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Written by Xumeng Mou Edited by Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey

Š Xumeng Mou All rights reserved School of Visual Arts MFA Products of Design New York, NY May 2017 For inquiries, contact

CONTENTS Introduction 4 Goals 7 Audience and Markets 8 Methodology 11 Design Research 12 Design Sprints 22 Problem Definition 38 Lense 41 Lexicon 79 Bibliography 80 Acknowledgements 81



Metaphorically, this book treats human intelligence like a bottle in which logical thinking is big stone block and unconscious reasoning, emotion, and cognitive bias are the sand. As such, this book looks into situations in which most believe they should fill the bottle with big stones, but few realize they could also use the sand. In other words, one should not attempt to fill the bottle of intelligence with only one kind of material. And for the purposes of this book, my focus is the sand. My thesis explores how the unconscious mind influences our emotion and decision making, and design solutions that apply these mechanisms to address several problems I identified in current society, such as decidophobia and the lack of consolation, targeting a user group I call the "irrationally logical crew". Before discussing what is “irrationally logical”, a clear relationship between rationality and emotion needs to be drawn.


My understanding of emotion comes from the process of writing a novel. In fiction, the writer usually becomes the “devil” of the world s/he creates. She tries every way of making the main characters nervous, pained, fearful, or intense urgency. The author’s job is to bring to life the inner struggles of each character. A stronger emotional reaction in the character usually creates more emotional resonance in the audience, which enhances the latter’s enjoyment. Whereas novelists find problems, magnify them, and “force” them happen to the characters, to change their routine, to activate their reaction.1 However, designer, as the author’s of our real lives, we seek happiness, peace, security, and look for problems to solve. Now imagine if in a novel, all characters were to share the same value and always act rationally. Would the novel lack spirit and appeal? How about in real life? What if in the future, our over-designed world had solved every single conflict in our lives? Would we still be able to experience the enjoyment of emotional resonance and the little dramas of daily life? 1 Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course, Jerry Cleaver

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NOW IMAGINE IF IN A NOVEL, ALL CHARACERS WERE TO SHARE THE SAME VALUE AND ALWAYS ACT RATIONALLY. WOULD THE NOVEL LACK SPIRIT AND APPEAL? HOW ABOUT IN REAL LIFE? Of course, solving every single conflict is impossible, so we need to learn to accept some drama in our lives. A more clinical name for emotional resonance is empathy, a basic human trait that most of us try to develop and refine as we mature. When it comes to decision-making, however, most people see emotion as the opposite of rationality, which in fact reflects a lack of understanding of both rationality and emotion. Rationality is the act based on facts or reason. However, it is meaningless to assert rationality without also specifying the background model assumptions describing how the problem is framed and formulated.

Although rational behavior can be regarded as the opposite of emotional behavior, this book does not adhere to this belief. Rather, the position of this text is that one can behave rationally based on emotional needs. But the problem is, how do we know our emotional needs? What are they? And how do they become intelligence along with our rationality? What else do we ignore? These questions have already been addressed by countless psychologists. My goal is to seek answers to these questions via design products that tap into all of this psychological research.

Absurd Intelligence Introduction


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ou may find the design works included in this book are entertaining or even, absurd. If you do feel like it, you should know that my intention was not to make absurd things simply for the sake of being absurd. If you happen to think they are absurd, it means you have occupied the status quo of “human should-be logic” for a long time (me too).


Absurdity is something that is so unreasonable that it is foolish and cannot be taken seriously. But what may have seemed absurd in the past can look very reasonable in the future. The common sense of the now can be absurd to the future ears too because people’s point of view has changed so dramatically, like jet-setting around the globe in flying machines. Considering the absurd may not always be useless, in other words. Absurdity that serves a practical or useful purpose could be revolutionary. What this work and the products I describe are meant to do is to show that the “sand” I mentioned earlier is needed, acceptable, and makes more things possible. For my design journey, I must first identify things that are absurd but attractive because there must be something behind them that makes them interesting. Absurd things that attract logical people have more value still. The things I identify in this work may seem small things in our lives, which resonate with the “not taken seriously” realm of absurdity, but they are little things that have big potential. Once I have identified a number of focal points and explored their causes and related behaviors, I will move on to solutions, which come in the form of different forms of design: product, App, service, and experience. When I studied in Products of Design, I viewed Products more broadly. Industrial product, App, service, and experience all belong to the larger category of products. This book will explore the different functions and roles of these designs and trace my learning to strategically use them according to different situation.

By making and observing people interact with products, I re-create the small dramas of our daily lives, like in a novel, so that the people are able to feel their own personality and bravely let emotion interfere in their lives. As there are multiple projects that I have to get done in a year, my focus will be on trying to gain enough conceptual and developmental traction with my prototypes to make their full-scale production conceivable. My principle is that designers should not only design to address big problems. They should also be concerned with solving the small problems shared by a large number of people. When you know all the other people have the same issue as you do, you feel understood; you feel there is something you share with other human beings, which is especially helpful in major cities where people tend to find the most isolated and lonely. 1 Furthermore, media always focuses on the hottest problems because their first job is to attract attention. It’s a lot easier to shine lights on something that people know and care about than on something people don’t know they should or are embarrassed to admit they care about. The most provocative innovations fall into the latter category. Vulnerable groups are not the only ones that deserve designers’ attention. In my opinion, not every ordinary person is vulnerable, but all vulnerable people or even people in special places are, to some degree, ordinary. Focusing on the small groups of people who can’t live without a given product is one of designers’ main marketing strategies, which I definitely applied in my design. Still, it is the small needs of a large number of people that most inspire my designs--the problems that are small and absurd enough for people to keep them in their own mind but important enough for us to discuss.

1 Urbanism As a Way of Life, Louis Wirth Absurd Intelligence Goals




This book is written for designers, creatives, as well as my targeted User groups. For designers and creatives, I hope this book provides inspiration, inspires conversation and even scalable solutions for the problems I address. And for my user group, I hope this book can provide entertainment, solutions to their problems, and offer powerful ways of refreshing people’s point of view.


When science and technology invade all aspects of human society, even cultural differences do not add up to make people’s experiences of this invasion much different.

People Who Struggle with Rationality and Emotion

I grew up in China where high schools used to divide students to “Li” and “Wen” groupings. “Li” means rationality, reason; “Li” students focused on learning the natural sciences. “Wen” means literature; “Wen” students focused on learning literature, history, and politics. But because my family values “rationality” and logic more than literature and art, it was essentially considered irrational for me to choose to be a “Wen” student. Although I do not feel the same way that my parents felt, I have always had a natural curiosity about and affinity for the natural science, which made me switch to being a “Li” student and in so doing, gave up the possibility of becoming a movie director (my childhood dream). Many of my peers also struggled with choosing between studying as a “Li student” or “Wen student.” Although the Chinese educational system has since changed, and most students no longer choose between “Wen” or “Li” in their high schools, the stereotypes that go with being either Wen-personality or a Li-personality persists and is deeply rooted in how the the society operates. Currently, in China, there is an informal, genderbiased stereotype called Li Gong Nan which describes a person who is unnecessarily or improperly logical. Li Gong Nan can be a man who has a high IQ but a low EQ, never understands romance, is obsessed with technology or addicted to video gaming. They are like Sheldon Cooper in the TV show Big Bang.

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Audience and Markets

Absurd Intelligence Introduction Audience and Markets


Most people are not as extreme as “Li Gong Nan.” Like me, a lot of people struggle with acting “rationally” or acting “emotionally” and put the two stances to thinking and behavior against each other. The effect of this can be to view rationality as the opposite of emotion, and define being rational as simply avoiding emotion. Li Gong Nan is a new concept, however. In the past, there was a term for people who were able to accept reason and understand emotion: Tong Qing Da Li. People who are enthusiastic and honest about their authentic self are called Xing Qing Zhong Ren. They are usually emotional and strict about their principles. The term Xing Qing Zhong Ren” describes a personality that is highly esteemed in Chinese culture. A lot of poets from the past were defined as Xing Qing Zhong Ren. Whenever I feel the conflict between “rational” and “emotional,” I am reminded of Xing Qing Zhong Ren, which helps me to finding a balance between the two.

from parents, but when the parents try to be educational and analytical, it can sound cold or like blame to the suffering younger person who feels his/ her problem has not been understood or appreciated. This book offers design solutions to such miscommunications and misunderstandings and gives useful suggestions about building empathy for other people. One Track Mind Robots For those who can’t make a decision without logic calculation, who try too hard to avoid (natural) bias regardless of the situation, refuse to react emotionally—people who act like a robot with a onetrack mind—, this book is an easy-to-read starting point for learning about the unconscious mind. This book also provides a few inspiring examples that should help make their lives more flexible.

This book is meant to give those who have the same struggle a better idea of the relationship between rationality and emotion. The ideal outcome of my design work is to encourage the acceptance of emotional reactions, while also inspiring people to rethink what it is to be“rational” and to aspire to be a Xing Qing Zhong Ren. People Struggles with Empathy Unlike people who struggle with “being emotional” or “being rational,” some people have no problem with “being rational.” They have enough experience that they suffer no conflict between emotion and “rationality.” The problem with such people is their lack of sensitivity or understanding for people who do feel such a conflict. This is especially true in relationships involving people from different generations, like parents and children. For instance, a young person may seek consolation

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During this process, I conducted secondary research, performed a case study, primary research and a design sprint. I started by reading books, articles, fiction and watching TED talks about daydreaming, fantasy, psychology in order to learning about the mysteries of the human mind. Then, I focused on series of existing design products meant to trigger people’s daydreams and inspire them to use their imagination. In so doing, I hoped to uncover the potential of product design in the area and reviewed them from the user’s perspective with the goal of understanding how the products created emotional resonance in their users. Finally, I conducted primary research, interviews with experts, a co-creation workshop that included my User group, and created several week-long projects or design sprints. Design Sprint is a series of early stage ideations and is an essential component of the design process. They allow me to rapidly distill my research into concrete design work, the act of which is also a form of investigation. Furthermore, design sprints

help me choose the right ‘product’ material, form or typology for an effective concept—whether it be an app, a service or something tangible. The sprints also rapidly helped me to develop and evaluate new ideas and/or to rebuild prototypes. Futuring is a way of thinking about the preferable future and tracing the process of arriving at this future back to the present. The practice offers an approach to coming up with design solutions that can potentially help us build the future we want. There are two different periods to which I have applied futuring in my thesis: 1) Co-creation workshop in which User groups were invited to create speculative objects using materials I provided and based on the topic of fantasy as a psychological defense mechanism. 2) The second time is the start of my final products design period, I envisioned a possible scientism dystopia, a well-balanced utopia, and a company in the future to help me build my current brand.

Absurd Intelligence Methodology



I started my research journey from daydream. I have been a daydreamer since I was young. When I feel bored, I daydream; when I feel upset, I also daydream. I create fantasies in daydreams, like the one in which I imagined being in a secret organization that protected the world and having a giant jelly fish monster floating in the air front of me, just waiting to fight as I walked home every evening from middle school. Although I enjoyed daydreaming and did it because it helped me deal with loneliness, fears, boredom and frustrations, I also knew that there was a bias against too much daydreaming. Daydreaming is a silly waste of time, seemed to be the popular attitude. To find out more about daydreaming, I read books on cognitive psychology and watched films related to daydreaming. This lead me to the term, Suspension of Disbelief. The suspension of disbelief is a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; it is a sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.1 Daydreaming, from this perspective, is a self-created moment of suspended disbelief. When a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, the person is willing to enjoy it, regardless of its relationship to reality or logic. In point of fact, it seems that the major goal of daydreams is most often pleasure. For instance, in both the“Little Princess” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, the title characters sought comfort from their daydreams but little else. The little girl daydreamed about a luxurious dinner she would have liked to have had but was far from being able to enjoy, and Walter Mitty daydreamed in order to experience the sensation of having the confidence he knew he would never feel in real life.

1 "the definition of suspension of disbelief"

As I read more about daydream from a psychological perspective, I found that daydreams plays an important part in our life. Daydreams are short and frequent, and has wide rang of variety. Each daydream generally lasts between 5 and 14 seconds. These personal reveries may occupy as much as 3040 % of our waking time; daydreaming creates little fantasies that enhance your self-esteem or lift you out of a bad mood; they can comfort you, provide necessary relaxation, offer escape from a situation you find intolerable, act like tools for creative work; children who daydream are often happier and more cooperative and have longer attention spans than children who do not.2 Daydream Product Case Study I conducted a case study of current products meant to encourage or support daydreaming. Included on my list are Happy Pills, Blue Sky Umbrella, and perfume. According to F. Diane Barth, psychologist and author of Daydreaming: Unlock The Creative Power of Your Mind, "a daydream need not necessarily be in visual form; it can also occur through words, music, or other sounds, as well as through other senses like touch, taste, smell." Happy Pills is a playful candy brand made and distributed in Barcelona and designed for children and adults. The candies come in a pharmaceuticallooking package that reads: “Today mouthfuls of happiness are most necessary for such serious setbacks such as Sundays with no football or more trivial matters such as the unbearable lightness of being.” 3 When I ate Happy Pills for the first time, I found that as I ate the candy, I tried to convince myself that it would actually cure me of something . This response is, no doubt, part of the appeal of the candy-as-cure design; the association with our childhood memory of role playing as doctor, i.e.we are very good at pretending candies are pills—is inescapable. However, what most impresses me is that this concept makes 2 Barth, F. Diane. Daydreaming: Unlock the Creative Power of Your Mind. 3 Happypills, studio m

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Design Research

can reduce depression by paying attention to-savoring “ You and remembering-your pleasant day dreams...these personal reveries provide an opportunity for rehearsing or planning upcoming events. In other words, among other things, day dreams keep us from being bored.� -- Dr. Stephen Gold at Northern Illinois University

Absurd Intelligence Introduction Design Research


“I’ve been very sensitive to smell s i n ce I w a s v e r y l i t t l e . I h a d stronger appreciation of smell than music and painting. Maybe because I was so little that I didn’t understand music and painting yet, but I understand smell. When I was teaching, I found that people usually know they should grow their muscle memory of music since a young age, but people seldom know that the memory of smell also take time, and most people ignored to develop them in a young age. “In the ancient time, before perfume w a s i n ve n te d , p eo p l e b u r n e d incense in rituals, which most likely to intoxicate themselves, to get to a mind state of unconscious.” -- Jinli Jia, Kodo Artist, Film Director, 2016. Nov.

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Introduction Design Research

the “slight improvement in mood” that comes from eating the candy become a dramatic improvement in mood once you are aware of the the concept and have read the indications. MoMA’s Blue Sky Umbrella is another attractive product for two main reasons: 1) opening the umbrella for protection from the rain allows the user to see a blue sky, which appeals to anyone who would prefer sun to rain; 2) the fact that the umbrella is black on the outside and a blue sky on the inside is a little secret—a little something special that only the owner knows about and (presumably) carries. Like in a lot of superhero movies or mahō shōjo manga, a very ordinary person may secretly be an extraordinary super being but be required to keep the secret to him or herself. The concept of these products certainly encourages users to daydream. I also think it’s very interesting that for these two examples, if you don’t “actively” follow the concept or suspend your disbelief—try to imagine the candy is “pill”, not just a candy with a brand, and by the same token, try to imagine the blue sky as magically belonging only to you, rather than being a mere piece of patterned fabric—the pleasure of the products will largely be lost on you.

different level. According to Kodo artist Jinli Jia, memory of smell is a “body memory” and more instinctive. When people use fragrant products, they don’t need to try to imagine. They also don’t necessarily need to have had a particular experience in association with the smell; they can just enjoy it. By contrast, daydreaming is a conscious mental activity. The effortlessness of the enjoyment of scents has been capitalized on by the perfume industry. Speculative Everything mentions that “it’s common to use advertising to suggest the imaginary world behind the brand, especially for perfumes, which often drift toward a form of contemporary fairy tale.” In other words, a perfume experience is a mix of fantasy and an instinctive reaction to a particular odor. After three case studies on products that encourage daydreaming, I strongly believe that the concept development and brand narratives of products can create little fantasies in people’s lives, bring users to the center of the plot where the protagonists are themselves and thereby create entertainment that reaches well beyond its physical function.

The effect of fragrant product occurs on an entirely

Absurd Intelligence Design Research


I conducted interviews on the topic of daydreams and fantasy with a group of science fiction writers. I was fortunate to be able to interview writers from all sorts of backgrounds. Aque, a science fiction writer, writes science fiction for the simple reason that he is sometimes disappointed by reality, in which people of behave in ways that are too uninspired, boring and even, selfish in some context, so he writes in order to envision and perhaps bring about change. Dr. Wang Yao, known as Xia Jia, is a famous Chinese science fiction writer and literature professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University who also happens to have a physics degree from Beijing University. Dr. Yao introduced me to the phrase, “things that doesn’t earn bread”, something her parents used to describe things like daydreaming or spending her mental energies wandering through a fantasy world. Several years ago, Dr. Wang decided to make the essence of science fiction the topic of her PhD dissertation. She focused on the relationship between imagination, history and society and found that because of the failure of utopian practice, there is no alternative option to capitalism in modern society, the result of which is the relegation (by reality) of the wish to meaningfully change life to the dimension of imagination. Dr. Yao discussed examples of “little daydreams” from Ernst Bloch’s book, Principle of Hope and said that “little daydreams have the potential of triggering revolutionary change in the society and through them, reality can be questioned”. From this perspective, daydreams can seem like trivial or naive wishes but include deep, unidentified needs. I also interviewed Doctor Wu Yan, science fiction writer and educator, Chair of the Science Fiction and Creativity Education Center of Beijing Normal University, Vice Chair of Chinese Children’s Literature Center, he said “Fantasy can cure psychological harm.” He said, “If a kid is bullied in school, he might go home and immersed in video games, then he feels gradually satisfied, and regains his confidence.” When I interviewed Michael Shalyt, a game designer at APERIO systems, Destination Labs. He’s words resonance with what Dr. Wu said, “In your fantasy, you change your mindset, becomes the hero of your story, and can change the objective feeling.” Dr. Wu also said, science fiction used to be very undermined in China, older generation would think it’s escaping culture. However, in his opinion, science fiction is not escaping to fantasy, it’s “twisted reality”—they explain the reality from a different perspective. When I asked him what kind of people need science fiction the most, he answered people who only care

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Introduction Design Research

Dr. Wang said to me, “Even when I was playing video games, I do things that doesn’t earn bread—sometimes I don’t directly go play the game, I would wonder around in the fiction world, look at the setting, imagine what else could happen in this world.” She continued, “When I was young, my fantasy world was very colorful, I had a lot of daydreaming time, I feel I was living a double personality. So when I grew up, I wanted to defend my life in fantasy world; I wanted to do creative work, thinking about what’s wrong with the fantasy world?’”

Absurd Intelligence Introduction Design Research


daydreams have the potential of triggering “ Little revolutionary change in the society and through them, reality can be questioned.” --Xia Jia

can cure psychological harm.” “ Fantasy -- Wu Yan purpose of meditation is to stop people from “ The deceiving themselves, and 'surrender to the reality'”. --Pierre Dubois

about “Chai Mi You Yan”, literally means wood, rice, oil and salt—in Chinese as a representation of daily necessities. It turns out that fantasy is an important way for people to cope with anxiety in their life, but is not always socially acceptable. So focused on coping mechanism, I interview Pierre Dubois, a New York based regression therapist and hypnotherapist, who has helped countless people on their journey of healing, expansion, and ascension over the past 20 years. He mentioned that human are the master of deceive themselves, so the purpose of meditation is to stop people from deceiving themselves, and “surrender to the reality”. This conclusion shocks me that one is twisting reality, but the other one is surrendering to the reality, they are completely different, but they both function as coping mechanisms. To learn more about coping mechanisms, I read psychology articles and learned about defense m e c h a n i s m s a s d e f i n e d b y G e o r g e Va i l l a n t , psychiatrist and Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Research for the Department of Psychiatry, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in

Boston. Defense Mechanisms are unconscious, specific intrapsychic ways of coping employed by individuals to relive or decrease anxiety caused by uncomfortable situations that threaten self-esteem. Defense Mechanisms may distort, falsify or deny reality. George Vaillant categorizes defense mechanisms according to 4 levels ranging from the most immature to the most mature ones: pathological, immature, neurotic, and mature. Pathological Defenses, including delusional projection, conversion, denial, distortion, splitting and extreme projection, almost always are severely pathological, they are common in overt psychosis. Immature Defenses, including fantasy, projection, hypochondrias, passive-aggressive behavior, acting out, blocking, regression, introjection, somatization, are often presented in adults, lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. Excessive use of immature defenses is seen as socially undesirable, in that they are immature, hard to deal with, and out of touch with reality.

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Design Research

George Vaillant categorizes defense mechanisms according to 4 levels ranging from the most immature to the most mature ones: pathological, immature, neurotic, and mature. Neurotic Defenses, including intellectualization, repression, displacement, reaction formation, dissociation, controlling, externalization, inhibition, rationalization, sexualization, are fairly common in adults. They have short term advantages in coping, but can often cause long term problems when used as one’s primary style of coping mechanism. Mature Defenses, including altruism, humor, sublimation, identification and suppression are commonly found among emotionally healthy adults and are considered mature, even though many have their origins in an immature stage of development.1 In discussing fantasy, Vaillant characterizes the act of fantasizing or daydreaming as indulging in autistic retreat in order to resolve conflict to obtain gratification, and interpersonal intimacy is avoid, and eccentricity serves to repel others. According to him, the daydreamer does not fully believe in his/her fantasies and does not insist on acting them out.

In comparing these 4 kinds of defense mechanisms with fantasy and meditation, I concluded that fantasy and meditation are simply a different level of defense mechanisms. In the same way that daydreaming and fantasy are viewed differently by different people, so too are immature and neurotic defenses are treated variously and generally, dismissively. For example, The “Fox and the Grapes” from Aesop’s Fables tells the story of a fox that wishes to eat grapes from a vine but try as it might, simply cannot reach them. Ultimately, rather than admitting defeat, the fox tells himself that the grapes are, in fact, undesirable, negating his “loss”. This idea of ‘sour grapes’ is a perfect example of a neurotic defense mechanism in the form of rationalization. And yet, ironically, the fox and his behavior are seen in negative cultural terms.

1 An Empirically Validated Hierarchy of Defense Mechanisms, G.E.Vaillant and C.O.Vaillant

Absurd Intelligence Introduction Design Research


“ Our mind has a mind of its own.”

-- Cordelia Fine

According to the book, A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine, our memory is not reliable either. She writes, "conversely, those who are sadder but wiser seem to be more realistic about what is likely to lie ahead. Nor does the past lie safely untouched by the emotional brain’s

reparative activities. Using a strategy known as the fading affect bias, the brain tampers with our memory of events we have experienced." History is written such that the distressing emotions we experienced when things went wrong are remembered as having been less and less intense as time goes by. By contrast, the brain’s biographer does its best to

lovingly nurture and sustain the vigor of memories of our past joys. This differential treatment of the past leaves us susceptible to believing that our past was happier than it truly was.

emotion and our brains,

Emotion’s Role in Decision Making People often see emotion as the counter to rationality and tend to avoid emotion in their decision making process. After my research, I found that “avoiding” emotion is nevertheless much more difficult to do than we might like to think and can actually be a very positive influence. In fact, taking emotion out of the decision making process is almost impossible for a healthy person. According to Fine’s chapter on

Emotional tags (or somatic markers, as the researchers called them) guide our decision making. Without these emotional tags, even the most encyclopedic knowledge or powerful intellect cannot help us to pluck a bottle of shampoo off the supermarket shelf. EVR(a patient who has a brain damage)’s chaotically indecisive life vividly demonstrates how disabling it is for us not to have our emotions available as input while we are weighing up our options.”

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Introduction Design Research

Intuition’s Role in Decision Making Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired. According to Strategic Intuition, author William Duggan separates intuition into three different categories: original intuition, strategic intuition,

and expert intuition. “Original intuition is a form of emotion” whereas “snap judgement is expert intuition—a form of rapid thinking where you jump to a conclusion when you recognize something familiar.” “Strategic intuition is always slow, and it works for new situations, which is when you need your best ideas.”

is less about suddenly ‘knowing’ the right “ Intuition answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded.”

-- Gerd Gigerenzer, author of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, and director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Absurd Intelligence Introduction Design Research


100 IDEATION SKETCHES One week, 100 sketches, a fastest way of creative ideation.

DFRS: DAYDREAMING ABOUT DAYDREAMING Daydream Face Recognition System is a speculative train ticket selling policy. Passengers will gradually earn credits which will decide if they can get a window seat. Travelers ‘earn’ the window seat only if they have the habit of looking out of the window and daydreaming. This concept arose from my observations of people who tend to choose window seats on the train, but end up with an aisle seat because of the first come, first serve seating policy, which completely disregards the fundamental reason for their preference: looking out of the window—if not for the purpose of daydreaming, possibly to reduce motion sickness. Either way, the current so-called “fair” distribution system should be challenged.


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Design Sprints

BARD Bard is a speculative disaster tourism travel agency targeting climate change. I created an add campaign for Bard, aiming at creating suspension of disbelief experiences for audiences. I produced three billboards of fabricated words. Each word describes a romantic feeling in the face of a polluted environment, making these romantic feelings more visible in their minds.

DOUBLE SIDED MICROPHONE “Pain is often intensified by unarticulated and unexplored assumptions you make about the causes of your pain. As you explore your daydreams, you will bring some of your assumptions out into the light of day-and that in itself can lead to significant shifts in perspective.” —F. Diane. Barth The double-sided microphone lets people have a conversation that is happening in their head take place out loud so that they can analyze the assumptions their thoughts and responses imply they made about the imagined person with whom they had their recorded conversation.. By letting people switch roles and hear what they imagine another person might say, a little computer in the microphone analyzes those words and prints the assumptions they made about the other person. This microphone is designed to help people cope with the anxiety caused by wrong assumptions about others.

Absurd Intelligence Design Sprints


UBIQUILT Ubiquilt is a set of blankets that can be made into costumes for adults who need or want to imagine themselves are something or someone else. Ubiquilt is based on children’s imaginative behavior, i.e.wearing a blanket as costume. During the process of growing up, many people lost their ability to enjoy daydreaming. So I designed Ubiquilt to give adults the “OK” to go back to the mind state when they are young when they are full of imagination.

TWISTING REALITY: A CO-CREATION WORKSHOP I held a co-creation workshop —Twisting Reality, aiming at fantasy as a coping mechanism. In this workshop, I allowed people to choose a daily situation that they are not comfortable with and to make it into something that is more comfortable. In so doing, my hope was to identify participants’ unidentified needs and to explore their own insights into their fantasizes.

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Design Sprints

ALYF A take away from the co-creation workshop is that people don’t necessarily need a fantasy character to empower them. To explore the possibility of applying defense mechanisms to design work and turning fantasy into a more effective role-play activity, I designed Alyf (short for act like your friend). When users face a situation with which they are not comfortable, Alyf will help them pick a friend who can (better) handle the situation and through a sort of planned mimicry, help the User to conquer the troubling situation in the way that his/her friend would.

MEMOREAL What if we were to use design to make forgetting okay, especially if the memory is something we fear and that makes us anxious every time we are reminded of it? Memoreal is a speculative diary book that encourages users who have had trauma to write fake memories and thereby, rewrite their own memory, erasing the old and traumatic memory and replacing it with something pleasing. Ultimately, they will recall the memory they want to remember, which may be largely based on their recorded and effectively, memorized fiction.

Absurd Intelligence Design Sprints


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On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 22, Twisting Reality co-creation workshop attendees came to a space near Washington Square Park in which I had set out various objects from a 99-cents a store. On one side of the wall listed a series fantasy characters such as zombie fighter, pirate, cyborg,

alien, alchemist, witch, mad scientist, spy who lost memory, ancient, primitive person, space traveler, vampire, mutant, and the last human in the world. At the beginning of the workshop, I had the participants come up with a

daily situation with which they are not comfortable. Then, they had to pick a character from the wall and write down what quality from that character they would like to have in order to better tackle their chosen uncomfortable situation.

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When I announced that they should become the character on their card and as such, be emboldened and strengthened by these characters, the workshop participants started to rethink their uncomfortable daily situations. My question to them was, ‘with your new role, how has your way

of thinking about and interacting with the situation change?’ Then, I had them move to the materials on the table and asked them to make a speculative object that would help them transfer themselves to the character for the purposes of

dealing with their uncomfortable situation. Finally, they were asked to do a presentation on why they wanted to be this particular character in this situation, and how they could successfully transfer themselves into this character.

Absurd Intelligence Introduction



Our unconscious mind is very powerful in providing consolation and influencing our decision making. The influence of the unconscious is not always logicbased, however. For consolation, the unconscious mind provides defense mechanisms to cope with anxiety. There are four levels of defense mechanisms, pathological, immature, neurotic and mature defenses. However, only mature defenses are socially valued. Pathological defenses are generally seen as being irrational; Neurotic and Immature defenses such as fantasy, rationalization, compensation, and magical thinking, though common and relatively effective in the short tern, fall in the category of undermined or unproven coping mechanisms.

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Introduction Problem Definition

For decision making, the unconscious mind influences our decision making in the form of intuition. Intuition is the ability to instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can be thus discarded. However, because intuition cannot readily be explained scientifically, whereas conscious reasoning can, intuition is not accepted as a sound method of decision making in most situations.

Absurd Intelligence Introduction Problem Definition






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Absurd Intelligence Lense



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The name Sour Grape is inspired by the story Fox and Grapes. Sour Grape is a chatbot targeting people who are not good at comforting. It provides comforting suggestions based on typical Neurotic and Immature defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms help Sour Grape come up with effective comforting sentences that inspire its users to more effectively comfort their friends. There’s one more level of functionality: users can click on each sentence to see which kind of defense mechanism it applies and learn more about it. Since empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, learning appropriate defense mechanisms can help users understand what

empathy is. Currently, there are no Apps that focus on teaching people how to comfort other people. Similar Applications focus on either promoting social skills in general or helping the people who need the comforting. For the social skill promoting application, the focus is on long term learning, whereas the comforting app focuses more on immediate response. Another advantage of the Sour Grape app is that it is much more entertaining than existing comfort chatbots, which focus more on clinical advice than offering empathy and warmth. Sour Grape aims at having the personality of the nonjudgmental friend who stands by your side no matter what.

User Persona: The Magic Mirror

Absurd Intelligence Lense


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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


“If I get the offer from Products of Design, I promise I'm going to work hard in the future.” The behavior is known as Magical Thinking and is a type of neurotic defense mechanismintellectualization. In the book Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course, author Jerry Cleaver writes that, “In a desperate situation we’re not usually sensible or logical…you might just make a kind of magical deal with yourself (promise to be a more decent person) in the hope it will affect the outcome of things. When we’re desperate, we try anything."




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If I find my parrot, I promise to volunteer with Wild Bird Fund for a year.

spend one hour helping other people everyday


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be a vegetarian

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donate $100 to charity


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If I can win the competition, I promise to buy coffee for my coach every week.




Tziporah If anyone remembers my birthday, I promise to make food for other people everyweek.



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In order to help other people understand our anxiety raised by the uncertainties of life, I have created an App that people go to every time they have wishes whose outcome they cannot control and can do nothing but cross their fingers and hope. In Cross, people can make magical deals with themselves or a “possibly existing super natural being” by typing a wish and a promise (towards becoming a better person). The promise is made in exchange for the assurance that the wish will come true. Once the deal is made, the wishes and promises show up together in a feed that friends can review, like or comment on.

If a User’s wishes come true, s/ he is required to keep the related promises. For instance, if the promise was to donate money to charity, the App will facilitate that; if their promise is about helping others or becoming a vegetarian, they can post in-progress photos so that their progress can be monitored by friends. However, if their wishes don’t come true, Cross also provides a chance for the User to be comforted by friends.

level of anxiety behind their worry that the wish may not come true, of which their friends will also become aware. Imagine there are two people both want to find their lost parrots. One promises to give 10 dollars to whoever brings it to him, but one promises to volunteer with Wild Bird Fund for a year, which one do you think will she feel sadder if couln't find her bird?

Because magical thinking doesn’t require a logical connection between the promises and the wishes, Uers can choose the promises that they think match the importance of the wish or the

Absurd Intelligence Lense



pening his eyes in the morning, Soni suddenly felt a little sore throat. It must be because of yesterday's long meeting, some stupid guy in the room spread the flu. This is not a big deal, he thought, he could quickly pick up some medicine on the way to work. He hadn’t gone to the pharmacy for a long time because neither small illness nor serious diseases trouble him. In fact, this not only happens to him, in the year of 2075, people seldom get sick unless it’s a flu season, which is pretty understandable—if people get sick easily, how can companies maintain a high efficiency? But this time, it’s an exception. There is never a way to stop the flu. He parked at the pharmacy door, suddenly realized how unfamiliar he was with this place, and this must happen to every other human being. The moment the door automatically opened,1000 shelves showed up. 1000! A standard pharmacy in 2075, if you put 1000 shelves in a store 60 years ago, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine: with no personal consultation, how easy it would be for the customers to get lost inside the drug maze. Unless the customers already knew in advance which medicine to buy, and where they were. But Soni did not check in advance what he needed, and he didn’t have to spend time on it. In addition to the feeling of unfamiliarity, he didn’t feel lost at all. He knew that no matter whether he needed to find one from 300 different kinds of medicine, or 500, he could easily do that in no more than 5 minutes. He looked at his watch and found that he could only spend three and a half minutes in this place. Then he reached his hand into his pocket, pulled out a small triangle box; with a slight press, the box turned into a half ring, which could just fix on his forehead. 3 minutes 07 seconds left.

just 3 and a half minutes. He threw the medicine on the co-pilot's seat, started the engine, and drove off. Before he drove away, he didn’t forget to take off the half circle device on his forehead and put it back in his pocket. While driving, he started to celebrate secretly, if there were no intuition enhancer, drug selection would be a huge waste of time. Since there is a great variety of medicine brands, which are not much different than one another, while one may say they had a better effect, another would say that they were more eco-friendly, and other would say the companies donated money to charities, it would be hard to compare them with one another, and you would never know if they were telling you the truth. In the year of 2067, the Illogical Mind Institute launched a series of products to enlarge the illogical thinking. At that time it caused a heated discussion around the world. Shimmer Mavskibouklotzka, the winner of the New Nobel Prize in Artificial Intelligence, once criticized the product as a nonlogical one, which was against the noble rationalist spirit for the entire modern society. She said that the pursuit of rationality and logic was the essence of this era; when she saw people no longer cared about the truth, she felt disappointed. On the other hand, Xiaoming Park, a top New York-based magazine commentator, responded by saying that people were trying too hard to be rational, and ignored emotional needs. So he launched a global Facebook campaign—“We Don’t Want to be Spock."


He went straight to the 1000 shelves, then what he had to was to try to catch a glimpse of everything. 2 minutes 49 seconds left, he found the pharyngitis shelf, which had 363 different brands of pharyngitis medicine. 1 minute 32 seconds left, he felt the seventh row of drugs should be the names he had heard about before. 57 seconds left, he felt from the packaging style that at the middle-right part of the row, that medicine should be very helpful. He reached his hand in this direction, but 1 second before he touched the No. 23 box, he suddenly switched to No.17. Then he didn’t even look back, he directly went back to the gate, paid, and walked out of the pharmacy door. At the moment the store door shut, he looked at his watch,

In fact, these were the results of misunderstanding the series of IMI products. According to Marcroro Mikaka, CEO of the IMI used real brain science and psychological research, to prove that emotions play an irreplaceable role in helping us make decisions. Especially when we make a quick decision, logic analysis tend to be very slow, and it’s impossible to complete complex tasks in a short time. So intuition is very useful when

we need to make quick decisions all the time. "We are not only researching intuition strengthening technology, but also other irrational mechanisms of the mind. “Our future is not purely rational; our future is where people’s irrational mind is taken care of, ” he said. “ Our goal is to allow humankind to obtain inner balance even without religious belief and to maintain good connections with other people in a modern environment. “Du—du—" Soni’s cell phone suddenly started ringing, pulling him back from his thoughts of intuition enhancer and irrational mechanism. The call is from Soni’s sister—Sora, a 16-year-old. He didn’t have to guess: she must want to borrow his intuition strengthening device. People under the age of 18 were not

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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


allowed to use the intuition enhancer because the experts agreed that the human mind had not yet fully developed before 18 years old. But this is not the first time that Sora used his intuition enhancer. As a high school girl, Sora always wanted to search in the crowd to find a potential boyfriend, wanted to know who may be more likely have the mood to chat with her during the class break, and which stranger would be her good friend. But today he would not lend it to her because today the company wants to recruit people. Today Soni had to interview 73 candidates, all of whom are Ivy League school graduates with a lot of awards and internship experience. Each interview only got one minute and 20 seconds to introduce themselves, how can Soni know anything about them at all? Fortunately, with intuition enhancer, he wouldn’t be confused by the complicated appearance, and can always make accurate

decisions on hiring. Of course, these results had to be reported to his boss Mr. Niu, before the final determination. His boss was even more awesome; successful people's intuition is always impressive. He could judge people by only looking at their faces. Mr. Niu can determine who is talented, cooperative, hard-working or smart. Sometimes Mr. Niu’s intuition is unbelievably good; Soni suspects that he may have purchased it on the black market. “Du—du—“ There is a burst of cell phone ringtones, and Soni recovered from the endless daydreaming picked up the phone, pressed the answer key: "Hey……" (end)

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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


Besides providing consolation, our unconscious mind also plays an role in our decision making process. This series of products includes three projects: a speculative newspaper, a speculative design "Intuition Enhancer�product, an accessary called KooKoo, and an experiential game show. At the very beginning of the development of this design, I wrote a science fiction novel about a utopian future in which humans embrace both logical reasoning and intuition. I invented an intuition enhancer and a company called the Illogical Mind Institute (IMI), which manufactures this product. I also designed a speculative newspaper, the future version of Scientific American, which describes the years right before the utopian future of my science fiction story. The era of the speculative newspaper is a scientism dystopia in which people blindly trust logical thinking, which creates massive social problems detailed in the paper. The moral of the speculative newspaper story comes from our current (actual) over reliance on analytical reason and logic at the expense of any reliance on intuition. In fact, on the back side of the newspaper, IMI, the startup that will characterize the next era, has just begun providing the service of selling the intuition of successful people. Currently, the technology of an intuition enhancer does not exist, and it is difficult to say whether or not such a thing would lead to Users’ arriving at the most accurate answers to their questions and issues, but consciously adding it to our current model for decision making holds great potential, particularly with regard to making snap decisions. My focus is therefore how to address the problem of overanalyzing. I hypothesis that if people, especially perfectionists or "waffler", were to pay more attention to their intuition, they could vastly improve their ability to make snap decisions and thereby learn how to make all decisions more efficiently.

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Absurd Intelligence 58


decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. “ Your By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done.

By monitoring the micro patterns of activity in the front polar cortex, researchers could predict which hand the participant would choose 7 SECONDS before the participant was aware of the decision.� --John-Dylan Haynes Max Planck Institute neuroscientist This remarkable brain pattern inspired me to design KooKoo. KooKoo functions as a timer that only goes up to 7 seconds. Every time a User realizes that s/ he is over-analyzing or hesitates in the face of multiple options, the User can pull the string of KooKoo. After 7 seconds, the timer goes off, and the User must make the decision.

Because the unconscious has already made a decision 7 seconds before User realizes it, once those 7 seconds are up, KooKoo will have helped its User to realize his/her intuitive decision. KooKoo leaves no time for Users to think twice, creating a bridge between their unconscious and their conscious.

Absurd Intelligence Introduction


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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


lucky guess is never merely luck, “ Athere is always some talent in it.� --Jane Austin

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Inthlete, an experience that is all about acting on intuition, honors this inexplicable ability to intuit good, sound choices without the time, effort and energy of drawn-out decision-making processes. Inthlete is an experiential game show where participants compete against each other to see whose intuition is better. In this gameshow, people are motivated to use their intuition to quickly decide on the ‘right’ response to a given challenge. Participants are divided in groups of two and compete with each other to see whose intuition addresses the challenge more effectively.

Absurd Intelligence Introduction


I have observed that people feel good and unique when they have the sense that their intuition is good--the pleasure response that comes from being right without knowing why.

The experience was made up of 10 challenges: 1. guess the answer to “407,561 x 283,393 = ? ”in 10 seconds 2. predict which frame will light up next (they were randomized) 3. estimate length of a tangled rope after only one glimpse 4. estimate number of people in a picture after only one glimpse 5. estimate the time without a clock 6. play Rock-Scissor-Papers 7. talk for a minute without pausing 8. identify the main idea of an article after only one glimpse 9. out of 5 keys, find the right one for opening a lock 10. predict who will win. The challenges were placed on frames that would light up to signal how much time was left to answer each question. Participants ran around the

room to the frames that lit up randomly, and two judges followed them to compare their answers and decide which person had the more accurate answer. I put a time limit on each challenge in order to make the questions impossible to analyze. Some of the questions had the added challenge of not quite offering enough information. The reason for designing these limits was to make the participants learn something from the experience. One example of a takeaway is how to think in an action-oriented situation, i.e.a moment in which you have limited time or information but that requires you to act and adjust before arriving at the “right” solution. The idea was that after learning this process through the game experience, the participants could then repeat it in their own lives.

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Absurd Intelligence Introduction



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Absurd Intelligence Introduction


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LEXICON Absurd Ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous, as in,an absurd argument: extremely silly or ridiculous. Absurdity includes an objective feature—unreasonable, and a subjective feature—silly and not being taken seriously. Altruism A traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular world views, though the concept of “the other”, towards whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism can also be a defense mechanism—a type of mature defense—that helps to integrate conflicting emotions and thoughts whilst still remaining effective. The use of these defenses enhances pleasure and feelings of control.

Intuition Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired. Logic Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Includes deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning. Whereas logic reasoning is also part of conscious reasoning, subconscious reasoning cannot be considered a type of logic reasoning, no matter how valid, because it cannot be rationally proven or explained.

Daydream A short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially superseded by something that has been imagined so palpably that it felt real.

Rationality The conformity of one's beliefs to one's reasons for believing or of one's actions to one's reasons for action. The dependence of rationality on a unified system of belief necessitates that the belief system—the assumptions and basic conceptual framework—be specified as well. For example, if one accepts a model in which benefitting oneself is optimal, then rationality is equated with behavior that is self-interested to the point of being selfish; whereas if one accepts a model in which benefiting the group is optimal, then purely selfish behavior is deemed irrational.

Daydreams often take the form of visual images but can also occur as words, music ( or other sounds) or messages— imaginings—experienced through our senses of touch, taste or smell.

Although rational behavior can be regarded as the opposite of emotional behavior, this book does not adhere to this belief. Rather, the position of this text is that one can behave rationally based on emotional needs.

Daydreams need not necessarily represent pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions. They can just as easily be negative thoughts and/or be triggered by negative emotions.

Reasoning Making sense of things, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions and beliefs based on new or existing information.

Analysis Paralysis The state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation to the degree that a decision is never made nor an action taken— in effect, paralyzing the outcome.

Defense Mechanisms A series of psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind to manipulate, deny or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses and to maintain one's self-schema. Defense mechanisms fall into three different categories: immature defenses, neurotic defenses and mature defenses. As such, they can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the circumstances and frequency of use. Fantasy A fantasy is a situation imagined by an individual that expresses particular desires or goals and as such, functions as a type of Defense Mechanism. Fantasies can be either grossly unrealistic or completely realizable. They can provide a healthy or unhealthy retreat that allows their creator to to resolve inner and/or outer conflicts. Intelligence the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations; the skilled use of reason; the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria.

Reasoning may be subdivided into various forms of logical reasoning as well as into other modes of reasoning, such as intuitive reasoning, which are considered more informal than the aforementioned because the reasoning process, however valid, tends toward the personal and the less verifiably explicable. in which Despite the fact that logical and intuitive modes of reasoning clash in many social and political settings, in others, they can be complementary. For example, in mathematics, intuition is not only desirable but very often necessary for the success of the creative process of writing a formal proof—arguably the hardest form of reasoning. Rationalization A kind of Defense Mechanism in which one convinces oneself through a process of faulty and false reasoning that no wrong has been done and that all is right . The construction of socalled convenient excuses in the social sphere is often a symptom of rationalization. Suspension of Disbelief A willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment or consolation.

Absurd Intelligence Lexicon


BIBLIOGRAPHY Ake 阿科 , “Chengshi xinwuzhong tujian” 城市新物种图鉴 , Nanfang dushibao 南方都市报 , 2012. Asimov, Isaac. Second foundation. Asimov. New York: Avon Publishers of Bard, Camelot and Discus Books, 1953. Barth, F. Diane. Daydreaming: unlock the creative power of your mind. New York: Viking, 1997. “BLACK OPIUM - DIRECTOR'S CUT,” YouTube video, 1:10, posted by "YSL Beauty," Feb 3, 2015, watch?v=a4l2Fuj7L7U. Bloch, Ernst. The principle of hope. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Warner Bros., 2010. Orci, Roberto, and Kurtzman, Alex. Star Trek. DVD. Directed by J. J. Abrams, Paramount Pictures, 2009. Schmidt, Victoria. 45 master characters: mythic models for creating original characters. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 2012. Vaillant, G. E., M. Bond, and C. O. Vaillant. "An empirically validated hierarchy of defense mechanisms." Archives of general psychiatry. August 1986. Accessed May 30, 2017. Wirth, Louis. Urbanism as a way of life. Chicago, 1938.

Botton, Alain De. Religion for atheists: a non-believer's guide to the uses of religion. New York: Pantheon Books, 2012. Cleaver, Jerry. Immediate fiction: a complete writing course. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2002. Danelek, J. Allan. 2012: extinction or utopia: doomsday prophecies explored. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2009. Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2013. Fengkuangzuanshi 疯狂钻石 , “Yinianchegnshen: cong xingjichuanye kan ruanyingkehuan” 一年成神:从《星际穿越》 看软硬科幻 , 2014. Fine, Cordelia. A mind of its own: how your brain distorts and deceives. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006. “GUCCI PREMIERE....Gucci Perfume Ad featuring Blake Lively,” YouTube video, 1:23, posted by "James Dennis," Nov 27, 2012, Hammond, John S. The hidden traps in decision making. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review, 2006. “Happy Pills,” Studio m, 2007, happypills.html “KENZO World - The new fragrance,” YouTube video, 3:48, posted by "KENZO ," Aug 25, 2016, watch?v=ABz2m0olmPg. Liang Fan 梁凡 , “Ren ban dongwuyuan” 人扮动物园 [The zoo of human action], Wenhui chubanshe 文汇出版社 , 2010. Montgomery, Elliott P., and Woebken, Chris. Extrapolation Factory - Operator's Manual. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016. Nolan, Christopher, and Thomas, Emma. Inception. DVD. Absurd Intelligence 80

Introduction Bibliography


Thank you all for your knowledge, spending time, being my inspritation, and the kindest supports.

Xianli Zeng Xianliang Mou Allan Chochinov Andrew Schloss Products of Design 2016 Products of Design 2017 Products of Design 2018 Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey Special Thanks Josh Corn Jenna Witzleben Karen Vellensky Ailun Sai Gahee Kang Julia Lindpaintner Oscar Pipson Arjun Kalyanpur Will Lentz Eden Lew Kalvin May Wan Jung Hung Ziyun Qi Lux Bai Nadia Rianna Black Will Crum Manako Tamura Lirong Yang Jiani Lin Teng Yu Kuan Xu Ethan Weiss Wen Quan Michelle Calabro

Aque Ma Zhiheng Li Yi San Feng Talya Stein Gerry Fialka Milica Zec Michael Shalyt Xu Ke Pierre Dubois Gillyn Servidad DJ Deadfoot Joy Shang Kuan Ci Workshop Attendees Chen Jingru Wen Tang Siqi Liang Chenxue Lu Albert Chuang May Sun

Faculty Abby Covert Emilie Baltz Janna Gilbert Sinclair Smith Brent Arnold Steven Dean Jane Fujita Alisha Wessler Marko Manriquez Gabrielle Kellner Krithi Rao Nadia Delane Subject Matter Experts Elliott P. Montgomery Xia Jia Jia Jinli Wu Yan Stanley Chan Absurd Intelligence Introduction Acknowledgements


Absurd Intelligence  

A thesis design exploration into the world of the unconscious.