It can be as simple as a paper clip or as complex as a space telescope. But it needs to know which one of those it is. Good design arrives at a solution by understanding the nature and scope of the problem and the parameters in which the solution must fit. Sticking sheets of paper together between two space telescopes is not going to win design awards.
Joe Goeldel is a multi-functional graphic designer/developer/artist. He received a BFA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University, where he also studied photography, drawing, lithography, astronomy, archeology, logic, and anything else that seemed unlikely to be of any use whatsoever.