What Really Is The Purpose of Design

What’s the purpose of design?

The purpose of design is to make the world less imperfect. Look around you.

You’d notice many problems around the world.

The world is imperfect

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, there is net global warming of about 0.4°C between the 1880s and 1970s. According to Chen and Ravallion of the World Bank, at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

As you can see, the world is not perfect. And it will never be.

But let’s pause for a moment. Are there perfections in the world?

There are perfections

The sun always rises in the morning and set in the evening. Look around and you’d see the beauty of nature, plants, flowers, animals, and for some, even insects!

In my personal life, my relationship with God is growing every day through my commitment to reading the Bible daily.

In the people domain, my wife and two children are the love of my life. Every day I am experiencing and learning about my children and I am surprised by what they can do every day.

At the professional level, with emerging technology at affordable prices, the opportunities are simply abundant. What used to cost a bunch of money to build and maintain is now readily available at a cost of less than a thousand a year!

Negative to positive

What I have simply demonstrated is our ability to go from a negative perspective to a positive one. No, this is not some kind of positive talk. In fact, this is not even about positive thinking or positive mindset.

This is simply a matter of how we choose. We can choose to look for imperfections or we can choose to seek what’s already perfect in our lives. We have to choose either way, but how we choose will have an impact on our emotions, our actions, and finally our circumstances.

Acknowledge and forsake the negatives

In the Bible, the concept of confession has two elements: acknowledgement of wrong conduct and forsaking that conduct. In the book of Ezra, we see a situation that demanded both acknowledging (“We have been unfaithful,” Ezra 10:2) and forsaking (“separate yourselves,” Ezra 10:11).

To see the world from a positive perspective, you must take these two steps:

  1. acknowledging that focusing on negatives and imperfections is self-defeating and destructive and
  2. resolve to forsake negative thoughts.

How to seek out the positive

Next, in all situations you must seek out the positives.

One way to do this is to ask this question: what’s great about this? Continue asking “what’s great about this” until you manage to find a positive angle of the situation.

Admittedly, this can be difficult in extreme challenging situations. Asking, “what’s great about this” during a time when you are broke and broken could really be a tough one.

Look for the best in situations, people, and the world

This approach is backed up by the idea of “a positive revolution” first put forth by David L. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney called Appreciative Inquiry (“AI”) , where:


  1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems
  2. to increase in value, e.g. the economy has appreciated in value.


  1. the act of exploration and discovery.
  2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities.

The AI model centers around four stages:

  • Discovery: Identification of what gives life
  • Dream: Envisioning of what could be
  • Design: Determining of what will be
  • Destiny: Implementation of what is.

Purpose of design

Now, let’s review the original question: What’s the purpose of design?

  • The purpose of design is to make the world a more beautiful place.
  • The purpose of design is to enhance the quality of our lives.
  • The purpose is to design a better life.

Your turn

Choose the positives as the focus of your life.