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When applied to fine and applied arts, and other such creative efforts, design is both a noun and a verb. The verb is the process of originating and developing a plan for an artistic or architectural object, which may require countless hours of thought, modelling, iterative adjustment, and re-design. The noun is either the finalized plan of action, or the result of following that plan of action.

In philosophy, the abstract noun design refers to purpose/purposefulness, or teleology. Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity.

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