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RATIONAL 1 based on or in accordance with reason or logic : I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation. • (of a person) able to think clearly, sensibly, and logically : Andrea’s upset—she’s not being very rational. See note at sensible . • endowed with the capacity to reason : man is a rational being. 2 Mathematics (of a number, quantity, or expression) expressible, or containing quantities that are expressible, as a ratio of whole numbers. When expressed as a decimal, a rational number has a finite or recurring expansion.


All texts highlighted with the “ “, are notes while reading 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. 185



Perceive: 1 become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand : his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth | [with clause ] he was quick to perceive that there was little future in such arguments. • become aware of (something) by the use

In fact not only are designers likely to devise different solutions but they also perceive problems differently. our understanding of design problem and the information needed to solve them depends to a certain extent upon our ideas for solving them. of one of the senses, esp. that of sight : he perceived the faintest of flushes creeping up her neck. 2 interpret or look on (someone or something)

in a particular way; regard as : if Guy does not perceive himself as disabled, nobody else should | [ trans. ] some geographers perceive hydrology to be a separate field of scientific inquiry.




Fact: a thing that is indisputably the case : she lacks political experience—a fact that becomes clear when she appears in public | a body of fact. • ( the fact that) used in discussing the significance of something that is the case : the real

Keeping a “journal” is becoming a popular way to record notes regarding the facts and discoveries about special interests. Sometimes a problem can benefit from having its own “record book” or journey to separate it from other problems in your life. problem facing them is the fact that their funds are being cut. • (usu. facts) a piece of information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article. • chiefly Law the truth about events as opposed

to interpretation : there was a question of fact as to whether they had received the letter.



If you want to learn about something, try teaching it to someone else. No on ever learns as much as the teacher.


Finding interrelationships is a most creative activity. Make analogyFinding one of your pastimes. Pick some random thing around you and fine ten things that are like in some way. Find: 1 discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly. • discover (someone or something) after a deliberate search• ( find oneself) discover oneself to be in a surprising or unexpected situation • succeed in obtaining (something).

• summon up (a quality, esp. courage) with an effort . • recover the use of (an ability or faculty) . • [ intrans. ] (of hunters or hounds) discover game, esp. a fox. 2 (often be found) recognize or discover (something) to be present. • become aware of;

discover to be the case. known. • ascertain (something) noun by study, calculation, or a discovery of something inquiry. valuable, typically some• ( find oneself) discover thing of archaeological the fundamental truths interest about one’s own character and identity. 3 (of a thing) reach or arrive at, either of its own accord or without the human agent being 191


Design can indeed be seen as learning: as a designer, you gradually gather knowledge about the nature of the design problem and the best routes to take towards a design solution. You do this by trying out different ways of looking at the problem, and experimenting with various solution


directions. You propose, experiment, and learn from the results, until you arrive at a satisfactory result.

Nature: 1 the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations. • the physical force regarded as causing and

regulating these phenomena. • the countryside, esp. when picturesque. • archaic a living thing’s vital functions or needs. 2 [in sing. ] the basic or inherent features of something, esp. when seen as characteristic of it

• the innate or essential qualities or character of a person or animal. • inborn or hereditary characteristics as an influence on or determinant of personality • [with adj. ] archaic a person of a specified character




Evaluation teaches that design is a form of optimism because it anticipates the best possible outcome.

Evaluation: form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess : when you evaluate any hammer, look for precision machining | [with clause ] computer simulations evaluated how the aircraft would perform. • Mathematics find a

numerical expression or equivalent for (an equation, formula, or function).



Observation: 1 the action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information. 2 a remark, statement, or comment based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed

To document process is the best we can do. One commonly enjoyed form is the “diary� or personal record of what transpired. As increasingly popular version of that record is the journal where a record develops to include not only observations, but conclusions and predictions as well.


You challenge yourself by aiming high, by being as ambitious as possible. Because you have inserted your own goals, you become personally attached to the project, desperately wanting to wanting to make your ideas work.




In design the solution is not just the logical outcome of the problem, and there is therefore no sequence of operations which will guarantee a result.. In fact we shall see how controlling and varying the design process is one of the most important skills a designer must develop.




Analysis: detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation. the process of separating something into its constituent elements

It is clear from our analysis of the nature of design problems that the designer must inevitably expend considerable energy in identifying the problems confronting him. It is central to modern thinking about design that problems and solutions are seen as emerging together rather than one following logically upon the other. 201


The control and combination of rational and imaginative thought is one of the designer’s most important skills.

Rational: 1 based on or in accordance with reason or logic : I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation. • (of a person) able to think clearly, sensibly, and logically : Andrea’s upset—she’s not being very rational.

See note at sensible . • endowed with the capacity to reason : man is a rational being. 2 Mathematics (of a number, quantity, or expression) expressible, or containing quantities that are expressible, as a ratio of whole numbers. When expressed


as a decimal, a rational number has a finite or recurring expansion.

We make our assumptions about the problems it solves and later, when faced with an apparently similar problem we make the connection with the previously remembered solution. Assumption: 1 a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof : they made certain assumptions about the market | [with clause ] we’re working on the assumption that the time of death was after midnight.

2 the action of taking or beginning to take power or responsibility : the assumption of an active role in regional settlements. 3 ( Assumption) the reception of the Virgin Mary bodily into heaven. This was formally declared a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church

in 1950. See also Dormition . • the feast in honor of this, celebrated on August 15. 4 archaic arrogance or presumption.




Relax occasionally during the problem-solving process. Allowing your thought to become behavior. We all need time to “digest� what we eat, before chewing some more.



In design, your goals are partly determined by others, the stakeholders, because the things you create must fulfill some practical purpose in the wider world. In art, this is not the case. An artist determines his or her own goals, They have this freedom because with their creation, artists do


not aim for any practical application, but strive to influence the feeling or thinking of an audience.

Practical: 1 of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas : there are two obvious practical applications of the research. • (of an idea, plan, or method) likely to succeed or be effective

in real circumstances; feasible : neither of these strategies is practical for smaller businesses. • suitable for a particular purpose : a practical, stylish kitchen. • (of a person) sensible and realistic in their approach to a situation or problem : I’m not un-

feeling, just trying to be practical. • (of a person) skilled at manual tasks : Steve’ll fix it—he’s quite practical. 2 so nearly the case that it can be regarded as so; virtual : it was a practical certainty that he would try to raise more money.




To avoid frustration, it is important not to burden yourself with the target of achieving Novelty in every project. But you should strive to always do things that are new to you, irrespective of the noveltyvalue they might have for the rest of the world.



He said if I kept making compromises, I would have to defend every one of them (impossible, of course). But if I made some clear basic decisions that he could understand, he would accept almost any clear choice I made. After this traumatic event I had to start my project all over again


and, of course, the later ideas also contained some compromises, but I could point out where they were, and why they were absolutely necessary.

Basic: 1 forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental : certain basic rules must be obeyed | the laying down of arms is basic to the agreement. • offering or consisting in the minimum required without elabora-

tion or luxury; simplest or lowest in level : basic and unsophisticated resorts | the food was good, if a bit basic. • common to or required by everyone; primary and ineradicable or inalienable : basic human rights. 2 Chemistry having the

properties of a base, or containing a base; having a pH greater than 7. Often contrasted with acid or acidic ; compare with alkaline . • Geology (of rock, esp. igneous rock) relatively poor in silica. • Metallurgy relating to or denoting steelmak-

ing processes involving lime-rich refractories and slags. noun ( basics) the essential facts or principles of a subject or skill



The solution to this is called ‘concentric development’, which recommends that you develop all aspects of the design to the same level of detail before you decide to go on to the next phase. It is as if you keep circling around your design, looking at it from all sides. In doing so, you make sure


your design stays balanced-not necessarily at every moment in time, but at least at the moment you make important decisions.






Designers are convinced that ‘design’ is a special way of thinking, and they spend a lot of time trying to convince the rest of the world of this. They are using this argument to battle against a lack of recognition.


In design, you need both intuition and reasoning: these two fundamentally dissimilar of thinking are combined within every design project.

Reason: 1 a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event : the minister resigned for personal reasons | it is hard to know for the simple reason that few records survive. • good or obvious cause to do something : we

have reason to celebrate. • Logic a premise of an argument in support of a belief, esp. a minor premise when given after the conclusion. 2 the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic : there is a close connec-

tion between reason and think, understand, and emotion. form judgments by a • what is right, practical, process of logic or possible; common sense : people are willing, within reason, to pay for schooling. • ( one’s reason) one’s sanity : she is in danger of losing her reason. verb [ intrans. ]



Intuition plays a role in all human behavior. Much of what we think just pops up in our head. Of course, we also reason logically from problem to solution and there are stretches of reasoning where the mind works like a machine, moving through a problem methodically, step by step. But those


times seem to be the exception, not the rule. Often we intuitively reach a solution and construct an explanation (rationalization) afterward.

Logical: of or according to the rules of logic or formal argument : a logical impossibility. • characterized by clear, sound reasoning : the information is displayed in a simple and logical fashion. • (of an action, devel-

opment, decision, etc.) natural or sensible given the circumstances : it is a logical progression from the job before. • capable of clear rational thinking : her logical mind.



Synthesize: make (something) by synthesis, esp. chemically : man synthesizes new chemical poisons and sprays the countryside wholesale. • combine (a number of things) into a coherent whole : pupils should synthesize the data they

As the architect Richard MacCormac observed: ’ I don’t think you can design anything just by absorbing information and then hoping to synthesize it into a solution. What you need to know about the problem only becomes apparent as you’re trying to solve it. have gathered | Darwinian theory has been synthesized with modern genetics. • produce (sound) electronically : trigger chips that synthesize speech


[as adj. ] ( synthesized): synthesized chords.

Design can be captivating. If all goes well, the design problem is interesting, your ideas flow nicely, and you are in another world. Nothing exists except your own thoughts, decisions, sketches, doubts.



Designers from practice are typically very eager to solve the problem a student lays before them, and to help the student get a wonderful design by the end of the project. But of course, student’s designs are not as important as their learning process. This means that in the role tutor, you should not say everything that comes 222

into your ‘designer’s mind’. You must often let the students make the mistakes they are heading for, confront them with those mistakes and then help them reach a different solution. You do not help them learn by solving their problems for them, although that may make both the student and tutor feel good. 223


Judge: a public official appointed to decide cases in a court of law. • a person who decides the results of a competition. • an official at a sports contest who watches for infractions of the rules. • a person able or qualified to give an opinion on something

You have to present and defend your own opinions about design. It is not the kind of study where you can safely hide behind books and are only judged by exam results. There is nothing anonymous about becoming a designer. A lack of enthusiasm will sooner or later come to the surface and make it that much harder. 224

Ideally, designers should acquire the split personality necessary to work in both worlds, and alternate between ‘free’ project and those that have great commercial value.

Value: 1 the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something . • the material or monetary worth of something. • the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it. • the usefulness of

something considered in respect of a particular purpose. • the relative rank, importance, or power of a playing card, chess piece, etc., according to the rules of the game. 2 ( values) a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judg-

ment of what is important in life. 3 the numerical amount denoted by an algebraic term; a magnitude, quantity, or number. 4 Music the relative duration of the sound signified by a note. 5 Linguistics the meaning of a word or other

linguistic unit. • the quality or tone of a spoken sound; the sound represented by a letter. 6 Art the relative degree of lightness or darkness of a particular color.



The bigger talents often have an element of danger in them, something absolute, an allor-nothing monomaniacal streak. They are so focused on what they strongly want and what they really can do very well, that any call of flexibility is lost upon them. Great talents tend to not


do so well in school. They are self-propelled and easily collide with any system, be in their school or outside world.

Absolute: 1 not qualified or diminished in any way; total • used for general emphasis when expressing an opinion : the policy is absolute folly. • (of powers or rights) not subject to any limitation; unconditional. • (of a ruler) having

unrestricted power . • Law (of a decree) final : the decree of nullity was made absolute. • Law see absolute title . 2 viewed or existing independently and not in relation to other things; not relative or comparative : absolute moral standards.

• Grammar (of a conexpressed noun (e.g., the struction) syntactically brave). independent of the rest noun Philosophy of the sentence, as in : a value or principle that dinner being over, we left is regarded as univerthe table. sally valid or that may be • Grammar (of a transi- viewed without relation tive verb) used without to other things an expressed object (e.g., guns kill). • Grammar (of an adjective) used without an 227



Design is often seen as a combination of two ways of thinking, a mixture of problem solving and creativity. We have to creatively develop a design, but this creativity is not completely unrestricted. Problem: 1 a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome : mental health problems | [as adj. ] city planners consider it a problem district. • a thing that is difficult

to achieve or accomplish : motivation of staff can also be a problem. 2 Physics & Mathematics an inquiry starting from given conditions to investigate or demonstrate a fact, result, or law. • Geometry a proposition in which something has to be constructed.

Compare with theorem . • (in various games, esp. chess) an arrangement of pieces in which the solver has to achieve a specified result.



When it comes to it , these designer apparently love their freedom just a little bit more than they love humbly serving their fellow human beings. The more you think about it, the stranger this becomes: we all know that designing always involves creating things for others-yet many de-


signers tend to be motivated by the fun of designing itself, or by the love for their own creations, and do not seem to want to know too much about the others they are designing for. Is design a schizophrenic profession? Perhaps.



In a brainstorming session it is important to create an open atmosphere where people feel free to just throw in their ideas and associations. Anything goes, because it might spark some interesting connections.. The one restrictive rule in a brainstorming session is that people are


not allowed to criticize each others ideas. A fresh and mad idea is a brittle thing, that can be dismissed quite easily as being unrealistic or strange.

Rule: 1 one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere . • a law or principle that operates within a particular sphere of knowledge, describing

or prescribing what is possible or allowable. • a code of practice and discipline for a religious order or community. • control of or dominion over an area or people. • ( the rule) the normal or customary state of things : such accidents are the exception rather

than the rule. 2 a strip of wood or other rigid material used for measuring length or marking straight lines; a ruler. • a thin printed line or dash, generally used to separate headings, columns, or sections of text. 3 ( Rules) Austral. short

for Australian Rules (football). • Law an order made by a judge or court with reference to a particular case only.





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