Presentation Note on Decoding Design by Maggie Macnab

–Macnab explores archetypal patterns of nature and their symbolic meanings that are essential for design.
–Each chapter has organic relation with one another and this organic relationship turns into the symbolic pattern of thought and creative process.
–Thus this is not merely a Design book; rather, it is more about the creativity itself or the origin of creative thinking which is closely interlinked with the epistemology of hyper media culture.
–According to her arguments, the essence of this creative thinking, which she even calls a saving grace, is to connect something ambiguous, unquantifiable, and figural, constantly with the infinite essence of nature and universe.
( Connectivity is of essential importance to how energy works. )
Thus for her “Design is the ability to communicate through an intuitive sense of pattern.” She continues that “Recognizing pattern is one of humanity’s greatest abilities. It is the basis of conscious awareness that brings cohesion to a chaotic world by allowing us to see contrast as well as similarity.”
–such a creative connection through the patterns is in fact equated with the essence of heuretic methodology which is what our project hinges upon, and it also represents a cultural aspect of the electracy, because pretty much like design process, hyper media culture goes on constructing a matrix of collective experience and knowledge through electronic connectivity and pattern-making.
—-Patterning is part of CATTt
(one of the quotations that I found in the book is clearly echoing with the heuretic voice )
“All at once, it appears before you: that “aha!” of illumination following a period of delving. It is making the leap to the potential, residing in the spaces between the broken down bits of information: the alchemy generated out of interaction between inspiration, intuition, and creativity.”

–while literacy or literary thinking is meant to produce a system of meaning through integral structure of exchangeable signs, as many semioticians since Sausere may agree, this creative thinking process of both intuitive design and electacy is “to see beyond the obvious, the quantified, the literal,” system and find some symbolic connections from meaningless or irrelevant patterns.
In other words, design is a creative symbolization that fills up the gap between phenomenon and its meaning, and as long as it embraces various sensational cognitions and experience, this intuitive design will be overlapped with blogging activity that we have gone through.
(Thus, for Macnab, symbol is very significant logic of design. She says “Symbols are the essential connectors that create a consistent link b/w the diverse patterns that exist all around us.”)
“A Symbol, when you catch it, has made it from intuitive sensing to conscious awareness. You have just made the eternal connection from your deepest experience to “right now” reality and caught a glimpse of a timeless, universal truth.”
— If the symbolic connection of design process can be made by the psychic exchange between “intuitive sensing and conscious awareness,” in blogging process, this can be made by electronic exchange between a monad of information and intuitive feeling of it. Information is picked up and dumped away by bloggers according to the quantity of feelings that it provides. Information that is collected in a blog does not generate a solid, linear narrative structure, but this discursive narrative structure rather requests a symbolic activity from bloggers, which I guess we have been calling figures.
—In this regard, Blogging is a sort of design process in larger context.
Then how can we relate this blogging as a intuitive design process to our own disaster which is a client for us, as Dr Ulmer suggested in one of the e-mail correspondences.
—In one of the chapter, Macnab articulates how a story (which is perhaps parallel to a primal scene in our blog experiment) can turn into a catalysis for designing a logo. In the same way, our feelings or figures or primal scene which is our intuitive sensing of the disaster that we have been dealing with can be considered as a catalysis of our brand logo for a disaster. Feeling gives the logo a form and color.
—for example, like what Macnab does in her design process, I’m gonna have to take a feeling from my disaster, the Rwanda Genocide, which is something that we have already done in Part 1 of this project. Then this feeling should be transformed into more concrete figures in order to give the disaster, an abstract historical event, a visible form. Then I am going to find out a symbol, a brand logo, by which I can fill up the distance between the subjectivity and objectivity of the fear that the Genocide victims and the western onlookers may have.
–this symbol should not only be the personal but also be the universal. As Macnab insightfully takes from Jungean notion of collective unconscious, the symbol should be an archetype of feeling that everyone could project his or her own painful experience onto it. Not only does it appeal to me but it also strikes all human kind with its irresistible universality, timelessness.
— this organic relationship between individuality and universality is what Blog has been aiming at, and the blog is a possible place in which we can identify ourselves with the universality of the disaster.


~ by cjc128 on April 2, 2009.

One Response to “Presentation Note on Decoding Design by Maggie Macnab”

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