Design is the set of conscious choices involved in making most anything that will be presented to the self or others for interpretation. It is a main component in the making of many artforms.

A design or BIBD (Balanced Incomplete Block Design) with parameters (v, k, lambda, r, b) is an incidence system (the name 'Design' comes from the original use of these combinatorial structures in the design of industrial and agricultural experiments) in which a set of v 'points' is partitioned into b 'blocks' in such a way that any two points determine lamda blocks. There are k points in every block, and each point is contained in r different blocks. In a more general form, a t-Design (with t > 2) has the property that any t points determine lambda blocks.

The prototypical example of a design is the projective space of dimension 2 over GF(2) aka the Fano plane, which is a design with parameters (v=7, k=3, lambda=1, r=3 and b=7) this is also an example of a symmetric design and a Steiner triple system.

--back to combinatorics--
design- is a noun prefix in Dutch meaning 'modern looking, trendy and expensive'.

For instance, designmeubels ('design furniture') means 'modern looking, trendy, expensive furniture'.

This prefix is a particular use of the noun design, a loan word from English, which means 'interior design'. As such it is a synonym for the older term, binnenhuisarchitectuur (lit. 'inner house architecture', but, like most English loan words for which Dutch synonyms exist, design is the more trendy word to use.

The Dutch translation of 'design', incidentally, is ontwerp.


The forth stage of the classical six stage systems analysis model.

v. de·signed, de·sign·ing, de·signs
v. tr.

    1. To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent: design a good excuse for not attending the conference.
    2. To formulate a plan for; devise: designed a marketing strategy for the new product.
  2. To plan out in systematic, usually graphic form: design a building; design a computer program.
  3. To create or contrive for a particular purpose or effect: a game designed to appeal to all ages.
  4. To have as a goal or purpose; intend.
  5. To create or execute in an artistic or highly skilled manner.

This is the stage of the systems analysis cycle where all the work so far is finally pulled into one cohesive blueprint. Often a report is created summarising and listing documents and findings from the previous stages.  This will act as a “target” for the systems design to focus in on.

What is created is not an image or map of the final product but a highly detailed plan.  This purposeful and deliberate arrangement of known details and requirements into a solution that fully expresses the investigative work of the preceding stages results in a clear step-by-step guide for the creation of the final product.

If each of the preceding phases have been completed to the highest levels of skill then this stage is likely to be virtually self-completing.  All questions of need, layout, look and feel, access rights, training, systems requirements, speed and every other detail down to the level of choice of one word over another should have been answered by the in depth investigations.

Here charts are created and every aspect of the new system is fully codified.  For the first time an over view is available of the system at a depth deeper than the feasibility study report results.  Now the how is dealt with.  This stage deals only with preparation for the implementation stage.

Consideration of the following points is vital:

  • Time scale and time management systems
  • Who will be doing which part of the implementation?
  • Which users will be using what?
  • Which members of the analysis team will require access to the various notes – duplicates may be required to be stored in a common location.

Once the requirements of this stage have been met, namely the codification of the final product or solution, then work can proceed on the next stage: Implementation.

Classical Model of Systems analysis.  AKA the System Life Cycle

  1. Project Selection
  2. Feasibility Study
  3. Definition
  4. Design
  5. implementation
  6. Evaluation

De*sign" , Designate.]


To draw preliminary outline or main features of; to sketch for a pattern or model; to delineate; to trace out; to draw.



To mark out and exhibit; to designate; to indicate; to show; to point out; to appoint.

We shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.

Meet me to-morrow where the master
And this fraternity shall design.
Beau. & Fl.


To create or produce, as a work of art; to form a plan or scheme of; to form in idea; to invent; to project; to lay out in the mind; as, a man designs an essay, a poem, a statue, or a cathedral.


To intend or purpose; -- usually with for before the remote object, but sometimes with to.

Ask of politicians the end for which laws were originally designed.

He was designed to the study of the law.

Syn. -- To sketch; plan; purpose; intend; propose; project; mean.

© Webster 1913.

De*sign", v. i.

To form a design or designs; to plan.

Design for, to intend to go to. [Obs.] "From this city she designed for Collin [Cologne]."


© Webster 1913.

De*sign" (?), n. [Cf. dessein, dessin.]


A preliminary sketch; an outline or pattern of the main features of something to be executed, as of a picture, a building, or a decoration; a delineation; a plan.


A plan or scheme formed in the mind of something to be done; preliminary conception; idea intended to be expressed in a visible form or carried into action; intention; purpose; -- often used in a bad sense for evil intention or purpose; scheme; plot.

The vast design and purpos of the King.

The leaders of that assembly who withstood the designs of a besotted woman.

A . . . settled design upon another man's life.

How little he could guess the secret designs of the court!


Specifically, intention or purpose as revealed or inferred from the adaptation of means to an end; as, the argument from design.


The realization of an inventive or decorative plan; esp., a work of decorative art considered as a new creation; conception or plan shown in completed work; as, this carved panel is a fine design, or of a fine design.

5. Mus.

The invention and conduct of the subject; the disposition of every part, and the general order of the whole.

Arts of design, those into which the designing of artistic forms and figures enters as a principal part, as architecture, painting, engraving, sculpture. -- School of design, one in which are taught the invention and delineation of artistic or decorative figures, patterns, and the like.

Syn. -- Intention; purpose; scheme; project; plan; idea. -- Design, Intention, Purpose. Design has reference to something definitely aimed at. Intention points to the feelings or desires with which a thing is sought. Purpose has reference to a settled choice or determination for its attainment. "I had no design to injure you," means it was no part of my aim or object. "I had no intention to injure you," means, I had no wish or desire of that kind. "My purpose was directly the reverse," makes the case still stronger.

Is he a prudent man . . . that lays designs only for a day, without any prospect to the remaining part of his life?

I wish others the same intention, and greater successes.
Sir W. Temple.

It is the purpose that makes strong the vow.

© Webster 1913.

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