Is 'design' the same as 'decoration'?

Simply, design is not decoration.

Design is a formal discipline that encompasses a thoughtful, methodical, targeted approach to crafting human experiences within a space. It requires specialized skill sets, a broad understanding of human psychology and human behavior, and a high degree of empathy.

In the hands of a designer, art is part of their design vocabulary. It's not about utilizing art simply to make things look pretty, or selecting a particular piece because it matches the upholstery. Instead a designer focuses on the emotional or experiential story that needs to be told, and then uses art to evoke and help tell that story.

In a healthcare setting, that design story will likely be one of hope, renewal, healing, and reassurance. It may also need to be a story that seems immediately familiar, welcoming, and calming. It's the designer's goal to mitigate and dispel feelings of anxiety, disorientation, and pain. Instead, they work to create reflections of wellness and well-being.

In an office setting, that design story might be one of motivation, energy, and progress. In education, growth and discovery. In government, duty, focus, and service.

At the end of the day, a designer is a storyteller whose focus is not on picking complimentary colors and fun patterns. A designer's focus is on infusing a space with desired emotions, and crafting opportunities for human beings to connect with those emotions.

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