When it comes to the biggest difference between art and design, the idea of art for art’s sake might be an appropriate perspective to distinct art from design.
L'art pour l'art
Art for art’s sake. Regardless the value of art works, the function of moral and didacticism, the illumination of meaning or the promotion of ideas. Not for God, not for kings, not for the world or even for yourself. A poem written solely for the poems’ sake and a painting paint for painting’s sake, this is the purest and noblest form of art, and the most empty and empty existence. Art is private, is to communicate with oneself, with nature, with the universe, or not to. Art needs no reason.
The meaning of art is the creation of art itself. So art is so lonely, art is "useless", therefore, art is free. Regardless the commercial quality of art today, nor explore any function of art from any sort of forms, spiritually or materially. In this case, art will be far away for both the creators and the audience.
Design has to be close
In order to solve problems, to satisfy the needs, to create desires, to stimulate imagination, and to affect emotions, the line between design and art may be somewhat blurry in terms of function. However, the “noblest” art need not to be seen, but design must have a receiver. Even if it is the creator himself, once the user exists, it has narrowed the distance between the creation and the others.
Design must have a purpose. Design “for”. Design is created for “what”. Even if the creator is designing for himself, the design is made for a certain purpose. Therefore, the design has to be close. Observing, thinking, and experiencing in the position of the other. Design perceives, speculates and predicts; close to the creator, close to the user, close to the rules and principles, close to the environment, close to the heart and to the mind.
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