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D e s i g n

A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process. The verb to design expresses the process of developing a design. In some cases, the direct construction of an object without an explicit prior plan (such as in craftwork, some engineering, coding, and graphic design) may also be considered to be a design activity. The design usually has to satisfy certain goals and constraints, may take into account aesthetic, functional, economic, or socio-political considerations, and is expected to interact with a certain environment. Major examples of designs include architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns.

The person who produces a design is called a designer, which is a term generally used for people who work professionally in one of the various design areas - usually specifying which area is being dealt with (such as a textile designer, fashion designer, product designer, concept designer, web designer (website designer) or interior designer), but also others such as architects and engineers. A designer's sequence of activities is called a design process, possibly using design methods. The process of creating a design can be brief (a quick sketch) or lengthy and complicated, involving considerable research, negotiation, reflection, modeling, interactive adjustment and re-design. Read more... (full article...)

S e l e c t e d   a r t i c l e

1965 Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle (officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in Germany the Volkswagen Käfer and in the U.S. as Volkswagen Bug) is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engine economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.

The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, were formulated by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for the new road network of his country. Hitler contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build it. Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design. The influence on Porsche's design of other contemporary cars, such as the Tatra V570 and the work of Josef Ganz remains a subject of dispute. The result was one of the first rear-engined cars since the Brass Era. With 21,529,464 produced, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made.

Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only produced in significant numbers from 1945 on (mass production had been put on hold during the Second World War) when the model was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, and marketed simply as the Volkswagen (or "People's Car"). Later models were designated Volkswagen 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement, the latter two derived from the type number. The model became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle") and was later marketed as such in Germany, and as the Volkswagen in other countries. For example, in France it was known as the Coccinelle (French for ladybird/ladybug)

The original 25 hp Beetle was designed for a top speed around 50 mph (80 km/h), which would be a minimal but viable speed on the Reichsautobahn system. As Autobahn speeds increased in the postwar years, its output was boosted to 36, then 40 hp, the configuration that lasted through 1966 and became the "classic" Volkswagen motor. The Beetle ultimately gave rise to variants, including the Karmann Ghia and Type 2. The Beetle marked a significant trend, led by Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault, whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956. The 1948 Citroën 2CV and other European models marked a later trend to front-wheel drive in the European small car market, a trend that would come to dominate that market. In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf model succeeded the Beetle. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, and in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the contemporary Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1.

In the 1999 Car of the Century competition, to determine the world's most influential car in the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.

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R e c o g n i z e d  C o n t e n t

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Alvar Aalto • Eero Aarnio • Jacques Adnet • Hans Peter Aglassinger • Ron Arad • Gae Aulenti • Milo Baughman • Mario Bellini • Yves Béhar • Lina Bo Bardi • Ernest Boiceau  • Mario Botta • Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec • Marcel Breuer • Josef Müller-Brockmann • Achille Castiglioni • Pierre Chapo • Pierre Chareau • Joe Colombo • Terence Conran


Robin Day • Christian Dell • Donald Deskey • Niels Diffrient • Nanna Ditzel • Tom Dixon • Joe Doucet • Henry Dreyfuss • Johanna Drucker • James Dyson • Mark Dziersk • Charles Eames • Ray Eames • Preben Fabricius • Norman Foster • Paul T. Frankl


Eugène Gaillard • Vinod Gangotra • Milton Glaser • Eileen Gray • April Greiman • Hector Guimard • Frank Gehry • Michael Graves • Zaha Hadid • Paul Hatch • Poul Henningsen • Josef Hoffmann • Hans Hollein • Toyo Ito • Jonathan Ive


Arne Jacobsen • Grete Jalk • Charles Jencks • Charles Kaisin • Tibor Kalman • Dennis L. Kappen • Poul Kjærholm • Manfred Kielnhofer • Florence Knoll • Shiro Kuramata • Le Corbusier • Jules Leleu • David Lewis • Raymond Loewy • Ross Lovegrove • Greg Lynn


Charles Rennie Mackintosh • Vico Magistretti • Sam Maloof • André Mare • Enzo Mari • Bruno Mathsson • Ingo Maurer • Paul McCobb • Katherine McCoy • Richard Meier • Alessandro Mendini • Ito Morabito • Jasper Morrison • Olivier Mourgue • Paola Navone, • Nolen Niu, • George Nelson • Marc Newson • Isamu Noguchi • Jean Nouvel • Frank Nuovo •


Satyendra Pakhale • Verner Panton • Charlotte Perriand • Gaetano Pesce • Charles Pelly • Giò Ponti • Ferdinand Alexander Porsche • Jean Prouvé • Dieter Rams • Paul Rand • Gerrit Rietveld • David Rowland • Aldo Rossi


Eero Saarinen • Richard Sapper • Maarten van Severen • Hans Erich Slany • Ettore Sottsass • Philippe Starck • Roger Tallon • Michael Thonet • Edward Tufte • Patricia Urquiola


Robert Venturi • Jonas Vollmer • Hans Wegner • Russel Wright • Marco Zanuso • Peter Zumthor


Alessi • Apple Inc. • Artek • Artemide • Bang & Olufsen • Braun • Cappellini • Cassina • Ekornes • Herman Miller • IDEO • IKEA • Iittala • Kartell • Knoll • Staples • Roche Bobois • Vitra • Vitsoe • Future Systems • MVRDV • SANAA • TEAMS Design

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Aalto Vase • iMac • Juicy Salif (1990, Philippe Starck) • Tizio lamp • Noguchi table (1947, Isamu Noguchi)

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Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou • Guggenheim Museum • Unité d'Habitation • Cité Radieuse de Rezé • Architecture corbuséenne • Architectural history • Fallingwater • Villa Savoye

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chairs and sofas

Wassily Chair • Brno Chair • Butterfly chair  •Red and Blue Chair • Tugendhat chair • Windsor Chair • Eames Lounge Chair Wood (1945, Charles Eames & Ray Eames) • La Chaise (1948, Charles Eames & Ray Eames) • Eames Lounge Chair (1956, Charles & Ray Eames) • Panton Chair (1959, Verner Panton) • Egg (chair) • Tulip Chair • Barcelona Chair • Paimio Chair (1932, Alvar Aalto)• 40/4 Chair (1967, David Rowland)

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Systems furniture • Hotel design • Office landscape • cubicle

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Decorative arts

Arts and Crafts • Folk art • Art Nouveau • Victoriana • Woodworking

Wall coverings

Mural • Tapestry • Fresco painting • Graffiti


Glass • Leather • Weaving • Ceramics

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Frumuseni mosaics • Pietra dura • Tile

W o r l d   o f   d e s i g n


Art nouveau • Art déco • Bauhaus • Memphis Group • List of notable industrial designers


Art Center College of Design • Rhode Island School of Design • École Nissim de Camondo • The Designers Republic


Architectural design • Interaction design • Digital design • Industrial design • Eco-designMaterials • Consumer goods • Processes • Sensory design


German Design Award • Apple Design Awards • Compasso d'Oro • Design Museum's Designer of the Year • Good Design Award (Chicago) • Good Design Award (Japan) • Royal Designers for Industry


MoMA • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris • Vitra Design Museum • Design Museum Holon




Aeronautics • Automotive design • Naval architecture

R e l a t e d   p o r t a l s

A s s o c i a t e d   W i k i m e d i a   p r o j e c t s

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