The Fundamentals of Design

by Bhex | November 6th, 2021


Image: "Grey" by Tyler, a minimal grey cement architectural building


"There is no such thing as no design."


-Adam Judge, author of The Little Black Book of Design




Image: a gif of an architecture building process provided by ArchDaily



What is design?



Making plans for the future, discerning the nature of reality and pastry baking all require design. Design is fundamental to existence. It shows transition from one step to another.


Design is a feedback loop that models an environment, artefact or phenomenon. Design can be a final product but is most importantly a process (Otto Rompelman & Wouter ten Haaf, 1998).




What is the design process?


Design can be conceptualized as a paradigm. A paradigm is another term for a model. 


The design paradigm is a feedback loop that begins with observation.


In the paradigm, observations are processed cyclically in a comparison of observation to ideal scenarios. If there is error between the observation and the ideal scenario, cognition is then used to create a solution for the problem or disagreement.


Observations can be direct or indirect. Direct observations are our own observations and measurements. Indirect observations occur through reading literature, watching interviews, listening to stories or lectures and so forth.


Ideals are based on knowledge, political views, media, religion and experiences. 


Comparing ideas to observations leads to identification of questions, problems and predictions. Design is the format of this process.



Image: an animated gif with a pink background and colorful interchanging geometric shapes



The principles of design



Design is in everything but encompasses disciplines like fine art, engineering, graphics, textiles, and interiors (Erin Adams, 2013).


Principles are propositions that guide behavior or ideas. They are based on experiences and empirical evidence. Principles are used fundamentally for the development of methods, techniques, and tools. They are fundamental rules or laws derived from experience that provide guidance and increase the likelihoof of solution success (Katherine Fu, 2016).


Design is a sequence of decisions that model balances of goals and constraints. Designers make three sets of decisions that determine the results of design processes:


1. how the design process will proceed

2. what needs or project opportunities the design will address

3. what form the resulting design will take (Daniel Edelson, 2002).


Three things that determine a design outcome: the design procedure, the problem analysis, and the design solution (Edelson, 2002).



Design is fundamental to magick.








Adams, Erin (2013). "The Elements and Principles of Design: A Baseline Study." International Journal of Art & Design Education, 32(2), 157–175. doi:10.1111/j.1476-8070.2013.01761.x 


Fu, Katherine K.; Yang, Maria C.; Wood, Kristin L. (2016). "Design Principles: Literature Review, Analysis, and Future Directions." Journal of Mechanical Design, 138(10), 101103–. doi:10.1115/1.4034105


Kimball, Miles A. (2013). "Visual Design Principles: An Empirical Study of Design Lore." Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 43(1), 3–41. doi:10.2190/TW.43.1.b 


Rompelman, Otto and Wouter ten Haaf. (1998). "What is design? A framework for design methodology." Delft University of Technology Netherlands.;jsessionid=D1E53173CABEEC5312602F4EB69B29AC?doi=