The key to social artifacts is to direct the focus toward the Big Idea rather than aesthetics and form. If we cannot design for the Big Idea, the next best thing is to design for the Event. Failing that, design for the Experience.

For Manu, design is a relationship of purpose. A product is designed for its relationship with the Experience in the context of the Event for the purpose of the Big Idea.

The Conceptual Framework is a critical item of equal importance to the Big Idea. It is the placement of the artifact in a defined Context. The Context can be of different natures; a particular sort of work for which a tool has to be designed, or a particular cycle of events in which the object plays a role.

The Big Idea is the social happening or human invention that the artifacts is intended to serve. The Conceptual Framework and the Big Idea are interdependent; they are the two most important issues in design. Together they form the Context into which a good designer places the design outcome.

November 1998
Published by the Danish Design Center, Copenhagen.
ISBN 87-87385-92-9
© All Rights Reserved, Alexander Manu 2019
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