Design is like cooking - maybe ~ Abaster

15 January 2009

Design is like cooking - maybe

One of the questions that pop up occasionally in various fora is "how do you define design?" For a different (light-hearted or low-calorie) way of looking at this, design could be considered a bit like cooking: its part constructive discontent (it could taste better), part empathy (what do those who will eat the food expect, anticipate), part savvy (you have to know some of the basics to cooking), topped off with a good dose of creativity (seeing beyond the given parameters or the confines of the recipe itself). And cooking is incredibly iterative, just like design; no recipe is sacrosanct - they can be bettered, simplified, adapted to evolving palates, etc. The result may well be failure (to salty, to sweet) but more often than not the result will surprise, thrill and make those who have the pleasure of enjoying it come back for seconds. Constructive discontent, empathy, savvy and creativity - a tasty recipe. Right, off to the kitchen...