Thanks for the responses, William Keckler. Some really interesting thoughts here. I think I’d probably resist differentiating art and design as originality vs recombination (to use your terminology). I don’t think that’s an uncommon way to splice them, but I’m not sure it’s the most helpful (or accurate). I’ve seen some incredibly original web designs that I’m still not sure I’d categorize as art.
I think how I might differentiate (and in all honesty, I’ve only given this a little thought) is by means of intent. Art is superfluous. It’s an act, a movement, a way of being that is excess. Often it is an outpouring of the self into the world.
Design, on the other hand, sets out to provide a solution to a problem. It’s purposeful and expedient. It sees pain point in the world and seeks to solve it.
I’m not sure that’s helpful. But I’m interested in what you think.