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Geoffry Fried

Historically, many graphic design educators (and practitioners) have been isolated from the very active discussion (and research) about the broader term "design." That discussion, beginning in the 1960s, has been led by industrial desginers, architects, engineers and theorists from disciplines as varied as economics, sociology, or software engineering. All have sought common ground in what is now being reconized as a distinct discipline; a way of thinking, with some commmonality of procedures (generation, analysis, synthesis, etc.) across a wide range of human activities.

However, descriptions of procedures (design processes) do not give us a reason for being. Instead, the importance of design can be better understood by examining what it is for: making conscious choices in situations that are indeterminate; that have fluctuating boundaries and mulitple (literally endless) possibilities. Each possibility, at every level of a design, is a choice which changes the nature of the outcome.

While some see graphic design as expressive and personal, and others stake a claim in problem solving and purposefulness, neither of these positions (or any compromise in between) adequately explains the relentless
fecundity of human visual design and communication. Its power borrows from the broader power of design, blending the human need to make those choices with the natural systems and environments (of which we are a part) in which those choices exist.

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