COMD3504 - Section OL69 - Spring 2022

Discussion 13: Design Futures

Here is the presentation for this week, offering brief summaries or reviews of all the reading options from last week. In addition to covering some new ideas related to contemporary design, you may find a new source or two for your final.

You’ll see that the presentation ends with a discussion question: “What is design, today?” You should remember virtually the same question from Week 2. How have your views toward design changed throughout the semester? Do you have a new or revised idea of what design should be today? How has it changed in recent years? And where is design going in the future?

Please comment on this post with some ideas. And, as always, feel free to chime in with any additional questions or thoughts that you’d like to share.


  1. Iqra Bhatti

    First and foremost, prof., thank you for the excellent video on reviewing the readings. The first two readings were fantastic. As far as reading goes, all of the readings from the first week of class till now have been fantastic, each one containing a wealth of design knowledge. When it comes to answering the question, “What is design today?” there are several options, such as viewing and reading all of the readings. Because nowadays, everyone has distinct design preferences and points of view. There were numerous readings in which the artists employed technology in their designs and artwork. There have been several designs that have received a lot of attention from individuals and designers, such as these vintage designers. We live an entity lifestyle, whether we like it or not. Every day, we are exposed to design in both positive and negative ways. As someone who comes from a different nation, my design ideas and tastes are a little different, even if I admire a lot of American design. However, there have been many different points of view for me since then. In my opinion, a sense of where design is going in the future is dependent on the tools that artists and designers bring to the table. It can give us all the possibilities: pattern analysis, constructivist learning techniques, and other tools and techniques arising from strategic foresight and future thinking.

  2. Ebony Derrick

    Thank you for the informative video professor. From the beginning of the semester to now, I’ve viewed design slightly differently. I’ve now realized that design is something that is found everywhere even if we don’t notice it. I’ve also learned that the underground and mainstream are two different ways that start of a new trend or design begins. I had sometimes thought about how forms of art and design became popular and how people decided whether or not they wanted to practice the art movement or art form. I still believe that design should be something that’s done to spread information through unique and simple art and design that doesn’t overwhelm the viewers. The past few years, I believe that design has changed to being practiced mostly digitally. In my opinion, in the future people will start to practice design the old fashion way again because since Covid everyone has been using laptops, computers, and other electronic devices for so long that they’ll want to spend time away from staring at a screen to digitally practice art and design.

  3. Maria Iacono

    Thank you for the great video once again professor, cant believe it’s the last one already! My views of design have drastically changed and a lot of the readings have open and expanded my mind on what I thought design already was. There’s so many things that go into design and each reading was extremely informative. The reading about the Rhetoric of the Image was very eye opening and it’s one of the readings that really stuck out and change my perspective on design. The analysis of the graphic or ad was so in depth and it gave me insight I never thought about before. Another reading that was great was the Underground Mainstream which offered a great view on the trend of design. Because of these readings they definitely changed my view on design and made me think even more critically when looking at a graphic. Design in the recent years has changed quite a bit and the simple, smooth aesthetic has taken over. As for design in the future maybe it’ll become less cooperate looking and revert back to it’s old ways. Reverting to the underground of design instead of the mainstream!

  4. Angela Iacono

    My views on design haven’t changed but instead I became more informed about what design can be and what it actually is. Throughout the semester each reading elevated my understanding of design and helped me look at design differently by applying these theories to it. Some of the readings that stuck with me the most are The Rhetoric of the Image, the signs and symbols reading from Ferdinand De Saussure, and the reading about mainstream and underground design. I have more knowledge about design and now am able to really think about in more in depth because of certain theories we’ve read. Also, design is constantly changing and in recent years there has been very colorful but flat, simple graphics. Illustration design nowadays is mostly vector art and animation and overall is not very detailed. Design is very simple, modern, and almost boring because everyone is trying to follow those styles. I think design in the future will be more focused on detail because that is currently not very popular. I think people will get bored of the over simplistic logos and colors and choose to go for more illustrative and detailed design. However, that might cause problems universally because not everyone will be able to understand something if it’s super detailed. I think there will be a balance of details and simplicity.

  5. Simonlei

    From the 2nd week of classes to now the 13th week my understanding of design and design theory has definitely changed. Prior to the class my perception and understanding of design were design elements such as color, composition, type, etc. Now that the class is coming to a conclusion I can say that what I thought design and design theory was is just a miniscule aspect of the bigger picture. I’ve learned that design theories are ideas within a design created with an intention. The intention to appeal, create feeling and understanding. What is design today? I see design in today’s word as a mean of simplicity and efficiency. As of recent we have seen many companies who are changing their design from a very detailed look to a more simplistic quick to the point redesign. Additionally the design industry is such a saturated capitalist market companies are created daily pumping out quick and easy designs and moving on. Not to say that simple designs aren’t effective but its definitely not as detailed.

  6. Sadman Hafiz

    First of all very beneficial lecture as always professor, I’m definitely going to miss these. We have looked at many theories and different ideologies from different designers, and all of them had their own unique descriptions of design. All the readings have been extraordinary in getting me to understand different aspects of designs even better, but the two readings that amazed me the most were the ” Rhetoric of the Image” and the “Underground vs Mainstream”. Barthes’s ideologies helped me better understand and analyze advertisements and even images in general, in the past few weeks whenever I saw an interesting advertisement I tried using his ideas to see if I can figure out the message more accurately. Our Underground vs Mainstream conversations helped me learn about current mainstream designs and musics which used to be underground. I only knew about underground music trends before and learning about underground designs honestly surprised me. Overall, My definition of design have not changed but I did learn a lot which gave me more backup to support and make my definition of design even stronger. Moving forward I think that the current state of Design is very stable and as along as we can adapt to the changing environment and deliver the content that the current audience wants in a clear simple manner, Design will remain strong.

  7. Gloria Rosario

    Thank you so much for taking the time in all of your presentations to explain everything in detail and so well. I have learned a lot in this class and I have learned so much more about design, what it means why we do it and how it has changed. My opinion about design hasn’t changed much but I do understand on a deeper level now based on the readings and your explanations. Design is more than just putting some words and adding color to an image to deliver a message. Good design takes time, knowing your audience, what is the message exactly, and does making this design align with my values and who I am in this society? I think these are important questions to ask ourselves when it comes to the question, what is design? Design has changed a lot due to technological advancement and where we are heading in the world. I think that design will continue to change and move along with technology.

  8. Faye Wang

    I have learned a lot from this semester of coursework and reading. This course rebuild my understanding of design and media. Design is the process of humanizing things and information. The origin of all design comes from people’s desire to pursue a better life. Designers extend their ideas to different things in life through different media, and follow the principles of visualizing all information and people-oriented. This is the most valuable designer concept I learned in this class.

  9. Andrew Bien-Aimè

    After reading a number of papers on design and various theories over the semester, What is design in today’s world, in my opinion? Design encompasses more than just the use of colors and the visual appeal of things. Now, design to me is more than simply how it appears; it’s about the meaning of a design, its function, and the signals it sends to the audience while they’re looking at it.” Today’s designer reestablishes the long-lost connection between art and the public, between live people and art as a living thing,” writes Bruno Munari in his book Design as Art. I constantly mention this quote because I believe in this Theory and believe that Art and Design should serve a public purpose. Because it is difficult to foresee what the future holds in terms of themes and ideas, I believe design in the future will be greater than it is now. However, I feel that the future of design will be far brighter than it is now.

  10. Guen Fung

    From the beginning, I always felt that in school we are told and taught that the importance of design is to respect boundaries and keep bias thoughts out. But from the weeks of this class, it became clear that the other classes I took and was taught was not necessary wrong, but it was one way to approach design. This approach isn’t something we should be focusing on in my opinion. We are opened to explore what is right and sometimes we can be wrong too. But this is the beauty of design. You don’t always have to be in the correct hands. I believe that we all can approach something different and make interesting without too much conflicts as designers that is what we live for, without limitation and exploring the new depths.

  11. Lin Chao Chao

    For me, my thinking hasn’t changed much. Design is a language that conveys information to people. We can learn what a person thinks through his design, even though we don’t have the same language system. The design allows us to meet new friends. Good design should have positive energy and deliver good news, not negative news. Design is all about ideology because our designs can be seen everywhere, especially through the media. The information exposed in the media can change the way people think about things. Just as racism and sexism appear in advertisements, then some people will assume that the message means discrimination is true. So, what constitutes a bad design is that it conveys a negative message, or it is copied from someone else’s design. In fact, design is never good or bad. Everyone’s design is unique and has its own style. Only the impact of design on society can judge whether the design is good or bad. Designers should convey correct and positive messages in order to bring good development to society. Now we can still see a lot of bad designs. The future design may be closely related to the metaverse because the topic of the metaverse has gradually become popular in recent years.

  12. Yiqiang Wang

    I am very grateful to the professor for bringing us many wonderful videos this semester. After reading and watching the videos and articles this semester, my view on design has not changed much, but it has given me a deeper understanding of design in various periods. In my opinion, design is an art that will change with the change of thought, culture and technology. It conveys people’s ideas through elements such as image, typesetting and text.
    Whenever a new technology is born, it will have an impact on art to a certain extent. For example, after the birth of photography, designers begin to use photos more as elements in design. Another example, after the birth of computer, especially the birth of Adobe software, it is an earth shaking change for designers. The design originally made through pen and ruler began to use mouse and keyboard. I feel that the change of this design method may come soon, because the current VR technology has gradually matured, and the graphic design may develop in a three-dimensional direction. Graphic designers no longer only need to consider the plane, but should design works from multiple angles like sculptors, so that the works can have richer connotation. When the audience looks at the design works from different angles, they will see different contents, I feel that the future design may develop in this direction.

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