It’s a jarring realization when you look around, and notice that every single item in this world has been designed. Sweatshirts, hamburgers, computers, buildings, streets, clocks and everything else we see has been designed at one point to serve a purpose.
There are a lot of different definitions of “design”, but I feel that in our discipline, as engineers, design is most accurately described as,” a rational, logical, sequential process intended to solve problems”. -(from http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/trinity/watdes.html)
For us, design is, essentially, creative problem solving. This definition could technically apply to other areas of design, such as interior design, or graphic design, but we as engineers embrace the notion of problem solving first and foremost.
An artist’s canvas begins blank, and has, theoretically, an infinite amount of different ways to arrange paint to create a final project. As engineers, our design is subject to a constraint. We are free to be as creative as we’d like, but, our design has to work to accomplish some final goal. Some designs work better than others, and that is all subject to the situation at hand.