What makes a good design?

A good design project should be defined more by functionality than by its aesthetics. At the end of the day, a taste for architecture is totally personal, and that cannot be contested. However, there are some tips on how to start the process of brainstorming a concept, in this case, for instance, a medium-sized scaled urban project.

1. Supposing that a public square is being proposed to be designed in a current urban void. What happens mostly is that the design proposal comes before the human behavior analysis in the area. It is important to keep in mind that DESIGN COMES AFTER HUMAN BEHAVIOR!
2. Observing and studying the main movement and flowing of pedestrians/cyclists in the surroundings can be a very useful tool to DEFINE THE BACKBONE STRUCTURE of the project.
As an experiment, if the site allows people to pass through, focus the study on the desired lines, that means, analyzing the faster routes and shortcuts people take from A to B throughout the day, regardless of the formal routes. We always aim to choose faster routes from one point to another, mostly known as AB-ISM movement.
4. The desired lines can accentuate the backbone structure of the project, a basis that can lead to the design thinking stage. Communal and leisure spaces can be designed in order to not obstruct the main routes, although some small deviations can create some interesting PLAYFULNESS.
Creativity and functionality form a mutual relationship, they must work together. Different ideas might pop up during the whole project development, and they have to be tested, there is not a precise recipe, but creative ideas tend to be stronger when they are overlayed with an organized structural system.

6. When you have a concrete pre-analysis of the plot it allows you to have arguments that defend the concept of your design. Aesthetics do count as an overall, and it will come out naturally during the development of the project, they will complement its structure.

A good design can be interpreted and judged in many different ways, it is a combo between structure, function, and aesthetics. However, a good approach would be how and when to prioritize each one of them, 1. a smart structure, 2. a clear functionality, and, at last but not the least, 3. a matching aesthetics.