How Design Relates to the Mind, the Body and the Universe
Let me start off by saying that I am fully aware that the model I present here is very likely inaccurate and incomplete. It came to me while thinking about design, what it is, and how the different disciplines are interrelated.
My original intention was to create a model that showed the differences between industrial design, architecture, graphic design, fashion design, etcetera. Instead, I found that they were all remarkably similar when abstracting them as to a process.
My expectation was that different design disciplines would occur on different levels, and that some were more specialized, lower level forms that supported broader, higher levels. For example, graphic design would be a supportive discipline for product design (both 2D and 3D) which in turn would be a supportive discipline for strategic design.
I quickly got sidetracked when I tried to split up every discipline into sub-disciplines. The sheer amount of lines and arrows interconnecting them were a clear sign I was thinking too difficult. I suddenly saw the light when I started combining things in more abstract terms, and a pattern started to ‘magically’ appear, which led me all the way back to the most fundamental ingredients of life and its sciences.
When I finally drew this model on one of the thirty pages in my notebook that I had scribbled full of words, lines and arrows, it just seemed to radiate with simplicity and logic. The four fundamental elements of human life: Nature, the world we live in. Our external environment. Mind and Emotion, the things going on inside us. And Body, the entity we use to mediate connections between our outer world and our inner world.
Each of these elements has a science devoted to them. Physics, Anatomy, Psychology, Art. We as humans want to know everything about them, but treat these sciences mostly as strictly seperate entities. And this is where it gets interesting. When we are designing things, we try to solve problems by drawing upon the facts we know from science, but we can only find these solutions when we force these seperate entities to combine in a way that creates a clash of elements.
These clashes result in situations that need a solution, and these solutions are provided by combining our knowledge from different sciences. Engineering helps us with problems where nature meets body. Interaction Design helps us where body meets mind, and finally Experience Design helps us where the mind clashes with emotions.
All together, this creates my source/science/skill-model. Please let me know what you think of this model. Am I missing something important? Am I making connections that shouldn’t be there? I’m really curious about your interpretations!