Design as a process can take many forms depending on the object being designed and the individual or individuals participating. The design of complex systems is sometimes called architecture or landscape architecture. Large groups of people often participate in design charrettes, while smaller groups can work in sub-groups to accomplish specific tasks.
In the context of the applied arts, engineering, architecture and other such creative endeavours, design is both a noun and a verb. Design in its verb context is the process of originating and developing a plan for an aesthetic and functional object, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modelling, iterative adjustment and re-design. As a noun design is used both for the final plan of action (a drawing, model or other description), or the result of following that plan of action (the object produced).
In philosophy, the abstract noun design refers to purpose/purposefulness, or teleology. Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity.
Some industrial designs are viewed as classic pieces that can be regarded as much as works of art as works of engineering. The "Design classic" article lists some of the designs that are regarded as having reached this classic status.