I fail to see much of a distinction between art and design. There is a lot of design in a painting, while a design item like a chair or a hooked rug can be a nonfunctional piece of art.
The distinction has been about ‘use.' That pretty much precludes any traditional domestic arts from being Art because the work might have — god forbid — use value. But the rarified air of the art world is being infiltrated by industrial designers.
I challenge the distinction by creating visual work in which the traditional function is removed from different methods and materials: quilts and doilies made of construction materials; paintings created by crochet and rug-hooking methods.
Another way to challenge the art-design boundary is to play with the whole premise of 'use.'
Which brings me to Roel de Boer, a Dutch artist/designer. His Speelkist — "play traveling box" according to the instant translation website Babelfish.com — turns the problem of household vermin into a performance art, as featured in the design Salone di Milano last weekend.
Is it useful? How do we view the rodents when they're in performance? More importantly, could you use a Speelkist around your place?
(See pests in performance below.)