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COMPLEXITY • the state or quality of being intricate or complicated : an issue of great complexity. • (usu. complexities) a factor involved in a complicated process or situation : the complexities of family life.


All texts highlighted with the “ “, are reading notes from the following books. There’s no special sequence for each page.

Dorst, Kees. Understanding Design. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press, Inc, 2006. Print. Lawson, Bryan. How Designer think. London : The Architectural Press, 198o. 33. Print. Koberg, Don and Bagnall, Jim. “The revised all new universal traveler.” Los Altos, California: Crisp Publications, Inc, 1974. Print. 45

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Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated. - Paul Rand 1997

Complicated: 1 consisting of many interconnecting parts or elements; intricate • involving many different and confusing aspects 2 Medicine involving complications : complicated appendicitis.


The critical features of design here are that problems can seldom be comprehensively formulated and that solutions cannot be logically derived from them. Most design problems are simply too complex for the designer to hold all the factor and variables in his mind at once, so the real difficulties are: where to begin and then how to proceed. 47

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Comprehensive: 1 complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something • of large content or scope; wide-ranging : a comprehensive collection of photographs. • (of automobile insurance) providing coverage for most risks,

Since design problems defy comprehensive description and offer an inexhaustible number of solutions the design process cannot have finite and identifiable end. The designer’s job is never really done, and he can always try to do better. including damage to the policyholder’s own vehicle : comprehensive and collision insurance. • (also comprehensive examination or comp)


an examination testing a student’s command of a special field of knowledge. 2 archaic of or relating to understanding.

A rough idea is quickly developed for the most significant elements of the solution which can then be checked by more precise methods and adjusted as necessary. Precise: adjective marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail : precise directions | I want as precise a time of death as I can get. • (of a person) exact, accurate, and careful about details : the direc-

tor was precise with his camera positions. • [ attrib. ] used to emphasize that one is referring to an exact and particular thing : at that precise moment the car stopped.


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Even such tools as the so-called “creativity techniques� such as Brainstorming cannot themselves directly assist with form generation but really only provide a mental atmosphere conducive to the free flow of ideas.


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For Rand the graphic designer’s central task is to find the essential meaning in his materials and then to abstract and symbolize.

Essential: adjective 1 absolutely necessary; extremely important : [with infinitive ] it is essential to keep up-to-date records | fiber is an essential ingredient. See notes at inherent, necessary . • [ attrib. ] fundamental or central to the nature

of something or someone : the essential weakness of the plaintiff ’s case. • Biochemistry (of an amino acid or fatty acid) required for normal growth but not synthesized in the body and therefore necessary in the diet.


2 Medicine (of a disease) with no known external stimulus or cause; idiopathic : essential hypertension. noun (usu. essentials) a thing that is absolutely necessary : we had only the bare essentials in the way of gear.

• ( essentials) the fundamental elements or characteristics of something : he was quick to grasp the essentials of an opponent’s argument.

Situations that present problem-solving activity do not always arrive per-digested and clearly presented for easy management.


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Attributes are what we call the different categories into which the physical, psychological and social characteristics of things can be placed.

Attribute: verb | regard something as being caused by (someone or something) : he attributed the firm’s success to the efforts of the managing director | the bombing was attributed to the IRA. • ascribe a work or

remark to (a particular author, artist, or speaker) : the building was attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright. • regard a quality or feature as characteristic of or possessed by (someone or something) : ancient peoples attributed magic properties to

certain stones. noun ( attribute) a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something : flexibility and mobility are the key attributes of our army. • a material object recognized as symbolic of a person, esp. a conven-

tional object used in art to identify a saint or mythical figure. See note at emblem . • Grammar an attributive adjective or noun. • Statistics a real property that a statistical analysis is attempting to describe.


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In a simple Chart of relationship, all of the attributes or components of a problem can be rated according to their degree of dependence upon or independence from one another. By comparing them, one at a time, against each other we can also deter-


mine their degree of dependence or independence within the group as a whole. In this way the key or essential elements can be determined.

Dependence: • addiction to drink or the state of relying on drugs : alcohol dependor being controlled by ence. someone or something else : Japan’s dependence on imported oil. • reliance on someone or something for financial support : the dependence of our medical schools on grant funds.

Independence: the fact or state of being independent : Argentina gained independence from Spain in 1816 | I’ve always valued my independence. See note at liberty .


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When attempting to generate options don’t worry about having too many. You can deal with them later in the decision stage. Instead, focus your attention on widening the array of choices. Arrat: 1 an impressive display or range of a particular type of thing : there is a vast array of literature on the topic | a bewildering array of choices. 2 an ordered arrangement, in particular • an arrangement of troops. • Mathematics an arrangement of quantities or symbols in rows and

columns; a matrix. • Computing an ordered set of related elements. • Law a list of jurors empaneled.

3 poetic/literary elaborate or beautiful clothing : he was clothed in fine array.


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BRAINSTORMING is the universal idea-generating method. (It may also be found useful in all stages of the process. ) Generating alternatives is it’s basic function. With it any individual or group of two to twelve persons can quickly manufacture scores of ideas for any problem situation in very short periods of time.

Alternative: (of one or more things) available as another possibility. • (of two things) mutually exclusive. • of or relating to behavior that is considered unconventional and is often seen as a challenge to traditional norms one of two or more available possibilities 60

It makes no difference where ideas come from; it’s what we do with them that matters. We don’t have to justify our ideas but only our action and its consequences if we decide to follow one or more of them. Consequence: 1 a result or effect of an action or condition : many have been laid off from work as a consequence of the administration’s policies. 2 [often with negative ] importance or relevance : the past is of no consequence | he didn’t say

anything of great consequence. • dated social distinction : a woman of consequence.


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To evaluate is to measure how far we’ve gone and how well or how rich the travel experience has been. The “complete evaluator ” measures both quantity and quality. The sum of the two represents the total “value” or what the journey is worth. If we didn’t clearly state where it was that we instead to go in the first place it will be hard to measure how far we’ve gone. 62

To complicate things further, there are always aspects of the problem that will only emerge during the solution process. So a problem cannot even be comprehensively stated before you set out to solve it.


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Paradox: a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory

Conflict: a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one. • a prolonged armed struggle. • an incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests. be incompatible or at variance; clash

Many design problem cannot be solved within the context in which they have arisen. And if they actually cannot be solved at all, they have to be resolved. They way designers deal with the paradoxes and conflicts in a design situation is considered to be rather special, and a core quality of good design. 65

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Chain: 1 a connected flexible series of metal links used for fastening or securing objects and pulling or supporting loads.. 2 a sequence of items of the same type forming a line. 3 a jointed measuring line consisting of linked

A design is made up of many of these chains of decisions, which are interconnected. Together these chains make up a very complicated network of interconnected decisions ( or, not to put too fine a point on it- a giant knot). metal rods. 4 ( chains) a structure of planks projecting horizontally from a sailing ship’s sides abreast of the masts, used to widen the basis for the shrouds. Fasten or secure with a chain


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Combine: unite; merge : the band combines a variety of musical influences. a group of people or companies acting together for a commercial purpose : a powerful industrial combine.

Each of these stakeholders come with viewpoints, knowledge and values from their own world. In designing, you are making decisions in which all these different worlds must be combined. The process of combining different worlds is called integration.


However, there is much to be gained by striving for integration: a well integrated design is simple, elegant and gives the feeling that “everything has been taken into consideration, and is as it should be”. Intergration: 1 the action or process of integrating : economic and political integration | integration of individual countries into trading blocs. • the intermixing of people or groups previously segregated : integration is the best hope for both

black and white Americans. 2 Mathematics the finding of an integral or integrals : integration of an ordinary differential equation | mathematical integrations. 3 Psychology the coordination of processes in the nervous system, in-

cluding diverse sensory information and motor impulses : visuomotor integration. • Psychoanalysis the process by which a well-balanced psyche becomes whole as the developing ego organizes the id, and the state that results or that treat-

ment seeks to create or restore by countering the fragmenting effect of defense mechanisms.


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Tangle: twist together into a confused mass : the broom somehow got tangled up in my long skirt. A confused mass of something twisted together : a tangle of golden hair.

After the design project, the document task becomes very difficult-designs are tangled webs of decisions which are so closely dependent on on another that is impossible to find logical point to begin the explanation of the how and why. And the resolution of a design problem makes it hard to imagine that certain things were problematic at one time. 71

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It doesn’t seem like they first have to learn an alien, fundamentally different thought process. Apparently there is a certain level of design that can be approached by common sense.


The consensus among good designer is that the best practice is to slowly work your way from the very general level of an assignment to concrete level of the end design.


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If you would stick closely to the reality of design practice, and manage to describe design in all its complexity, you would end up being swamped in detail. You would be unable to get any kind of overview at all, let alone develop helpful advice for designers.


Diverse: showing a great deal of variety : a culturally diverse population. • (of two or more things) markedly different from one another : subjects as diverse as architecture, language teaching, and the physical sciences.

Design is such a diverse profession that it becomes very much like life. You use everything you have to solve a design problem: all your knowledge and personal experiences, your creativity, and your powers of thought. It engulfs you completely.


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To students, those methods are just complicated solutions to problems they have never encountered. And if you force students to work according to a method, the absurdity of the heavyhanded model will pitch them against design theory forever. However, if you take the alternative route and introduce 76

design methods at the end of their studies when they start to really need them , the students will have developed all kinds of unfortunate design habits that they then have to unlearn. Absurdity: the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable : Duncan laughed at the absurdity of the situation | the absurdities of haute cuisine.


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That is where their core quality lies: single ideas are seldom groundbreaking original, it is through the combination and integration of ideas that one develops inimitable design of great complexity and enduring quality. Those designs might be deceptively simple, but


this simplicity hides a mountain of ideas and decisions that make the design rich and sophisticated in its appeal.


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The ability to integrate is based on a very complex kind of implicit know-how that can only be picked up by doing projects and being tutored. Only a tutor that is involved int he project can explain whether the way you are approaching a particular problem is promising, or propose that you try a different route. 80

Paradox: a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.

There is often also some paradox involved int he problem or situation that forces the creative person to search for a new way toward a solution. Their new way is then constructed by combining different ways of thinking. This can lead to a whole new field of discovery to be explore energetically. 81

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They discern six forms of intelligence: linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily/ kin-aesthetic and personal‌This would mean that design is a broad, all encompassing activity that doesn’t require extreme intelligence. This is a bit different from many other professions, which


clearly use only one intelligence, or perhaps, a combination of two.

Intelligence: 1 the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills : an eminent man of great intelligence | they underestimated her intelligence. • a person or being with this ability : extraterrestrial intelligences. 2 the collection of in-

formation of military or political value : the chief of military intelligence | [as adj. ] the intelligence department. • people employed in this, regarded collectively : French intelligence has been able to secure numerous local informers.

• information collected in this way : the gathering of intelligence. • archaic information in general; news.


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