What is design?

Design combines two fundamental dimensions: aesthetics and functionality. Its focus switches between poetry and ergonomics, seeking tailor-made solutions in some cases and mass-production in others. Such a combination positions it between art and industry. Multidisciplinary is also at the heart of this activity. Design is a creative profession, like that of the architect or engineer. Whether it is about designing a project, an object or a system, the design can involve an interest in the product, in the space or the services it is linked to (see spreadsheet below), and even the messages it is meant to convey. At the crossroads of Art and Technique, design is also at the service of Society. Indeed, design is an intellectual, multidisciplinary and humanistic process. Its main objective is to find solutions to problems and improve the overall quality of life of an environment. The designer observes, questions, analyses, then imagines, writes, draws and models, and finally participates in the implementation, testing and adaptation of a design.

The design market involves many factors and brings together many independent designers (who are craftsmen, artists, scenographers, graphic designers, etc) as well as galleries, publishers, merchants and distributors. France is a country favourable to its apprenticeship, offering a wide range of training courses (3) and schools that are recognised throughout the world. It is also favourable towards its development in connection with historical know-how that applies to the art that is the French way of life. Everywhere in France, lovers of design, including creators or collectors, can satisfy their passion. Numerous museums, biennials and events are essential occurrences in the world of design for designers and collectors alike.

Today, designers must take up the challenge of sustainable development, which is a mode of “development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Eco-design and an upstream thought process are used by the leading players to identify materials, their origin and their recycling process. The reuse of materials or their rehabilitation into different uses are the new current trends linked to the implementation of a circular economy.

Table of different types of design

Design thinking
Collaborative design
Service design
Packaging design
Signage design

Transdisciplinary disciplines,
all fields of activity

Interior design
Commercial space design
Scenic design
Design scenography
Lighting design
Landscape architecture

Specialised fields
of spaces

Graphic design
Interactive design
Illustration design
Animated graphic design (motion design)
Environmental graphic design
Photographic design
Digital design
Sensory design
Sound design
Text design
Web design

Specialised fields
of messages

Product design
Object design
Industrial design
Fashion design
Culinary design
Textile design

Specialised fields
of products