What is “Design”?

Brownstones in New York City“You know those gorgeous old brownstones in New York City? With the elaborate carvings, gargoyles, and beautiful iron fences? Well, if you dig up the old architectural plans, the architect would often just write something like “beautiful fretwork” on the drawing, and leave it up to the artisan, the old craftsman from Italy to come up with something, fully expecting that it will be beautiful.

“That’s not design. That’s decoration.”

Great Design: What is Design? (First draft).

About the author.

I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.