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Why Beauty is Key to Everything
- Read in 15 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 9 key ideas
Do Design (2016) is a nifty handbook for designers, crafters, and creatives of every stripe who want to know what makes design great and how they can achieve it in their own work. Covering a broad notion of design, Do Design goes beyond the design of things to reflect on how we ought to design our businesses and even our lives. Ultimately, these blinks are a call for us to transform human lives for the better by creating more beauty in the world.
Key idea 1 of 9
Beautiful design empowers human abilities and brings people joy.
Here’s an important design maxim: design is everywhere. There’s design in the planning of our cities, in the way our institutions are organized, in the architecture of our living spaces, and in every object we use and take for granted. There’s even design in how we structure our own lives.
Yet, it must be said, humans don’t always design with beauty and grace. But this doesn’t have to be the case. To give another maxim of design: anything that humans design can be designed better.
So, what if we designed everything in our world to be beautiful?
That’s not to say that we should add decorative elements to everything. We often think of beauty as this additional thing that we sometimes add to things to make them prettier. But this is the wrong way to think about beauty. When it comes to design, beauty boils down to two things: fulfilling a function well and bringing joy. Conversely, bad design more often than not inhibits and frustrates us. To give a modest example, a beautifully crafted pair of socks protects our feet and gives us pleasure when we wear them, whereas poorly crafted socks may chafe our feet and fray quickly. And where’s the joy in that?
We shouldn’t underestimate the power that design has over people’s quality of life. So if we had the choice, why wouldn’t we create things that work, last, and can be loved?
As creatives and designers, creating beauty and disseminating it throughout the world should be our guiding philosophy. The beauty we create is what will endure when we’re no longer around. It’s our legacy on this earth.
In the next two blinks, we’ll consider the two sides of design – production, and use – to gain some insight into how we can make the things we create more beautiful.