A short note on design and for craft.
It is a subject that confuses many, what it is and why is it important?
Design is the set of principles that moves an idea, through various steps to a result. This could be a system or object that serves the needs of whomever it is intended for.
The quality of many aspects of our daily lives is determined by how thoughtfully this is undertaken as design is many things. It includes the visuals in advertising, electronic systems, household goods, furniture, medical devices and how we navigate the motorway.
Craft Design is a branch that covers functional products and objects in metals, clay, glass, textiles, and wood- often produced in-house, in small batch production, with a high degree of handwork.
While such products are characterised by a focus on aesthetic values, it is never at the cost of functionality. If aesthetic values over ride functionality, the work ceases to be design and becomes a decorative or conceptual art piece.
For instance, Jewellery, or personal ornament, is design for a craft. Jewellery dominates the body, whose structure dictates its form. All pieces such as a ring, pendant or earring must fit as the design and body dictate. If gemstones are included these follow the same rules.
Architecture, on the other hand, encloses the body. Jewellery is sometimes described as intimate architecture. It is both structure and message.
This feature influences the design of wedding rings, lockets, brooches or badges with symbolic or literal messages. All objects gather memories and associations over time. Jewellery is powerful in this regard due to the strong emotional benefits it is imbued with.
Craft design therefore is an intimate part of our daily lives giving us an association with objects that contribute to its functioning with a joyful experience.