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Design

This category contains 12 posts

What does a theory look like?

What do theories look like? They are shaped like triangles. Theories are triangular. I am being glib, but according to one of the top OED definitions, a theory is a “collection of theorems forming a connected system.” The least number of entities that can be connected to create a number of relationships greater than the number … Continue reading

Triadomania

Many of us new to the details of C.S. Peirce’s sign categories find them difficult to define, identify, remember, recall and use. As Miss Brodie said of the use of the quarter hour, I refuse to be intimidated by Peirce’s fine semiological distinctions. I’m assuming Peirce’s system constitutes a kind of brain trainer, the understanding … Continue reading

“Deconstructing” the curriculum

Perhaps the term “deconstruction” is in for a comeback, as the US White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said, “That’s all going to be deconstructed and I think that that’s why this regulatory thing is so important.” (CNN). He was talking about cutting back on government regulation, though he misused the term “deconstruction.” Anti-Trump conservative US commentator Glenn … Continue reading

Only design will save Europe’s future

This was the agreed title of my 10 minute polemic at a debating session at the Design Research Society Conference (DRS2016) on Tuesday 28 June. Here’s the transcript. You may think it odd to burden design with the responsibility to redeem anything, let alone to save Europe. But that’s by no means a new role. The … Continue reading

The best there is

Working together inevitably involves compromise. But is compromise always less than the best? Finding the “best” in any situation involves many comparisons, trade-offs, and compromises. Sometimes when trying to find the best solution to a design problem even the most experienced and well focussed individual will alight on something that is better than all the other, similar … Continue reading

Like this

I have a daily quota of clicks to dispose of. I’m frugal with these minimally interactive units. George in The Jetsons (1962) must have left an impression on me. I recall this office worker of the future complaining to his boss on one particular day of having to press too many buttons. George was only contracted to press one a day. Pressing a button was all … Continue reading

Copy edits

No matter how careful you are in following style guides, there’s still a job of work in correcting bibliographies. Here’s a page after the copy editor and I have had a go at it. Back in the 1990s the author would receive paper copy bristling with little plastic tags and hand written notes. Now it’s … Continue reading

Life-changing technologies

Devices, programs, and apps enable us to do things we couldn’t do otherwise. This is undoubtedly their main value. But they also reveal something about ourselves (i.e. the human species) and the world we live in. Smartphones obviously enable communication over distance and while on the move. They also reveal that we are mobile creatures, … Continue reading

The hegemony of good taste

In the film Wall-e (2008), the surviving colony of humans live on a massive starliner (the Axiom) traveling through space. The passengers spend their days reclining on hover chairs while waited on and cosseted by robots. In one scene a voice on the public address system exhorts: “Attention, Axiom shoppers. Try blue! It’s the new … Continue reading

Richard on the Holodeck

Archaeologists and reconstruction experts used laser scanning technology to scan the fragile bones of the body exhumed from the car park in Leicester. Then 3d printing was deployed to produce a physical replica of the entire skeleton. The 3d computer model of the skull provided the substrate of a 3d reconstruction of the face, which was … Continue reading

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