Part Three: Peaking Behind the Curtain

Onto books 9 – 14 after a brief recap of pre-lunch activities with a refocus on Edward de Bono’s view on logic and yes, more ball dropping from attempts to juggle.

Henry Petroski once said, “Form follows Failure.”

Given what we shared so for, I believe this quote to have more truth than not. When something fails, we attempt to create patterns which avoid the failure and support some form of success. I can look to my history in architecture. Many designs are duplicated, not because of the esthetic value or their sense of place, rather that the form or design worked before. Those that do change, tend to be corrected after some level of failure either in concept or implementation. The whole Design/Build industry lives this concept. Design in-house, fix in field. This maybe a simple view of Henry’s statement, but it adds clarity to me.

Petroski takes this belief further, by his book “The History of the Fork.” The fork begins its journey in design through each failure of the previous design that was unable to complete a task and thus was redesigned to meet a goal or a desired outcome.

Book 10 by Donald Norman takes this conversation even further by expressing that all signage or posters are a sign of design failure. If, by placing a sign to clarify information about a design is required, then the design is neither expressive nor intuitive in nature. The design failed.

In book 11, a Joe Pine favorite, “Future Perfect” written by Stanley M. Davis explores progression of what is next by discussing his comment “turn signals are the facial expressions on automobiles.” This may suggest the connectivity between intent and attitude of the driver and the turn indicators. How, I do not know until such time that I can explore this book deeper. After this we briefly discussed book 12 “Home”.

Onto book 13, “Theory of Practice” by Bill Hubbard Jr. Truly an architectural reference material frame-working progression and the task of architects to play rock, paper, scissors when it comes to design. Rather than focusing on one singular element, an architect must see all the pieces and how they interact on each other. Hubbard examines the concept of progression through design.

The final book for this panel is “Prophet of the Sandlots” by Mark Winegardner. You knew being with Jim Gilmore, baseball would somehow worm its way into a conversation or as important source reading and it did. It is from this book, the idea of the 4 E’s evolves and becomes part of the ideology behind the Experience Economy: Entertainment, Education, Escapist and Esthetic. This concept of the 4E’s plays heavily throughout Jim and Joe’s book.

And now the canvas.

Books 9_14

Until, next week, keep thINKing visually.

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