I have to bite my tongue when I hear art being talked about as if it were design, and when design is being discussed as if it's art. The words and meaning are not interchangeable.
- The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture.
- a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints.
I love how legendary designer, Charles Eames, put it in "Design Q & A"
- Q: What is your definition of ‘Design,’ Monsieur Eames?
- A: One could 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.
Art and design have a lot in common, which causes confusion differentiating the two. Both art and design revolve around the tangible, aesthetic, taste, craft, constraints, inspiration and vision (to name a few). Where they differ is around purpose and utility.
Some would argue that good design is invisible; it solves the problem before you feel the pain. Art, on the other hand, demands a response.
If you have not seen "Design Q & A with Charles Eames", then you are missing truly insightful work. Spare 5 minutes and watch this.