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It has different meanings for different people. According to Hamilton, ‘design has the dual purpose of solving functional problems, and improving the look or feel of the product through style, decoration or embellishment.’ (Hamilton, 2011:62). Hamilton discounts consumerism as an element of design and argues that design is not created keeping in mind the consumer but is created keeping in mind the aesthetics of the product. Thus, according to Hamilton, practical common use objects such as duct tapes are not designed products.
Hamilton believes that design, without the above mentioned two elements cannot be considered as design. Design needs to have a functional purpose; such as the purpose accomplished by hair dryers. A hair dryer can be considered as a design but for it to be considered as design; it should be aesthetically pleasing as well. As such, industrial machines that are bulky and are not meant to be beautiful cannot be categorized as design in the mind of Hamilton. However, one can argue against this claim put forward by Hamilton. It is not always that design is beautiful or aesthetically pleasing. If this was so, posters of Dada Art would not be considered design and should not be taught as part of the design curriculum.
Similarly, a beautiful piece of art is not design if it is useless. Design should be created as a result of problem solving. A piece that has only aesthetic element would not be design in the view of Hamilton. Hamilton, in his article, also sheds light on the opinion of Pye who held the view that adding beauty to an object is useless work. According to Pye, aesthetics is useless work and actually detracts from the whole purpose of the object.
Another claim put forward by Hamilton in his text is that design is not a response of what the consumer needs. Here Hamilton gives the example of goods that are not mass produced and where created purely for the purpose of solving problems or to apply to already
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