Although this particular representation was formed, written, and animated over a 2 week period, my Design Ethos reflects a big part of my overall education at CMU School of Design. The following is a closer look at where I started with, first, a personal definition of design–


The whole difficulty in my quest to define design is driven by the difference between an objective definition of design and my own personal one. I can read and find an expanse of definitions written by brilliant minds throughout history and within contemporary circles. Though incredibly inspiring and informative, these definitions cannot capture all of the facets that I believe design to be.

Now, before going any further, I want to acknowledge that I do not believe design to be undefinable. As mentioned above, there are well qualified minds out there who have given design a clear identity within our current society. I do not assume that role here. Rather this is an opportunity for me to determine my individual strain of design within the larger, understood, context.

To formulate my own definition, I first accumulated a set of action words that describe a design process. Hence, the practice of design can be summed up by a combination of a few, or all of the below:

-reframing variables
-problem solving
-empathy/ human understanding
-making (to synthesize)
-making (to communicate)
-making (to make beautiful)
-story telling

For What Purpose?

Next, I sought to determine my purpose for designing. Purpose is found in the subject and impact of my designs. So, if I were to design something right now, it would be something that reveals/unlocks humans’ potential, OR engages humans’ creativity. I am passionate about living and a full, rich, growth-infused lifestyle. As a result I hope that my contribution to design can involve a process of building and growing vibrant life in people.

Taking all of these things into account; the current definitions of, the actions associated with, the purpose behind, and inspiration surrounding design, I – roughly -identify design by the following:

Design acknowledges or reframes contextual variables allowing human values and behaviors to respond.

I know this sentence could change 6 times before the end of the week but for now, I will keep it at that.

Design Approach