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Submitted on
March 21, 2005


2,430 (2 today)
I was at the bookstore this afternoon. I was just browsing when I came upon the art section. For some reason, architecture and design (interior, fashion, graphic, etc.) books were also there. I pondered on this afterwards. I am an interior designer by profession and all I can say is that they are different. The two are very closely related, crossing each other's territory even, but different nonetheless. In my opinion, there are two factors differentiating the two – money and function.

Being an interior designer, I have to please my clients by adjusting my designs to their tastes. Sometimes, no matter how much I dislike my clients' visions, I have to make them [the visions] come true because I am paid to do so. All I can do is give them suggestions, since interior design is a profession dealing with designing of residential or commercial interiors customized to suit the budget and needs of the user(s) and the function of the project without sacrificing its aesthetic beauty, which can be achieved through thorough research and analysis, careful planning, considerate and practical selection of resources, and accurate implementation. What am I trying to say? In short, design, unlike art, is driven by money.

In art, the artist usually doesn't care whether or not he or she sells his or her work. As long as he or she expresses himself or herself in the artwork, everything is just fine. If the artist gets commissioned, however, it is still considered art, but if the client dictates to the artist what the artwork should look like, then it is considered design.

Now, to be able to sell your design, it must have the function your client needs. In interior design and architecture, we usually follow Louis Sullivan's dictum, "form follows function." For example, if I were hired to design a café, I wouldn't make it look like a library. Unlike art, design must always be practical and must always fit the requirements of the client as they are paying you to comply with them [requirements].

Let me summarize the last four paragraphs. Money + Function = Design; Freedom of Self Expression = Art.

What I just wrote above is just my opinion on this… issue. Just in case you have any comments on it, I would be more than willing to listen. =)

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RedAces93 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Hey I'm doing a paper about this debate (I'm a soph in college) for a class I'm taking... I'm majoring in art. And my professor is using this page as a good opinion example for our class to use :)
chaoskuo Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
I don't totally agree with you. I have my own opinion for the question about the difference between art and design.

Many people can find the difference between art and design but I think it's just a process in the history and it is changing and we should try to realize this kind of change.

Firstly, I think the most improtant thing should not be what is art and what is design.Both the art history and design history are still developing and actually we don't known what is art and what is design(at least I think so when I consider very carefully about this issue).

Secondly, I think what is art and design depends on the artists and the designers and I think no one will doubt that both the artists and the designers belong to the human.

So, the key point is what kind of a person one should be. I think all the developing process of the human-being's history is a process of the construction of humanity.

I think what is the real humanity is a key issue that the research purpose of both art and design want to known.

Everyone's real humanity should be completely equal and it should not just care about itself and also should not just follow the other's request. It should alway try to looking for the truth and always try to help the others to achieve the goal of the truth.

Art and design have become more and more indistinguishable when we have a look at the contemporary art history and design history(art and design after 1945)and our reality nowadays.The Definition of art and design are changing.

We should change the things which should be changed.

The artists should not just simply express themselves, their expression should also based on more social responsibilities.

The designers should not just serve for the clients whatever they want. They should also keep their independent role. Don't work with an asshole and don't become a craftman without any independent thinking ability.

A kind of role as the combinition of artists and designers should be a more contemporay way today.

I imagine that there will be no boundaries between art and design, between artists and designers in the future,which will be a more brightfull world. All of the so-called money and functions should work for the highest ideal.

I think my imagination could be realized as long as no one will learn to become an asshole and no one will continue to connive the assholes anymore.
asiantuntija Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2005
Never actually thought about this but you have very good points here. Design is always done in terms of the client's desire.
Good thinking.
deliriousoracle Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2005
Thanks. :aww:
Josh Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that you can probably say that design = art, but art does not necessarily = design. There is an art to just about everything, and design is the adjustment of your creative vision to match a client's tastes/needs/wants.

There are designers however who are paid to design based solely on their own vision ... and in that case design does equal art.

I guess it's all in how you qualify the question. =)
Josh Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
errr ... see ... I confused myself.

... and in that case design does equal art. That should be and in that case art does equal design. =D
Morgana17 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree with your comment, Delirious... The design is motivated by another person and Art is a personal work... I think this too...
deliriousoracle Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2005
Yay! :hug:
redpilldeath Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2005
i interior designing u have to follow ur client's mater how lame they are....and in art.....u can do anything u need to wory abt wat other people think abt it..but usually....most people don't appreciate you artwork...not until you're dead....example like those leonardo da vinci....mozart(although he's in music but is also an art right?)
deliriousoracle Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2005
I agree with you on that. =) It is very hard to be popular on art alone... when you are still alive that is. Really weird and unfair. Vincent van Gogh, for example, was only able to sell only one piece of his artwork in his whole lifetime. When he died... well, let us just say that he has his own museum now. =)

Yup! Music, Dancing, Acting, Cooking... anything that requires skill is considered an art. =)
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