What defines design?

Hill is the founder of TreeHugger, an online hub for news and information related to environmental sustainability.Hailed as a "green CNN," TreeHugger hosts a constantly updated blog, newsletters, video and radio segments and a user-generated Graham site, Hugg. In the three years since its inception, TreeHugger has become one of the most high-profile and highly-trafficked sites on the internet.

Recently, Hill his been hard at work developing Planet Green with Discovery Communications. Hill has also worked in a variety of industries prior to starting TreeHugger, including fashion, web-development, and plant-based air filters. He is also a designer, and his New York souvenir coffee mug is sold in over 150 stores. Hill was educated at Carleton University in Ottawa and Emily Carr Institute of ArtDesign in Vancouver.

  • Transcript


Question: What defines good design?

Graham Hill: Design, I think you have to look at from a whole bunch of different fronts. But I think, ultimately, design is something that is looked at in a holistic manner, and that solves a problem, and ideally does it in a very efficient manner with the resources used. So it’s something that people enjoy using, and that’s really functional, and does a good job, and lasts a long time. Maybe it’s easily repaired, or certainly at the end of its life can be reused, or recycled.

So I think design is holistic. And a lot of people think of design as aesthetics. And I do think that’s an important part of things, and it shows care and the craft of something.

But I think it’s overall, it’s what problem is this solving and how does it solve it in a really smart and efficient way?


Recorded on: Oct 16, 2007