Design history

27 Nov 2023

Design history articulates a series of significant reflections about the way in which humanity manifests itself in cultural, aesthetic, and ideological terms. Designs have changed our way of living and being in the world. Discover in this post the story of design and the future perspectives of this discipline, as well as some key points about Elisava’s Undergraduate Degree in Design.

The birth of design

Design is a discipline that has been part of humanity’s history since its origins. Design history starts during Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and the Middle Ages. Design has always been present in all aspects of daily life. Present in construction elements, clothing, and even in day-to-day objects such as jewels, domestic furnishings, art, and literature, amongst others. But, during these initial historical periods, design was not known as “design” but as a craftwork, a unique and manual way, of creation. Requiring meticulous manual work and development knowledge that only groups of the population specialized in the discipline could reach.

The evolution of design

With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution at the beginning of the 19th century changed this. It was not necessary to create handcrafted objects manually anymore, now it was possible to create a large number of equal pieces by serial production with the help of machines. This phenomenon reached its highest expression with the arrival of Fordism in production methods, where efficiency in the production process took precedence towards the creative resolution of an object or product.

Serial creation led to a new need for the population regarding objects, the need to own products, and objects that had an apex of distinctions, of originality. It was not until this point in history that the concept of “design” as we understand it today is beginning to be formed.

Studying design, a clear option for the future

There are very good reasons to study design. The most obvious one is its employment projection. The world is not a finished object, its transformation is constant which means that it is always necessary to design it. Regardless of the branch, communicating ideas, shaping new utensils, accommodating new types of spaces, adapting technology to serve our needs, we will always need designers concerned with making our environment a more habitable place.

On the other hand, on a more experiental level, of personal growth and broadening of knowledge, design studios offer a particular way of engaging with the future of the planet. Without renouncing theoretical speculation, they are a form of knowledge centred on pure doing. Looking at the world as a project in constant transformation that can always be improved.

For all these reasons, studying a Design Degree is a clear option for the future. At Elisava we provide you with all the tools you need to become a designer capable of solving problems and satisfying needs in the relationship between individuals and their environment, as well as using design as a tool for reflection and social positioning. If you would like more information about our design studies, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be delighted to help you!

If you want to know more about where to study design in Spain, do not hesitate to take a look at our previous post in the blog.

Article by Dr. Ramon Faura, Social and Experimental Sciences Area Coordinator.