Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns). Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases, the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, coding, and graphic design) is also considered to use design thinking.
Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production. Its key characteristic is that design is separated from manufacture: the creative act of determining and defining a product's form and features takes place in advance of the physical act of making a product, which consists purely of repeated, often automated, replication. This distinguishes industrial design from craft-based design, where the form of the product is determined by the product's creator at the time of its creation.
As in poetry and music, even the unskilled ear may be offended by a mistake in measure, without discerning the cause, may not also a mistake in the harmony of dimensions unconsciously offend us in design?
Ernest Flagg, Small Houses: Their Economic Design and Construction (1922)
Good design is a Renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need and beauty to produce something.
Paola Antonelli (2001), curator of architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art, New York, in A Conversation About The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
I think so many of the objects we're surrounded by seem trivial. And I think that's because they're either trying to make a statement or trying to be overtly different. What we were trying to do was have a very honest approach and an exploration of materials and surface treatment. So much of what we try to do is get to a point where the solution seems inevitable: you know, you think 'of course it's that way, why would it be any other way?' It looks so obvious, but that sense of inevitability in the solution is really hard to achieve.
Jonathan Ive (2003), Designer of the iMac, iBook and iPod, in iconeye 004 (July/August 2003)