Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Desma 10 Fall 2010 Design Culture an...

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Desma 10 Fall 2010 Design Culture - an Introduction Notebook No. 2 Meeting 2, October 1, 2010 Visible and Invisible Design High and Low Design Design and Art ******* Designing for Extraterrestrials? Design issues between people can be complicated; how about those between humans and extra-terrestrials? In the 1970s, NASA wanted to send a plaque into deep space as a message from the humankind to extraterrestrials. It was sent outside our solar system with Pioneer 10 and 11 (1972). It was designed by the scientists Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Frank Drake. Maybe they should have studied design semiotics. .. The scientists may not have realized how difficult it is a create intelligible designs for creatures who don't share anything with us, including our semiotic codes. The famous graphic designer Edward Tufte suggested a funny but intelligent redesign of the plaque, see http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/space . ******* Visible and Invisible Design - Many designs are meant as visible - to draw attention to themselves, their message, owner, designer, manufacturer, etc. - Most everyday designs are invisible. Above all, they are meant as functional, to make our daily lives possible. They may be good or bad, but they are everywhere! Sometimes a design functions (nearly) unconsciously (traffic lights!), sometimes it requires conscious attention. ******* Audible and Inaudible Design
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Sounds in everyday life can be either “audible” or “inaudible” or both, depending on the situation and the listener. Habit can turn audible signs into inaudible. - Muzak: inaudible sound design that is meant to have an effect on behavior by being barely noticed. - Alarm signals: highly audible design. - Freeway noise: not really a design, but a by-product of multiple designs. Design is used to limit it (mufflers, sound walls, etc.). ******* The paper clip is one of the greatest invisible designs of all time. It has a long design history of its own. - Unknown invention from the 2nd half of the nineteenth century. -First patented in 1899 by Norwegian Johan Vaaler, but existed earlier. -Made possible by the availability of steel wire. -Based on Hooke’s law 1679: Ut tensio, sic uis (’as is the extension, so is the force’). -Predecessor: the peg, known already 3000 BCE. -Symbolic meaning: in occupied Norway during World War II wearing a paperclip became a symbol of resistance.
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Lecture 2 - Desma 10 Fall 2010 Design Culture an...

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