A Study on the Design Definition based on the Functions of the Visual Form

Choi, A. Y. (2005). A Study of the Design Definition based on the Functions of the Visual Form. Journal of Basic Design & Art, 6-3, 111-121.

Korean Society of Basic Design & Art (KSBDA)


In contemporary cultural society, we are living in the age of information and globalization where the word ‘Design’ is not a buzzword, but it is an everyday word. And the Design becomes a method for a person to represent one’s self-image. The origin of the word ‘Design’ is from the Greek word ‘ Designare,’ and its meaning is ‘mark out.’ Many scholars and dictionaries prescribe its meaning to the action. Also, the meaning of design becomes unclear throughout the ages and according to the ages. This evidence indicates that the word ‘Design’ is becoming too popular with culture and people, both a sender and a receiver, are unconsciously use it without knowing its appropriate meaning.

Therefore, this study defines ‘Design’ by exemplifying an etymological review of the word ‘Form’ (the final result of the design). By analyzing the relationship between an analysis of Vitruvius (a Roman architect) and the definition of the form, this research defined three basic elements for the ‘Design’: Style, Aesthetic, and Concept. These three elements categorized into two general definitions: explicit and implicit. The result of the study, new design definition, and fundamental elements will benefit the design education and design profession in further research on design education and practice. 

Keywords: Aesthetic, Concept, Design, Style

Categorization by design characteristics

Problem-solving Methods for Concepts