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(how to design anything)



Design notes

what is design? das Design

vitrūvius in 25 BC said there are 3 elements
to an architectural or engineering design:
firmitās, ūtilitās, venustās
(structure, usefulness, beauty)
and he also summarized design:
“wake up! design is all politics”

but i would extend these 3 elements 
to other design fields:
industrial, scientific, graphics, interior
doing a movie, writing a book, landscaping
sending a rocket to mars, cooking supper, vaccines
and that infamous et cetera

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Andrea Palladio in 1540 read vitrūvius as:
comodità, perpetuità, bellezza
(convenience, perpetuity, beauty)
(or usefulness, strength, beauty)

Palladio used Classical Roman/Greek design elements
in his own personal way, to create his designs:
a Neo-Classical style
(symmetry + proportions were important to him)
people developed his style and called it Palladianism

Henry Wotton’s interpretation in 1624:
commodity, firmness, delight
i would summarize it as:
planning, construction, design
design is planning + structure taken to a new level:
the beauty in a space and a structure

what is your summary?

vitruvian man: the human scale
how important is scale?
in a natural environment + climate + village
design = practice + theory
design = budget + politics
design = scale + everything else

natural architecture:
there is a space in a time
a form in the light and dark
we’re always working in a space
always looking in a light
always moving in a time

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design: a spatial structure
design: a formal structure
function follows form
or form follows function
(or is there a synthesis here?)
(is there a synergy sometimes?)

design follows the money: cash is king
design is big business
design is political
engineering design can be cheap + quick
aesthetics can be subjective or objective:
pick one for your style
then try the other

does the old castle work?
does the new Excel work?
they are both design environments
space + metaspace

design is relative:
now it has many dimensions

all design is approximate:
probabilites + limits
analog design + digital design
(analog + digital are just a matter of scale)
analog = digital

you have metaphorical design:
symbols + analogies + translations

universal design: 
inclusive design for many types of users

all design is evolutionary:
design in phases and design for change:
multi-use design and design that is recycled
a design grows organically by itself
in a natural (or artificial) world

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decoration is powerful or frivolous
fashion is fickle and rampant

scale + decoration can work together
decorum is decoration generalized
design for the senses (that’s all you have)
planning + aesthetics = your style?

green design for your environment
moral design for the people involved
theatrical design is performance art:
all design is performance art
all design is moral + green
technology is the design engine:
it drives the (design) world

government design fails repeatedly:
because it is too big, too complex to manage:
maybe someday some government
will have the design tools to succeed
(but not today)

company design:
design the question
design the answer
what will the company look like? how will it work?
no answers for the company questions?
the company wants to advance: profit design
give us a true answer: good useful pretty
give us a simple answer:
minimize + summarize
and cut out the garbage: muda
a professional is honest + true:
these 2 things are not mutually exclusive:
you can’t have one without the other

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façade design is very common and easy
historical design is common and easy
prima donna design:
the me me me style is way too common and easy
(don’t pull a Pygmalion and fall in love)

what is (your) design?