TU/e Studium Generale: Three stars and a window in outer space - April2011

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Three Stars and a Window in Outer Space
(method and metaphor, system and serendipity)

A lecture by Ronald van Tienhoven in the framework of Eindhoven University of Technology’s Studium Generale lecture programme.
April 20, between 11.45-13.00, TU/e Blauwe Zaal, main auditorium.
The lecture will be in English. Entrance free.

During the Gemini program, launched by NASA in 1958, the astronaut team needed to convince NASA engineers to have a window installed in their spacecraft. Departing from the notion that astronauts were merely instrumental in doing pre-programmed tasks during spaceflights, a window wasn’t considered to be necessary. This conflict symbolizes the gap between utilitarian thinking and design empathy and the psychological consequences of missions in outer space.
In 2006 the European Space Agency (ESA) teamed up with 3-star French chef Alain Ducasse, aiming to develop out-of-this-world cuisine for astronauts on their long-duration spaceflight to Mars and their subsequent stay on the Red Planet. The exquisite menu that followed was based on nine main ingredients that could be grown and harvested by the Mars explorers.

On the one hand there is a universal urge to deploy the arts, design and science in unison. On the other hand there still seems to be a lingering discrepancy that has, admittedly, been bridged considerably between 1958 and 2006, but still needs to gain the necessary momentum in order to become fully effective and meaningful.

This lecture is intended to trigger the discussion about method and metaphor, system and serendipity, and the many opportunities in optimizing anticipatory art & design science.

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TU/e Studium Generale: Three stars and a window in outer space - April2011

  1. 1. ronald van tienhoven lectureTHREE STARS AND A WINDOW IN OUTER SPACE studium generale | eindhoven university of technology april 20, 2011
  2. 2. The Right Stuff Philip Kaufman (1983) based on the novel The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe, 1979
  3. 3. capsule vs. spacecraft occupant vs. pilot(language as litmus test for assessing art & design engineering empathy)
  4. 4. is it about safety? y e s is it about experience? y e sis it about empowerment? y e s is it about status? y e s is it about metaphor? y e s is it about survival? y e s is it about play? y e s
  5. 5. 04:55:23shepard mercury flight duration Alan Shepard’s Apollo 14 Spacesuit (x-ray)
  6. 6. To put the matter differently, "play" (and its associated behavioralvariability) is not purely entertainment or a luxury to be given upwhen things get serious. It is itself a highly adaptive mechanismfor dealing with the reality that the context for behavior is alwayslargely unknown.Paul Grobstein
  7. 7. 520 DAYSmars flight duration AMHA Website: http://www.amha.id.tue.nl/
  8. 8. My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight...I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenlybodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from thestructure of stories and from language...Maybe I was only then becoming aware ofthe weight, the inertia, the opacity of the world - qualities that stick to writingfrom the start, unless one finds some way of evading them.Italo CalvinoSix Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge,1988)
  9. 9. spirulina gnocchismartian bread and green tomato jam potato and tomato mille-feuilles
  10. 10. rice onionstomatoes soyapotatoes lettucespinach wheatspirulina
  11. 11. is it about safety? y e s is it about experience? y e sis it about empowerment? y e s is it about status? y e s is it about metaphor? y e s is it about survival? y e s is it about play? y e s
  12. 12. anticipatoryart & design science
  13. 13. method and metaphorsystem and serendipity
  14. 14. anticipatoryart & design science
  15. 15. Richard Buckminster Fuller - 1895-1983
  16. 16. 500.000 BC - 1850 1850-1950 1950 >> (against forces) (transitional) (natural)man on earth: transport species
  17. 17. “Most of my advances were by mistake.You uncover what is when you get rid of what isnt.”“How often I found where I should be going only bysetting out for somewhere else.”“My ideas have undergone a process of emergence byemergency. When they are needed badly enough,they are accepted.”Richard Buckminster Fuller
  18. 18. past SAGACITY futurethe quality of being discerning, sound in judgment, and farsighted, in two directions, and standing firmly in the present.
  19. 19. fine-tuned deductionomni-tuned serendipity
  20. 20. SERENDIPITY“In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind” (Louis Pasteur)
  21. 21. (...)the camel is lame,blind in one eye,missing a tooth,carrying a pregnant woman,and bearing honey on one side,and butter on the other...
  22. 22. SERENDIPITY“In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind” (Louis Pasteur)
  23. 23. KAlSi3O8 - NaAlSi3O8 - CaAl2Si2O8 Al2Si2O5(OH)4 feldspar kaolin Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682-1719)
  24. 24. european porcelain post-it gravity penicillin silly putty rayon viagra corn flakes america
  25. 25. “....research directed toward the test ofone hypothesis [yielding] a fortuitous by-product, an unexpected observation whichbears upon theories not in question whenthe research was begun”Robert K. Merton, 1958
  26. 26. E V E N Tpast H O R I Z O N future Freud’s desk, London, 1938
  27. 27. "Possibly we will discover that the very same logic underliesboth mythical and scientific thinking, and that Man always hasthought equally well.""Peut-être découvrirons-nous un jour que la même logique est àloeuvre dans la pensée mythique et dans la pensée scientifique,et que lhomme a toujours pensé aussi bien."Claude Lévi-Strauss - Anthropologie structurale, p. 254
  28. 28. E V E N TH O R I Z O N
  29. 29. Event Horizon Sequence: the Event Horizon as Point Of No Return
  30. 30. Hokusai Katsushika - Blind monks measuring an elephant, 1819
  31. 31. Hokusai Katsushika - Blind monks measuring an elephant, 1819
  32. 32. chance & necessity chaos & chance
  33. 33. “The eye sees only what the mind isprepared to comprehend."Henri Bergson
  34. 34. “The eye sees only what the mind iswilling to comprehend."....
  35. 35. “The eye sees only what the mind isable to comprehend."....
  36. 36. preparationwillingness ability
  37. 37. case study: human anatomy
  38. 38. Tibetan medical painting: blood vessels, 17th century
  39. 39. Female anatomical statue, 1600 (Roudillon collection)
  40. 40. Jacques Gautier d´Agoty - L’Ange Anatomique, 1746
  41. 41. Female anatomical representation, 2007 (as perceived by hugh heffner)
  42. 42. The Visible Human ProjectThe U.S. National Library of Medicine (1986>) based on the novel The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe, 1979
  43. 43. “All too often beauty is nothing more thanthe by-product of an everyday enterprise.”Joseph BrodskyFondamenta degli incurabili, 1989
  44. 44. wishful design process diagram diagram becomes metaphor
  45. 45. statement of the Eames Design Process by Charles Eames for the Louvre show “What is Design”, 1969
  46. 46. Chris BurdenMetropolis II 2009
  47. 47. Alexander McQueenSpring|Summer 1999 model: Shalom Harlow
  48. 48. finwww.slideshare.net/rvtienhoven

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