Design Disciplines

October 29, 2018

Design is quite often described by its outcomes. The “type” of design gets its name from what it produces.

  • Design that produces the built environment is Architecture.
  • Design that creates interior spaces is termed Interior Design.
  • Design that produces clothing and wearables is Fashion Design.

Only recently has design been named after processes or concepts.

  • Communication Design implies that designers will produce whatever objects necessary to achieve communication.
  • Service Design clearly produces services—but no specific type of service or industry is mentioned.
  • Interaction Design promises design that facilitates any kind of interaction, though these interactions are most often between people and screens.
  • Experience Design takes one of the most profound leaps of all the design disciplines. It embraces holistic experiences as its hallmark, suggesting it can employ any kind of outcome possible to achieve its goals.

Disciplinary names are helpful terms that categorize design. However, modern design practice typically employs a wide range of design approaches. The needs and problems designers are beginning to address are too big and varied to be locked into single disciplines.

dennischeatham

Associate Professor

Miami University