Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Art and Design Need Each Other

I was reading a blog about the difference between art and design. For the most part I agreed with the author's assessment that art and design may have similarities, but they are distinctly different disciplines. He said that art achieves the expression of the artist, while design seeks to solve the communication problem of their client.

I see it somewhat differently, though only in style, not substance. What I mean is that the essence of his argument I would agree with. I would only add that design is also an art, not separate from art. This is true because any endeavor that is done well, or with great skill, has an element of art to it.

It takes problem-solving skills to make a functional computer tablet. But it also takes an aesthetic approach to make an iPad. It takes problem-solving skills to make an MP3 player. But it also takes an appreciation of beauty to make an iPod. The reason this is so is that visual problem-solving is both functional and aesthetic. It is science and art. It solves communication problems and it attracts.

Art, when done with great skill, draws a viewer in and expresses a message (if designed well). However, design solves a problem for someone else, and expresses their message in a way that attracts their intended audience (if done with the skill of a craftsman). I don't disagree that art and design are different disciplines. I've said so myself several times. But, I also understand that design is excellent when done with the skill of an artist, and with the approach of a problem-solver.

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