Description - The Nature of Design by ,Scott Lockard

Design is a widely-misunderstood discipline. This misunderstanding is not just simple ignorance and indifference in the layman. It is the design profession itself that accepts and promotes a vague and ultimately damaging definition of design. Critics and designers are content to argue about superficial distinctions but not to understand the true criteria for evaluation, nor the process that would accomplish it. These wilful misunderstandings are highly detrimental both to the client and to the development of capable designers. So we think we know what design is? We don't. Do designers know what design is? They don't either. Most are designers in the same way that design books are only about style, designers and designs. Design books are rarely, if ever, about design itself. Obvious as it is, if we are to develop as designers and to design as well as we can, we need to understand the nature of design. Design is not art. Design is not an art. Design is a discipline and a process. Professions, trades, styles, techniques and technologies all change over time. A discipline does not. The design process does not. The nature of design does not. Design responds to criteria, and its success can only be measured against those criteria. The criteria might come from anywhere, but they are not design criteria until the client says so. The client is the creator, and thus design is not an act of creation, but of translation and orchestration. Art might well be perfect, never admitting to compromise, but because of criteria, design is never ideal. The reconciliation of compromises is the central act of design. This is infinitely more difficult than and requires capabilities far beyond those required for simple self-expression. Thus many designers prefer to define the criteria for themselves, or to adopt the criteria of critics and other designers. This is not design. Misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the nature of design lead both to self-serving perversions of the process by designers, and more commonly to simply incompetent, inadequate and inefficient service to the client. AUTHOR: In more than 35 years of architectural practice, M. Scott Lockard has had a hand in the design of projects of nearly every scale and type, in all phases of design, and on every continent. Beyond his own practice, Lockard has collaborated with more than 75 design firms, and thus has a unique and extremely realistic perspective on the practice of design today. The book's unparalleled visual content comes entirely from Lockard's own work and clearly demonstrates how design is done by one of world's most prolific practitioners. 300 colour

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