There are almost as many definitions of design as there are designers. For example, we can read that design is ‘a goal-directed problem-solving activity’ (Archer 1964), ‘a creative activity [which] involves bringing into being something new and useful that has not existed previously’ (Reswick 1965), ‘the imaginative jump from present facts to future possibilities’ (Page 1966), ‘the human power to conceive, plan, and realize products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of any individual or collective purpose’ (Buchanan 2001), and so on (see Hubka and Eder [1996] for a review of definitions of design). Rather than try to produce a new or composite definition here, we prefer to highlight some recurrent, central elements that appear to characterize design across disciplines.