“The magic of design” and the logic of design are inextricably related, for the seemingly magical freedom in the design process is exercised only in the presence of logical constraints.
We speak of the miracle of flight, but we can fly because such designers as the Wright Brothers, and Paul McCready learned something about aerodynamics and the behavior of materials in a material world.
The standard constraints in professional design include deadline, budget, distribution, materials, production processes, and corporate politics. At any given time, we may resent any one of them. If only they didn’t need it by Thursday… If only the budget would allow more color… If only it could be produced at lower temperatures… If only they didn’t have to fit into containers… If only there wasn’t so much explanatory copy… If only it didn’t have to be approved by a committee.
Those constraints are what the designer pushes against to shape the project. Designers need to know where the stops are, then figure out how to work within and through them elegantly.
-Ralph Caplan, Cracking the Whip
…in the chair you designed: