“Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product.” – Steve Jacobs, Fortune Magazine
Never underestimate the word design. Design runs deep into the human experience of any creation and is never merely a glossy exterior of attraction. A persons interaction with a film, a documentary, a song or a book or anything is an interaction with the culture of the creators attitude and aptitude. Even after all sorts of discussions about authorship, people are fascinated in the creators of their entertainment and their sensory experience vehicles. That’s why there are special features on DVD’s. A good sense of design from the get-go is the bottom line. I suppose you could interchange the word design with structure, even in terms of poetic and centrifugal research methods. Design is a sense of organising and a sense of the overall goal, even if it moves and mutates.
Design happens through rigorous processes of creation and critique, refinement and revision. Imagine a scenario where someone tried to build a house with no design plan. In the design stage, the life and longevity of your project is determined. It is where functionality is introduced and bugs are destroyed, or introduced! Cruising around on wikipedia I happened across particular Japanese business philosophies. They identify two kinds of quality: atarimae hinshitsu and miryokuteki hinshitsu. The first recognizes the functionality of a product. For instance, the pen writes. The second recognizes the aesthetic beauty of the product. The pen writes with a tip that feels good for the author, and leaves behind ink pleasing to the reader. It seems that these could be taken as steps. Step one, make your project functional. Step two, make it aesthetically amazing. Perhaps the research towards the project could be sub-divided to address these two differentiations.