An attempt to deconstruct what ‘good’ means

A few years ago someone asked me the simple question of how I define good design. As a professional designer, you might think this is a simple question with a straightforward answer, right?

Wrong. I cringed as I struggled to string a few vague words together in a poor attempt at an answer. What became clear to me, and the person asking me the question, was that I had no idea how to articulate this. This worried me. I design every day, I review the work of other people, confidently giving an opinion on what works, what doesn’t, and why…

What happened when Stephen Fry, Bono and Jony Ive sat down to talk about design and technology at the Dalkey Book Festival in Dublin.

Photo credit: The Dalkey Book Festival


I recently attended a discussion between Jony Ive, chief design officer at Apple and Stephen Fry, writer and actor, as part of the Dalkey Book Festival. The talk was titled ‘The Object of Language and the Language of Objects’ and moderated by Bono of U2. While the talk spanned a lot of topics including politics, identity, history and mythology, this article is focused on the aspects relating specifically to design and technology.

Note, this talk happened 24 hours before it was announced that Jony Ive would be leaving Apple in his role as Chief Design Officer.

John Moriarty

Design Director at Fjord Dublin

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