"A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist."
- R. Buckminster Fuller
This is the most comprehensive, lucid definition of a designer ever posited. It incorporates all those skills and qualities that lend clarity and strength to the intellectual, physical, strategic and even spiritual pursuit of design. Although today we most often attempt to manifest this "meta designer" from interdisciplinary teams, Fuller saw this as the natural product of multiple forces within an individual.
What, however, does Fuller mean by "emerging?"
The term clearly holds multiple layers of meaning and is the key to understanding how insightful the definition truly is. Beyond just the emergence of this particular synthesis in the world, Fuller is describing the very act of design as a kind of perpetual emergence. By bringing things (or ideas, or experiences, etc.) into being, this act exerts its influence upon both the problem it attempts to solve and the designer him/herself. It is the type, intent and integrity of this emerging synthesis that is the principal concern of a designer.