Design Education – Objectivity is the prime hypothesis of design. Any design is subjected to multiple architectural perceptions of various disciples, making it subjective. However, an ideal design should be quantified to attain objectivity. Design is an evolution of art. The major difference between the two is perspective. The expression factor is extracted and then incorporated into the design. The design is more towards the schematic approach whereas art has more liberal influence.

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theo van doesburd-cafe l’aubette_©Wikimedia user Claude Truong-Ngoc

“We speak of concrete and not abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, a color, a surface.” – Theo van Doesburg

This line guides the path to the De Stijl movement, a revolutionary art movement that emphasized pure form, color, and realism. The movement is strongly principled around “the transformative power of art”.

“The good design”-subjective or objective;

A design is an assimilation of subjective procedures, once a design challenges all the emotional aspects it becomes objective. Hence this makes subjectivity the very procedure to achieve that objectivity of design. “Good” design should inculcate all the opinions and should incorporate that into its functionalism. Designs aren’t wrong or right, which is regulated by their very principle and concept. That’s why the conceptualization of design is the first building step toward attaining objectivity. But it is difficult to rule out that each designer brings their skills and sets of underrating which makes their style unique, this difference of skills is much seen in conceptualization and approach to initiate a series of events that lead to the final design. 

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Equality vs Equity_©

What the objectivity of design focuses on is its ability to work. If a design is functional and workable then it rules out subjectivity. The objectivity of design does not believe in a similar method. It believes in rationalizing the end product. This is similar to the difference between equality and equity. 

The subjectivity of design education

The design education system subjects the student to a world of perception. Here the subjectivity of design is used as a course to shape one’s perception. While getting vulnerable to a zillion opinions one learns to define one for their own, That’s where the course of architecture changes. That’s why design through the years, despite similar courses, ended up with varying forms. Design acts like a vessel that has the freedom to inculcate various perceptions and ethnicity.

Design in the true sense is an amalgamation of objective and subjective aspects. The tangible and the intangible sources together define the identity that unfolds when experienced. Only in the pleasantness, and the best of simplicity, a designer unfolds its potential. On a broad note, we can put things in a trail of thoughts, i.e Architecture is objective whereas design is subjective.

On rooting deeper into the topic, Architecture is gilded by various support elements known as codes and laws. Each space like its own identity and ethnicity has a specific format of codes. for example the Indian architecture style ie. the Dravidian style evolved out of historic events and religious encounters. On the other hand, the baroque style was born out of the situation. To show power and represent the status of churches in society style came into play.

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Meenakshi temple_©145/martin Harvey/ocean/Corbis
Brihadeeswarar Temple details_ © Powered by YOGA’S

Both the architecture style have a unique identity and purpose of origin, which was shaped by nearby surroundings. The material and construction technique was of their native place but what made them different was the conceptualization and the purpose of origin

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Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles_ ©hitory of unexpected

 Now, these codes are the assessment of the bare minimum which makes all designs objective at a particular stage in the project, but beyond that, it is known for its creativity and uniqueness factor which makes it lean toward subjectivity. Hence design and architecture are assimilations of objectivity and subjectivity. 

Hence, Design education is not subjective, no matter how complex it may be It could be stated that design itself is subjected to various modulations and its output is objective. Design is a process-oriented exercise, to make it successful one must test it under various circumstances. Following art is subjective but the design that incorporates art should not be objective. 

One must also focus on the fact that design is inherently objective because it exists to solve real-world problems. Instead of concluding that design is subjective, one should be more concerned with how we treat design objectively. Designing a solution is easy, but if you want to design the best solution, you should be willing to do more. This suggests that there is a ‘level of objectivity that can be achieved in the design.

References :

‘Design Process: Is It Objective or Subjective?’ Toptal Design Blog, Accessed 23 Aug. 2022.

The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles Palace. Histories Of The Unexpected. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2022, from 

Anon, 2021. Brihadeeswarar Temple – Thanjavur Info: Thanjavur’s no. 1 local directory website. Thanjavur Info | Thanjavur’s No. 1 Local Directory Website. Available at: [Accessed August 23, 2022]. 


Jasmeen kaur is best described as an inquisitive individual, who perceives architecture as an amalgamation of tangible and intangible aspects. The architecture, as a whole, is just like a riddle, with its segments lost in the perceptions of the classical and the contemporary era.