Design automation (DA) is at a historical moment where it has a chance - after mathematics, statistics, and computer science - to establish itself as the fourth universal approach with widespread applications in a variety of scientific, engineering, and economic domains. We start by outlining some of the most important research contributions and industrial applications of the design automation; we identify key conceptual DA techniques and describe how they interact to form synthesis and analysis flows. Next, we discuss the most attractive emerging and pending DA domains by analyzing several recent technologies, applications, and conceptual trends. Our emphasis is not just on the most challenging research or the most lucrative application areas but also on the technological trends relevant to DA. Furthermore, we elaborate on the types of new DA techniques and tools that are required for further fundamental progress and improved practical relevance. In order to provide a balanced picture of DA, we also identify the most pronounced dangers in false starts and false research in DA. Finally, we briefly discuss the need for a DA educational reform and community social reorganization that are beneficial for rapid and impactful research and development contributions.