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PHD-DESIGN  May 2014

PHD-DESIGN May 2014

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Subject:

Why designers need maths

From:

"Salisbury, Martin" <[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:

Fri, 9 May 2014 10:40:22 +0000

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text/plain

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Dear Terry,

You addressed your answer to me but, happily, others have jumped in with useful contributions before I have managed to find time to return.

Thank you for having a stab at addressing the questions. However, your ‘answers’ are so muddled and contradictory that I have found them impossible to unravel and respond to directly. The assertive writing style makes it difficult to disentangle those parts intended to be presented as ‘fact’ from those which are purely opinion. You don’t appear to differentiate between them.

You begin by saying that there are ‘three parts to the answer’ and then you list ‘three big change factors in professionals’ lives…’. It is not clear whether these are in some way the three parts of the answer
you refer to or are another digression/ red herring. Either way, I still can’t fathom where you are coming from. If, as you suggest in your subsequent message to Ken, the problem is that you are ‘not explaining things well enough’ perhaps, as Eduardo suggests, the best way forward is to get a computer to write for you. On the other hand, the problem could be that this is all nonsense. But in order to know which, we must await your forthcoming post that will finally explain and evidence the propositions clearly and unambiguously.

I would only say that the sense that I am getting is that you completely misunderstand what ‘design’ means within the creative/applied arts. I sense that your perception of Graphic Design is limited to one of a process of arranging things. I believe that you are also confusing tools/ process with content. You have once again painted yourself into a corner by making wild assertions about areas with which you are not familiar and certainly have no experiential knowledge of, and are trying retrospectively to justify them.

You say:
“In visual design fields, human professional design development is predicated on sensitisation to existing and past designs using a range of criteria (contrast, balance, gestalt, purpose, rhetoric etc).  From this, humans identify and critique possible new designs. The limit is only the limit of the number of designs a person can see in their lifetime and their sensitivity to them. This and the use of emotions and thinking provides the creative competence of designers.”

You seem here to be saying that what informs a designer is the range of designs that the designer has seen- with the use of ‘emotions and thinking’ as an afterthought. Try adding to that afterthought ‘life experience’, ‘empathy’, ‘humour’, ‘pathos’, ‘graphic wit’… IDEAS!. The implicit projection of a personal life story’. Or perhaps you are only referring to functional information design? I sense that you have gone away and done some very rudimentary research into these areas of creative endeavour that you are not too well up on in order to try to find a way out?

My colleagues on the Graphic Design programme here once enrolled a severely autistic student. He received excellent support throughout his studies and of course made some astonishingly clever things that did not connect in any way with user/ audience.

“Remember if computers can learn to produce designs on the basis of best designs and best design practices of the best designers, it is going to be increasingly harder to stay ahead of the creative designs of the computers.”

In relation to graphic design, this one clearly is nonsense. It refers to a world of endless recycling and imitation, a world of low level, local print shop design.

My own students at Masters and PhD level, are very quick to learn that the computer is a wonderful tool and that the problems only arise when one expects it to design or think for them. Where this leaves us in relation to the need to learn Maths, I still have no idea.

Looking forward to your next post.

Best wishes,

Martin


Professor Martin Salisbury
Course Leader, MA Children's Book Illustration
Director, The Centre for Children's Book Studies
Cambridge School of Art
0845 196 2351
[log in to unmask]

http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/microsites/ccbs.html


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