Friday, April 16, 2010

The Principles of Design

Design has its basics in nature. If you look around, almost everything was derived from something similar in nature. For example, the helicopter is similar to a dragon fly, buildings to shell, etc. Study and analyse any design from nature and you will know how many factors come into play for a good, functional and aesthetic design. Take for instance the human NOSE -
  1. The hair & mucus -prevents dust & dirt ------> Functional (protection)
  2. Close to the mouth - to smell the food ---------> Functional (placement)
  3. If upside-down - will collect dirt, rain water, etc. ------> Problem analysis (position)
  4. Shape - to blend with the rest of the body --------> Aesthetic (proportion)
  5. Cartilage - flexibility ----------> Functional (building material)
  6. Symmetry - to blend with the rest of the body-------> Aesthetic (balance)
  7. Slope - to let water, etc slope away --------> Functional, Aesthetic (solution)
  8. Colour - to blend with the rest of the body ------> Aesthetic (unity, uniformity)

There are many basic concepts in the field of design. We can group all of the basic tenets of design into two categories: principles & elements. The principles of design represent the basic assumptions that guide the design practice, and affect the arrangement of objects within a composition. By comparison, the elements of design are the components of design themselves, i.e., the objects to be arranged.

Let’s begin by focusing on the principles of design. In the coming days we will be understanding the basics of each of the following principles:

  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Proportion
  • Dominance
  • Unity

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