In one of my classes we used the phrase "design based" for work that did not
have a conceptual intent. If art wasn't "design based" then the artist started
out with an idea or concept that he or she was trying to express or question.
This distinction was only made for the purpose of critique- so the students
would direct their comments to the effectiveness of the design composition or
to the effectiveness of the expression. I kind of think it is a false
distinction (or maybe only a distinction in the artist's mind), because most
artwork can be read either way.
>I am having a heck of a hard time defining what "design" is as opposed to
>being a "painting" or a "drawing." I, personally, can say what a
>design-based artwork is, but am having a hard time articulating that to my
>students. I need a sounding board -- here is my idea: "Design" is
>strictly based on the "Elements," i.e. line, shape, form, texture, value,
>color, and space. It is less about artistic expression than the
>organization of these elements.
>Please share any thoughts you may have!
Visual Art Studies
University of Texas at Austin