Reflecting on Our First Term – What is Design?

4 01 2011

by Lizzie Bird

Thursday 19th December 2010 2pm = massive relief the first term of the course was complete.  Now three weeks on the Christmas break has given us some time to eat A LOT of Turkey and reflect back on the first term of the course.  When I was at home for Christmas I found a postcard I picked up at the Design Museum in London a week before we started term in September (see below).  The postcard aims to answer the question: what is design?   Coming from a planning background I wanted to do the MAUD as I felt I was able to appreciate the importance of good urban design but wanted to understand the process behind delivering good urban design. Re-reading this postcard having completed the first term I think I agree with most of the things on the list.  I’ve highlighted some of my favourites…

Design is...Click Here

Design is the city; Design is instinct; Design is science; Design is a process; Design is digital; Design is getting lost; Design is pick ‘n’ mix; Design is context; Design is art direction; Design is work, work, work! Design is a language; Design is present; Design is the sign; Design is selling; Design is exhibition; Design is feedback; Design is useful; Design is mapping; Design is online; Design is the idea; Design is art; Design is not art; Design is photography; Design is human experience; Design is golden search; Design is travelling; Design is emotional; Design is no sleep; Design is not mass production; Design is predicting the future; Design is music; Design is innovative; Design is useful art; Design is cross-disciplinary; Design is story telling; Design is the environment; Design is thought; Design is love; Design is recycling; Design is the solution; Design is the brief; Design is magic; Design is eye candy; Design is a hobby; Design is a religion; Design is a melody; Design is a headache; Design is communication; Design is out to get me; Design is research; Design is human ability; Design is purposeful; Design is bliss; Design is information; Design is talking; Design is the show; Design is future; Design is relevant; Design is time; Design is unique; Design is a door; Design is helpful; Design is engaging; Design is wit; Design is everywhere; Design is making things; Design is originality; Design is commercial; Design is a way of life.

Taking inspiration from the postcard I’ve asked everyone on our course to give me one word to describe their first term on the urban design programme at Newcastle. I’ve had some good ones so far and when I have EVERYBODY’S (hint hint!) I’ll add them.



3 responses

4 01 2011

I really like your post Lizzie, it is amazing attitude that you drive for us your experience before and after getting involve in the first term, Also this Postcard has very nice and deep expressions of the design’s definition from different views. Besides that, when I get your email that you asked us to describe the first term on the urban design Corse in one word, I was quite impressed by your question. However, prior I will answer your question I would like to add another definition of what is the design from my point of view. The design is a spirit of understanding what is for. With regard to the one word of describing the first term, I will say is challenge; Challenging ourselves, challenging the time and challenging the difficulties etc.

4 01 2011
Harveen Dhillon

I really like this post and certainly can agree with the ones you have highlighted, the meaning of design definitely varies for different people in various locations. No matter where we go, we always subconsciously judge urban design. Personally I feel design is creativity, the ability to communicate through aesthetically pleasing environments, which should not just be seen as a superficial attempt to create attractive places but give people a deeper satisfaction emotionally. In our course throughout the first semester, until the end of the course, and for most in our futures I am sure, Urban Design for us will be a way of life.

6 01 2011
Reflecting on Our First Term – In one Word « NCL Urban Design Blog

[…] inspiration from a postcard I found at home (see Reflecting on Our First Term – What is Design?) I’ve asked everyone on our course to give me one word to describe their first term on the MAUD […]

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