is an important concept in product design. If two objects of the same class can be compared and found to match in some way, then they can be compared as APPEALLY designed, or “APPEALLY designed.”