8 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2021
    1. Victor Papanek’s Design Problem, 1975.

      The Design Problem

      Three diagrams will explain the lack of social engagement in design. If (in Figure 1) we equate the triangle with a design problem, we readily see that industry and its designers are concerned only with the tiny top portion, without addressing themselves to real needs.

      Figure 1: The Design Problem

      (Design for the Real World, 2019. Page 57.)

      The other two figures merely change the caption for the figure.

      • Figure 1: The Design Problem
      • Figure 2: A Country
      • Figure 3: The World
    1. In ecology, edge effects are changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two or more habitats.[1] Areas with small habitat fragments exhibit especially pronounced edge effects that may extend throughout the range. As the edge effects increase, the boundary habitat allows for greater biodiversity.

      Edge Effects

      It was in the Design Science Studio that I learned about edge effects.

      Yesterday, I was thinking about how my life embodies the concept of edge effects. That same day, a book was delivered to our door, Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek.

      Today, I was reading these words:

      Design for the Real World

      Design for Survival and Survival through Design: A Summation

      Integrated, comprehensive, anticipatory design is the act of planning and shaping carried on across the various disciplines, an act continuously carried on at interfaces between them.

      Victor Papanek goes on to say:

      It is at the border of different techniques or disciplines that most new discoveries are made and most action is inaugurated. It is when two differing areas of knowledge are brought into contact with one another that… a new science may come into being.

      (Page 323)

      Exiles and Emigrés

      The Bauhaus spread its ideas because it existed at the boundaries, the avant-garde, the edges of what was thought to be possible, especially as a socialist utopian idea found its way to a capitalist industrial-military complex, where the concept of modernism was co-opted and colonized by globalizing economic forces beyond the control of the individual. Design was the virus that propagated around the world through the vehicle of corporate globalization.

      That same design ethic is infecting corporations with a conscience, with empathy, with a process that begins with listening to people. Design is the virus that can spread the values of unconditional love throughout the body of neoliberal capitalism.

    1. Design for the Real World

      You have to make up your mind either to make sense or to make money, if you want to be a designer.

      — R. Buckminster Fuller

      (Page 86)

    2. Design for the Real World

      Victor Papanek’s book includes an introduction written by R. Buckminster Fuller, Carbondale, Illinois. (Sadly, the Thames & Hudson 2019 Third Edition does not include this introduction. Monoskop has preserved the following text as a PDF file of images. I have transcribed a portion below.)

      Buckminster Fuller on Design

      In this book, Victor Papanek speaks about everything as design. I agree with that and will elaborate on it in my own way.

      To me the word “design” can mean either a weightless, metaphysical conception or a physical pattern. I tend to differentiate between design as a subjective experience, i.e., designs which affect me and produce involuntary and often subconscious reactions, in contradistinction to the designs that I undertake objectively in response to stimuli. What I elect to do consciously is objective design. When we say there is a design, it indicates that an intellect has organized events into discrete and conceptual inter-patternings. Snowflakes are design, crystals are design, music is design, and the electromagnetic spectrum of which the rainbow colors are but one millionth of its range is design; planets, stars, galaxies, and their contained behaviours such as the periodical regularities of the chemical elements are all design-accomplishments. If a DNA-RNA genetic code programs the design of roses, elephants, and bees, we will have to ask what intellect designed the DNA-RNA code as well as the atoms and molecules which implement the coded programs.

      The opposite of design is chaos. Design is intelligent or intelligible. Most of the design subjectively experienced by humans is a priori the design of sea waves, winds, birds, animals, grasses, flowers, rocks, mosquitoes, spiders, salmon, crabs, and flying fish. Humans are confronted with an a priori, comprehensive, designing intellect which for instance has designed the sustenance of life on the planet we call earth through the primary impoundment of Sun energy on Earth by the photosynthetic functioning of vegetation, during which process all the by-product gases given off by the vegetation are designed to be the specific chemical gases essential to sustaining all mammalian life on Earth, and when these gases are consumed by the mammals, they in turn are transformed again by chemical combining and disassociations, to product the by-product gases essential to the regeneration of the vegetation, thus completing a totally regenerative ecological design cycle.

      If one realizes that the universe is sum-totally an evolutionary design integrity, then one may be prone to acknowledge that an a priori intellect of infinitely vast considerateness and competence is everywhere and everywhere overwhelmingly manifest.

      In view of a number of discoveries such as the ecological regeneration manifest in the mammalian-vegetation interexchange of gases, we can comprehend why responsibly thinking humans have time and again throughout the ages come to acknowledge a supra-human omniscience and omnipotence.

      The self-regenerative scenario universe is an a prior design integrity. The universe is everywhere, and continually, manifesting an intellectual integrity which inherently comprehends all macro-micro event patterning and how to employ that information objectively with omni-consideration of all inter-effects and reactions. The universe manifests an extraordinary aggregate of generalized principles, none of which contradict one another and all of which are inter-accommodative, with some of the inter-accommodations exhibiting high exponential levels of synergetic surprise. Some of them involve fourth-power geometrical levels of energy interactions.

    3. Design for the Real World

      by Victor Papanek

      Papanek on the Bauhaus

      Many of the “sane design” or “design reform” movements of the time, such as those engendered by the writings and teachings of William Morris in England and Elbert Hubbard in the United States, were rooted in a sort of Luddite antimachine philosophy. By contrast Frank Llloyd Wright said as early as 1894 that “the machine is here to stay” and that the designer should “use this normal tool of civilization to best advantage instead of prostituting it as he has hitherto done in reproducing with murderous ubiquity forms born of other times and other conditions which it can only serve to destroy.” Yet designers of the last century were either perpetrators of voluptuous Victorian-Baroque or members of an artsy-craftsy clique who were dismayed by machine technology. The work of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Austria and the German Werkbund anticipated things to come, but it was not until Walter Gropius founded the German Bauhaus in 1919 that an uneasy marriage between art and machine was achieved.

      No design school in history had greater influence in shaping taste and design than the Bauhaus. It was the first school to consider design a vital part of the production process rather than “applied art” or “industrial arts.” It became the first international forum on design because it drew its faculty and students from all over the world, and its influence traveled as these people later founded design offices and schools in many countries. Almost every major design school in the United States today still uses the basic foundation course developed by the Bauhaus. It made good sense in 1919 to let a German 19-year-old experiment with drill press and circular saw, welding torch and lathe, so that he might “experience the interaction between tool and material.” Today the same method is an anachronism, for an American teenager has spent much of his life in a machine-dominated society (and cumulatively probably a great deal of time lying under various automobiles, souping them up). For a student whose American design school slavishly imitates teaching patterns developed by the Bauhaus, computer sciences and electronics and plastics technology and cybernetics and bionics simply do not exist. The courses the Bauhaus developed were excellent for their time and place (telesis), but American schools following this pattern in the eighties are perpetuating design infantilism.

      The Bauhaus was in a sense a nonadaptive mutation in design, for the genes contributing to its convergence characteristics were badly chosen. In boldface type, it announced its manifesto: “Architects, sculptors, painters, we must all turn to the crafts.… Let us create a new guild of craftsmen!” The heavy emphasis on interaction between crafts, art, and design turned out to be a blind alley. The inherent nihilism of the pictorial arts of the post-World War I period had little to contribute that would be useful to the average, or even to the discriminating, consumer. The paintings of Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, et al., on the other hand, had no connection whatsoever with the anemic elegance some designers imposed on products.

      (Pages 30-31)

    1. Victor Papanek’s book includes an introduction written by R. Buckminster Fuller, Carbondale, Illinois. (Sadly, the Thames & Hudson 2019 Third Edition does not include this introduction. Monoskop has preserved this text as a PDF file of images. I have transcribed a portion here.)

  2. Sep 2021
    1. Design for the Real World

      Mike Monteiro references Victor Papanek’s book, Design for the Real World, in his article, Design’s Lost Generation.

      The Anti UX UX Club will be discussing Mike Monteiro’s article on Clubhouse.