Design in France
Design in France: history and preconceived ideas
Design is not an adjective, but a name. It comes from the Latin designare, which gave disegno in Italian and means “mark with a sign, draw”. In the 15th century, Italian architects and engineers use drawings and models in workshops. They separate the design from the implementation of a project.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Design contributes to increasing the productivity of companies. The race for innovation, the quest for progress and the stimulation of demand are driving designers to design standardized, single-use products but also quality products.
The word design will only be used in France from the 1960s onwards, in conjunction with the terms «industrial aesthetics», «industrial creation», «design».
At the turn of the 21st century, designers are turning away from a practice whose sole objective was marketing in favour of a more humanistic vision, better meeting the needs of the user.
The design is a discipline, a gait which reinvents itself in every era, following the evolutions, the cultures and the contributions of designers from all over the world. Design is a process of creation, innovation in close relation with the user needs In all sectors of activity.
The world of design therefore covers a diversity of specialties : product design, space design, graphic design, digital design, service design.
Design serves communities, businesses and cultural institutions.
It is especially at the service of citizens who are not always aware that behind many objects, services, places is indeed hidden design.
Design by designers
Design is a profession exercised by the designer which mobilizes other professionals with co-construction methods. Designers work with engineers, architects, ergonomists, etc. The engineer is looking for a technical solution, the most efficient to a problem, the artist enjoys great freedom in its creation while the designer is mainly concerned with the uses.
The creative community of designers
To be a designer is to be upstream of business projects or communities. The designer is a conductor who can translate the ideas and desires of all the disciplines involved in a project.
Being a designer means having a high degree of artistic and technical training. Very familiar with economic, environmental and societal issues, the designer co-creates for a better quality of life.
Being a designer means being integrated into a project team, it distinguishes itself from the other professionals who compose it by its approach centered on the needs of the user and its ability to shape an object.
Being a designer means being able to work independently or being an employee. The employee works in a design agency, in a large group or in a public structure. The designer can also work freelance.
It’s like a director, like a film director, they don’t necessarily know how to adjust the light but they know what light they want.”
Design: a method
The term “design approach” is used when designers take the following steps:
- Research, framing and definition of the objective of the project, the problem to be solved;
- Understanding of uses and users;
- Design of solutions, transition from idea to solution;
- Experimentation of prototype solutions that will be tested with the user;
- Deployment of the most satisfactory solution (publishing, manufacturing, marketing, etc.).
The design is always subject to the verdict of the users therefore the test phase can generate a search for new solutions and new tests.
Design: a creative ecosystem that creates value
Design is neither a sector nor a sector but a creative ecosystem. In France, design is taught in several higher education schools. It is present in companies and public authorities to create products and services. Many regional structures also promote the development and promotion of French design. Some of our national museums have design collections and of course several national and international events showcase the creations of this beautiful profession.