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Defining Design

Design shapes the world.

Design turns ideas into reality, whether it’s a place, product, service or the systems that underpin how we live our lives. 

Design is a creative pursuit to make lives better. It uses creativity to collaboratively solve problems, reimagine and propose new ways of living. 

Design is a critical enabler of innovation and drives industry. It turns ideas into action.

Design for Planet means designing in a way that is good for our planet, and it sits at the heart of the Design Council’s mission. 

Our pioneering Design Economy research provides evidence of the value of design. 

Designers on design...

“Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers”.

Sir George Cox, aeronautical engineer and co-founder of Butler Cox & Partners

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”.

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

"Good design is the critical step that takes ideas with potential from the incubator and sets them on the path towards reality".

Rachel Skinner, youngest President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2020, executive director at WSP  

“The essence of design lies in the process of discovering a problem shared by many people and trying to solve it”.

Kenya Hara, Japanese graphic designer, curator and writer, creative director at Muji 

“The fundamental idea of design is to make the world a better place”.

Bruce Mau, Canadian designer, innovator, and educator, author of Massive Change 

“We need to think of design as a human right”.

Immy Kaur, founder and Chief Executive of Civic Square 

Header Image: Gayle Appleyard, Gagarin Leeds Footbridge