Simply put, design is an attempt to better the human experience.

Design is more though.

Design is a viewpoint. A passion. A way of being, and a way and seeing.

Design is problem solving. It makes life better for anyone involved – the designer, the manufacturer, the retailer, the user.

Everything that woman and man have created was designed.  Decisions were made as to the function and the form, the materiality, the cost. Question these.

Design is intent. Design is an eternal search for answers.

Design is form and function. Art and science. Qualitative and quantitative.

The two most important skills for a designer to possess – and practice and grow and practice and grow and practice – are awareness and empathy.

Designers must invest themselves in their surroundings and their fellow humans.

Designers must experience life, and then contemplate those experiences fully. This inspires creativity.

As the late Steve Jobs said:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didnt really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. Thats because they were able to connect experiences theyve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that theyve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.” 

Design is respect for the past – knowledge of the past – with an eye for the future.

“Whoever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?”

-Charles Eames

Pleasure is a universal goal of all humans. Nothing is better than pure laughter, pure joy, pure pleasure.

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they’d of said a faster horse.” 

-Henry Ford

Designers can’t rely on user groups to provide the answers. Designers are the trendsetters, the innovators, the purveyors of cool.

“We choose…to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”


Designing timeless, culturally relevant products is incredibly difficult. Designers see challenges/problems/parameters as opportunities. They do not shy away from potential failure, as they understand failure is growth. Challenge is experience that leads to introspection that leads to creativity.

Design is human. It has always been and will always be relevant. It is adaptable, transcending perceptions to provide use and resolve problems.

Design empowers.

Design manifests.

Design is.

–Tim Karoleff

Tim is all about the woods. And mountains. He had the great opportunity to learn about design from some geniuses and now he puts that knowledge to work, both creating for Ampersand and teaching product design at the University of Cincinnati. His best friends are trees.


See his work at

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