Certain museums apparently suppose so; household furniture exhibits are growing in popularity. And auctions are asking old master prices for mid-century objects. Design is design, although it often is art, as well. Any object that can be experienced in the slightest degree, even car canvas prints might be recognized as artwork. Only now do we reach the key issue: is it worthy as art? Needless to say, not everything needs to be dramatic, as art - very often a car canvas is just a car canvas.
When art and design happen to be similar, such as in long-term branding, a visual designer makes something that a viewer notices but in all probability does not act on straight away. Perhaps they are exposed to a emblem quite a few times and are more liable to purchase or consider that brand while investing in the times ahead. However if they never act on that desire produced by the graphic designer the emblem doesn’t achieve it's goal and the design can be understood to have failed.
There is moreover the question of when art becomes design. So much of contemporary art has turned out to be fashion artwork: promoted by the desire for something novel, and the audience. Maybe the solution to if design is art might be found in the act of invention. Is the creator’s intention to craft an object that is artistic, that has visual worth? If yes, then it’s art, no matter whether people lie on it or display it on the wall.
And there is in addition the difficulty of 2 terms meaning the same thing. If we constantly claim that designers are artists, or incorporate design as art in all cases, what does that do to our vocabulary? Whilst it is cool to make bold statements along the lines of “less is more” it in truth only serves to water down our language of any definition we have left. In current society we've got a hard enough time deciding on the meaning of terminology and art to start with, let alone attempting to reinvisage them as something else.
Design, on the other hand, involves use. The designer requires someone to make use of, and not only be thankful for, what they build. Design does not serve its purpose devoid of people to use it. Design can help provide a solution to human issues. The highest accolade we can confer on a design is not that it is handsome, as we can in artwork, but that it is well-used. The defining factor regarding whether or not car canvas prints should be considered art is if people are shown it and say “I like that” as opposed to “that works effectively”.