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PHD-DESIGN  September 2011

PHD-DESIGN September 2011

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Subject:

Re: Review of Kathryn Moore's, Overlooking the Visual: Demystifying the Art of Design

From:

David Durling <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 20:59:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (113 lines)

My my Don, you seem especially grumpy today. Thank you though for taking the trouble to post the review here - I didn't think it would be THAT interesting to phd-design, but if you think so...

DRN unorganised, undisciplined? I do spend quite a bit of time formatting DRN from the stuff that comes in and cleaning the text. It is intended to be plain email but is organised into simple sections. It's been that way for 15 years, and 8,500 people find it helpful (or so some of them tell me).

David

.........................................................................

David Durling FDRS PhD   http://durling.tel
.........................................................................





On 25 Sep 2011, at 8:10 pm, Don Norman wrote:

> David Durling posted a reference to a book review of a new book by
> Moore on visual thinking. I found the review tantalizing, but I also
> found it rather difficult to get to. The original reference by David
> didn't even have the title of the book. Moreover, if one tried to
> follow David's URL, you would soon discover confusing stuff, requiring
> a login and then wading through the unorganized, undisciplined DRS
> newsletter.  I thought list readers would appreciate just having the
> review,  So I paste the review below, following the Heape-Durling
> ingterchange for context).
> Don Norman
> 
> ================
> On 21 Sep 2011, at 2:47 pm, Chris Heape wrote:
> 
> Kathryn Moore has written a very good and very provocative paper that
> rather pulls apart the notion that visual thinking is necessarily part
> of a design process or is even something that designers do altogether:
> "Overlooking the Visual." The Journal of Architecture, vol. 8, Spring
> 2003.
> 
> On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 7:13 AM, David Durling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> As this book was mentioned here recently, listers may wish to know
> that the latest Design Research News has a review of the book. I read
> it myself recently* and agree with Chris' notion of it being
> [helpfully] provocative. Though set firmly in landscape architecture,
> there is some relevance to design in the broader sense.
> 
> DRN - http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/design-research
> ===================
> 
> BOOK REVIEW
> 
> Kathryn Moore, Overlooking the Visual: Demystifying the Art of
> Design (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2010).
> 
> Reviewed by Gareth Doherty, Graduate School of Design, Harvard
> University, Cambridge, Mass.
> 
> In this mesmerising book, Kathryn Moore turns traditional
> assumptions about design, and design education, upside down and
> inside out. Moore tells us that "a radical redefinition of the
> relationship between the senses and intelligence is long overdue"
> (1), and not just demolishes existing perceptions, but through
> the 254-page book, offers a vision for the re-conceptualization,
> and teaching, of design.
> 
> Moore tells us it all went wrong with the Enlightenment when an
> overt rationalism became dominant, relegating the sensual,
> including visual, knowledge to the sidelines (17). "The crux of
> the problem," says Moore, "is that an intractable rationalist
> paradigm dominates our thinking to such a degree we no longer
> give it much thought" (6). Materiality becomes separated from
> intelligence but, Moore argues, to consciously adopt a
> specifically sensual approach serves to acknowledge this
> difference and reinforce the binary. Influenced by philosophers
> such as Gilbert Ryle, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty, Moore
> suggests that in order to re-evaluate the way we think about
> design, designers need to engage with ideas at all stages of the
> design process and that artistic practice needs to engage with
> "space, words, shadow, light and form" (9).
> 
> We cannot understand theory without practice and vice versa, and
> this integration of the theoretical and practical is inherent
> within the book itself where copious illustrations and design
> projects are as every bit integral to the book's argument than
> the text itself. The sequence of images of a sublime sea remind
> us that the sea has smell, color, and memories. Just like the
> visual. Part of Moore's argument is that the visual is not just
> about what we see but is itself a political and emotional
> construct. Through eight highly engaging chapters, with titles
> such as "The sensory interface and other myths and legends,"
> "Teaching the unknowable," and "Objectivity without neutrality,"
> Moore outlines a vision for landscape architectural education
> with design at its core.
> 
> The book is dense and theoretical, but well written and lucid. It
> fits within a growing literature on the anthropology of design,
> and a movement in design away from the design of objects and
> processes to the understanding of context and how and why we
> design. Moore has a lot in common with artists like Olafur
> Eliasson, who sees the political ramifications of the emotions,
> and anthropologists like Albena Yavena, who recently published an
> ethnography on the design process of the Office for Metropolitan
> Architecture. Not alone does Moore outline the problems with
> design education but proposes alternative models. This active
> agency of the designer that comes through in the book is part of
> the reason this book, or chapters thereof, should be essential
> reading for design educators, and students, and indeed for anyone
> interested in processes of design.
> 
> Kathryn Moore is a Professor at the Birmingham Institute of Art
> and Design, Birmingham City University, UK. Moore is past
> President of the Landscape Institute, the UK representative of
> IFLA, and an experienced educator and practitioner.

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