What is a Good Design?
With reference to NYTimes, a Good Design is what consists of many good qualities, ranging from it's creativity and/or uniqueness to the Innovation (How useful it is and effective in our current society). One of the things that do not affect this, in my opinion, is time. Time does not affect whether that particular design is good or not, as if it is something good back in the 1960s, it will also be great to be applied in current society if it really is that effective.
I believe this is very true and agree fully, as a lot of stuff contributes to the making of something, whether it being good or bad. In this case, a good design. It has to be relaxing to look at, and nice to look at, and at the same time, useful to look at.
List of Criterias:
Creativity (How different it is from other Designs)
I think that for it to be a good design, it has to be something that we have not seen before, or something that we do not see/look at regularly. It somewhat, "spices" up our lives, and let us be inspired as we look at it each day. For example, going to a workplace, if we look at something more appealing to the eye, and closer to the heart, we would feel inspired, working better, increasing productivity.
Optimization/Adaptation to its Surroundings
Adapting to what you have around you. You make the most out of your surroundings, depending on the context. There is two choices, you can either choose to blend with the surroundings (Example below, of the Village) which will give its users a sense of familiarity/comfort to the building or you can choose to stand out. Standing out will enable it to look obvious, making it noticed so people will embrace it.
Effectiveness (How useful it is to it's community)
In Today's society, productivity is almost about everything. If given a choice between a lazy person and a hardworking one to hire, 99% of us will choose the hardworking one. Same goes with creating an architectural design. Not only we want it to look nice, but we want it to be useful at the same time. It could either improve people's lives, or from a technical aspect, produce something as a result out of its existence. This is known as, Innovation.
Optimization/ Adaptation to its Users (People it is accommodating)
Feeling like right at home is probably the best feeling you can ever have. Having a sense of knowing makes you feel much more secure, making the people the building it is accommodating much, much better. This will create a "relationship" between the building and its users. Never wanting to part.
This is an example of an Award-Winning Architectural Design. One of its qualities is how he used really old designs, despite the time gap, to apply in today's context with an innovative design. This relates very closely to its users, as the people it is accommodating are the tribesmen, so this relates very closely to them with Nature as the main subject.
Another example of an Award-Winning Design is the Balgowlah House. It may look really simple of a garage, but on the interior, it is greatly proportionate and gives a glimpse of the people inside of the surroundings, which is a waterfront view of the harbor surrounding it (Not visible in this picture).
Award-Winning Designs: http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/green-award-winning-architectural-designs-from-oz/
What makes a Good Architectural Design: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/arts/09iht-design9.1.13525567.html
Award-Winning Designs: http://weburbanist.com/2009/05/27/unbuilt-buildings-12-awesome-future-architectural-designs/