The History and Future of Design.

Published: 23 July, 2018

Categories: General

The History and Future of Design.

We have always studied the timeline of art, architecture and graphics in their historical periods in terms of social, cultural, economic, political, technical and stylistic contexts as well as what is considered beautiful. Each period has been experimental and explorative in its own way.


Design is cyclical, trends come and go, and often repeat. Designers have to find innovative methods of interpreting current conventions to own them and be proactive, making informed decisions where there are no rules or precedents. As Laszlo Moholy-Nagy said – “Design is not a profession but an attitude”.  Design will become multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, a collaboration between all the sciences, no longer a specialization in a particular branch of the industry, demanding the ability to listen, to be interactive, be curious and to adapt.  In the post-industrial world, change is quick, the new is soon old.


Technology transforms the way we work, live and interact.  Designers need to reskill themselves constantly and to reimagine the future and to apply strategic thinking to improve products and processes.  Never newness for the sake of the new.


Design is meant for people, values must be maintained. Design needs to be functional, be honest, be enduring and every detail should be fully considered.


Importantly, it should have an aesthetic dimension.  Design is about purpose, intention and planning as it always has been.


Written by, 

Jenny Hearn

lecturer from Midrand campus.