Design Thinker in Action since 2012

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KISS Design Definition

Posted on: 24 feb 2014

Digging into design's essence.

Designed by @pauline_gn
KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided […] 
The principle most likely finds its origins in similar concepts, such as Leonardo da Vinci's "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", Mies Van Der Rohe's "Less is more", or Antoine de Saint Exupéry's "It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". 

Bringing simplicity to design definition is not an easy thing to do.

Design definitions are kaleidoscopic in its variety as a reflection of design's adaptability to emerging realities in an always evolving set of old and new contexts that  fall into different patterns and solutions.
Though there is a common pattern that never changes and that is designers commitment to their creative passions.

These are my top five design insights:

  • My favorite definition of design is Bucky Fuller's, one of the preeminent design scientists and philosophers of the last century, who defined design as the intentional rearrangement of resources. Simple and straightforward. Nice. I like the simplicity of designing as creating actionable possibilities that add meaning and value to people: It resonates in me (That is why my blog is call design thinking-in-action)
  • I'm fond of any design definition that involves people: The fact is that there is no design practice without people. Even a modest brochure requires a previous analysis and understanding of its users. Designers become people's experts. Does it sound too simple? Maybe or maybe not.
Designing collectivism and action (get people involve)Looking for meaning and purpose Seeking out positivity and optimism
  • Communication is also a design skill. An ideal design definition should take into account that design is a rational and objective creative practice but it's also communication. Not all design is visual. Some of it is expressed visually, but in fact most of it takes care of how it works, what it is and why and how to communicate it to people. There is a creative storytelling involved in any design practice bond to conceptualize and share vision: Both necessary to share meaning, get people involved and lead vision to action.
  • My KISS definition of design?. We may define design in many ways but its utility (to people, humanity) is the core of its practice. 
The truth about the work of designers? Creating consumes: It is all day, every day. It is a habit, a compulsion, an obsession, a vocation. It's more than a passion driven profession. It's an addiction.

Design is an addictive practice: Once you've experienced what it means to design and be able to affect people in a positive way, you cannot stop looking for more.

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