Designers aren't artists. Design isn't self-expression. —

Mike Monteiro, “Why you need design”. (Again: https://medium.com/@monteiro/why-you-need-design-77dce41e0e0c)

I’m really interested in this “dichotomy”. I like Mike’s emphasis on the non-art of design: to him, it is a practice.

“A good designer behaves like a skilled professional with analytical, persuasive, creative, and social skills. You can count on them to solve problems, present good work in a timely manner, be accountable, and argue from an informed point of view.” - Mike Monteiro

And I agree with him wholeheartedly. Yet, working with artists and contemporary art at Eastern Edge over the last few weeks has led me to a great appreciation of contemporary art, and the capacity of art to do… well… something.

I guess that’s sometimes the point: art doesn’t necessarily achieve an intentional goal. Design does. Or rather, it should.

[Contemporary] Art can be designed.

However, art can be designed. But can design be contemporary art? What would that mean?

Off-the-cuff, it would mean that the design pushes contemporary boundaries. It would make you think about something you hadn’t thought you’d think about. Or, it would make you feel something you hadn’t felt before. Or that you feel a lot.

However, design still can’t be self-expression. By definition, it is intentionally the expression of something else—the expression of a solution to a problem, perhaps. Design can be art, but it shouldn’t necessarily try to be.

(Aside: I’m reminded of instantiation validity. A design is a version of a solution to a problem, but if it fails, we should remember that a design is distinct from the theoretical solution, and that the design can fail separate from the solution itself. This is convoluted, but it means we can try the same solution with a different design.)

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