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The Definition of Design in General and Business

A design is a blueprint or description of the arrangement or structure of something or an organism, or even for the performing of an action or procedure, or the resultant of this arrangement or structure in the shape of a model, machine, gadget or substance. The word ‘design’ itself is derived from the Greek word meaning to shape or form. It may be used in many contexts but the most common is in the context of the creative arts and architecture. The verb to design therefore indicates the process of building a model, sometimes complete, sometimes only sketching or planning of the structure, sometimes drawing or modeling first and then giving it to the builder to build. The verb ‘design’ also indicates the act of putting together models, sometimes even whole constructions, sometimes making the models ready by means of molds or casting in a mold, sometimes actually building the model from the ground up.

Designing therefore has a deep meaning and encompasses many things. The term is broader than many other words in science or engineering and therefore implies a wide range of phenomena. But it is a rather vague concept and the meaning of the term is highly dependent on the intent of the person using it. For instance in advertising it may mean coming up with a visual representation, or it may imply coming up with new ways of doing things, or just coming up with something entirely new to do with advertising.

In computer engineering the meaning of this word design can refer to producing a new product, or refining or improving on existing products. In chemistry the word design can mean developing methods of producing a chemical substance or creating something according to a specific set of rules. In art the meaning of the word design applies to generate new works, improve or make something beautiful to look at. In business the meaning of this word is used to describe certain business practices like setting up a brand new company, starting a new production line, or bringing about radical changes in an existing business process by introducing new products or technology. In almost all cases however the purpose of the designer is to maximize the effectiveness of the means employed to achieve the end result. So the overall meaning of this word is ‘to make things more efficient’.

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