A short introduction to Materials.
A quick web search for the etymology of design will throw up definitions that are a lot broader than the hipsterish cartoon that often lurks behind both the image above and the designation ‘professional designer’. Translated from Middle French into English, design is defined as “a scheme or plan in the mind”. It is also variously defined as “to mark out, choose, designate, appoint” or to make “an identifying mark”. From the Latin we get something approaching “to make or shape”. Design is a broader concept than whatever is conjured up by 'professional designer' and neither is it only a mere synonym for graphic designer (a common enough misconception).
If design is more broadly defined as the arrangement of various types of materials to various ends, whether these materials are generated by the designer or selected, then we should realise that alongside graphic design there exists a whole range of design disciplines such as user interaction (UI) design, user-experience (UX) design, sound-design (either as music or as environmental sound-design), frontend web app development, database design (database schemas), backend web app development, web design, fashion design, interior design, 3-dimensional product design, typographical design, publication design, etc. Writing is also a form of design (the material of which is obviously the arrangement of words) whether that be fictional/non-fictional, poetic, academic, technical or instructional.
Sometimes these different design realms are more or less siloed off in design journals and publications but Materials is interested in all of them together and we are also particularly interested in them from the point of view of the practice of them.