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.

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