What is Design? answers from Charles Eames

From an insightful interveiw with Charles Eames.

qu'est ce que le design?

q. what is your definition of "design," monsieur eames?
a. one might describe design as a plan for arranging elements to accomplish a particular purpose.

q. is design an expression of art?
a. i would rather say it's an expression of purpose. it may, if it is good enough, later be judged as art.

q. what are the boundaries of design?
a. what are the boundaries of problems?

q. is it a method of general expression?
a. no, it is a method of action.

q. is design a creation of an individual?
a. no, because to be realistic one must always recognize the influence of those who have gone before.
is there a design ethic?
there are always design constraints, and these often imply nothing.

q. is it able to cooperate in the creation of works reserved solely for pleasure?
a. who would say that pleasure is not useful?

q. does the creation of design admit constraint?
a. design depends largely upon constraints.

q. what constraints?
a. the sum of all constraints. here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem: the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible. his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints. constraints of price, of size, of strength, of balance, of service, of time, and so forth. each problem has its own peculiar list.

q. does design obey laws?
a.aren't constraints enough?

q. how would you define yourself with respect to a decorator? an interior architect? a stylist?
a. i wouldn't.

q. to whom does design address itself: to the the greatest number? to the specialists or the enlightened amateur? to a privileged social class?
a. design addresses itself to the need.

q. what do you feel is the primary condition for the practice of design and for its propagation?
a. a recognition of need.


A Happy List: I am Happy When Edition

Call it a Monday thing, or maybe I'm pre-tired for the activities of my coming weekend, but I'm having a hard time getting myself to do anything besides eat chocolate today. Turns out we have a good variety or chocolate around right now, so it does feel like productivity, in it's fatty sweet way.
But eating all the chocolate in my pantry will not happiness bring, so to motivate myself (and record my thoughts for posterity), I am here to make a list.
It's a Happy List--the "I Am Happy When--"edition.

I am Happy When--

1. I focus and work hard in my home. This looks like mopping the hardwood floors, having no clutter on the counters or tables or other surfaces, and looking out through clean windows.

2. I make a good meal for my family and we eat it together. I love chatting with my kids as we eat (sometimes choke down) vegetables. Vegetables indicate a dinner that is trying and not simply surviving. It is a much less stressful mode.

3. I run or go for a bike ride--especially if I drag my feet but go out anyway. 

4. I listen to awesome music with my kids and they like it. 

5. I get up before 8AM.

6. I go to bed before midnight.

7. I see someone I know doing something awesome and I remember that our stories are not written and done, and that we can make things happen if we really want to, and that if I start working hard now, I can still make lots of things happen.

8. I put my head down and work work work.

9. I make a decision and commit to something (especially applicable to putting together our home.)

10. I give gifts or treats to friends.

11. I drive into the city.

12. I'm hiking.

13. All our beds are made.

14. I try something (like an ingredient or recipe) that I've waited to try--even it doesn't turn out good. 

15. I take pictures.

16. I write in a journal.

17. I record things i think are beautiful.

18. I make my funny friends laugh.

What are some things that make you happy?