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The contemporary dilemma of creative design methodology: individual, object and their relation

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Artigo publicado na Revista Iniciação – edição Vol. 3, nº1, Ano 2014 …

Artigo publicado na Revista Iniciação – edição Vol. 3, nº1, Ano 2014
Publicação Científica do Centro Universitário Senac - ISSN 2179-474X

Acesse a edição na íntegra!

http://www1.sp.senac.br/hotsites/blogs/revistainiciacao/?page_id=13

Abstract

The discussion around Design Projects is usually carried out by dissecting the
product displayed, its merits, flaws, potentials, ideas. How does it look like and why?
What ideas were behind it? What techniques were used? Which references were
inspirational? What ideology is implicit and how valid is it? The questions target the
project itself and specific working process behind it – circumstantial to a pre-defined
program. It is the designer’s main goal of a “what”, and the meriting justification
provided by the “how”, that is placed under the spotlight.
But the operative process, focused on the immediate goal, is only part of a larger
system: method. This often instinctive and invisible component of design is both the
structure of all creative production by an individual and the key constructor of the
individual itself, not only as a designer but as the underrated yet central essence of a
person. Establishing a way of understanding and acting upon the World also defines how
to be in it, thus questioning method is questioning both how to design and how to be.
Specific techniques of a method’s practice are not necessarily universal however:
traditionally drawing has been the prime instrument used; but in recent years digital
systems have come up to defy such domain. The importance of method both to the
designer as a person as to the designed as an object pushes the issue of technique to be
considered beyond the loose acceptance of generic diversity as an absolute value in
itself. Especially in a period when traditional hand drawing strategies are being
unprecedentedly replaced by digital-era influenced computer designs, one must question
how advantageous are, indeed, these mainstream tendencies for the object produced,
and what side-effects are reserved for the designing individual.

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  • 1. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014, São Paulo: Centro Universitário Senac ISSN 2179474 X © 2014 todos os direitos reservados - reprodução total ou parcial permitida, desde que citada a fonte portal de revistas científicas do Centro Universitário Senac: http://www.revistas.sp.senac.br e-mail: revistaic@sp.senac.br O dilema contemporâneo na metodologia de design criativo: indivíduo, objecto e a sua relação André Patrão Neves de Frias Martins | 2012/2013 Mestrando de Design Urbano Sustentável em Lunds Universitet (Lund, Suécia) Mestrando de Filosofia em K.U.Leuven (Leuven, Bélgica) andrefpatrao@gmail.com Resumo Por norma a discussão de um projecto de design centra-se no dissecar do objecto apresentado, os seus méritos, falhas, potenciais, ideias. O que é, como é e porquê? Quais as ideias que o sustentam? Que técnicas se utilizaram? Que referências serviram de inspiração? Qual a ideologia implícita e quão válida será? As perguntas alvejam o projecto em si e o processo de trabalho directo que o gerou – circunstancial, segundo um programa pré-definido. O principal objectivo do designer – o what – e a sua justificação legitimadora – o how – é posto em foco. Mas este processo operativo, limitado ao fim imediato, é somente parte de um sistema maior: o método. Esta componente instintiva e invisível do design é simultaneamente a estrutura fundamental de toda a produção criativa por parte de um indivíduo, e um elemento chave na construção do indivíduo em si não só enquanto designer mas também enquanto pessoa – essa necessidade central e todavia frequentemente desvalorizada. O estabelecer métodos de compreender e agir no Mundo define também como ser nele. Logo, questionar método é questionar como praticar design, e como ser no Mundo. As técnicas específicas de um método não são, todavia, universais: tradicionalmente, o desenho assume-se como instrumento principal utilizado, mas recentemente os meios digitais têm desafiado tal domínio. A importância de método, quer para o designer enquanto pessoa quer para o objecto de design produzido, exige que se compreenda a técnica para além da superficial aceitação da diversidade como virtude por si só. Especialmente num período em que o tradicional sistema reinante se vê ameaçado como nunca pela revolução de uma nova era, há que questionar quão vantajoso se provam, de facto, estes novos instrumentos digitais para o objecto criado, e os efeitos secundários para o indivíduo que os cria. Palavras-chave: Método, Desenho, Digital, Filosofia, Estética
  • 2. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014, São Paulo: Centro Universitário Senac ISSN 2179474 X © 2014 todos os direitos reservados - reprodução total ou parcial permitida, desde que citada a fonte portal de revistas científicas do Centro Universitário Senac: http://www.revistas.sp.senac.br e-mail: revistaic@sp.senac.br The contemporary dilemma of creative design methodology: individual, object and their relation André Patrão Neves de Frias Martins | 2012/2013 Master Student of the SUDes programme of Lunds Universitet (Lund, Sweden) Master Student of the Philosophy programme at K.U.Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) andrefpatrao@gmail.com Abstract The discussion around Design Projects is usually carried out by dissecting the product displayed, its merits, flaws, potentials, ideas. How does it look like and why? What ideas were behind it? What techniques were used? Which references were inspirational? What ideology is implicit and how valid is it? The questions target the project itself and specific working process behind it – circumstantial to a pre-defined program. It is the designer’s main goal of a “what”, and the meriting justification provided by the “how”, that is placed under the spotlight. But the operative process, focused on the immediate goal, is only part of a larger system: method. This often instinctive and invisible component of design is both the structure of all creative production by an individual and the key constructor of the individual itself, not only as a designer but as the underrated yet central essence of a person. Establishing a way of understanding and acting upon the World also defines how to be in it, thus questioning method is questioning both how to design and how to be. Specific techniques of a method’s practice are not necessarily universal however: traditionally drawing has been the prime instrument used; but in recent years digital systems have come up to defy such domain. The importance of method both to the designer as a person as to the designed as an object pushes the issue of technique to be considered beyond the loose acceptance of generic diversity as an absolute value in itself. Especially in a period when traditional hand drawing strategies are being unprecedentedly replaced by digital-era influenced computer designs, one must question how advantageous are, indeed, these mainstream tendencies for the object produced, and what side-effects are reserved for the designing individual. Keywords: Method, Drawing, Digital, Philosophy, Aesthetics
  • 3. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 2 Why method? The discussion of an Architectural or Urban Design project is usually carried out by dissecting the product displayed, its merits, flaws, potentials, ideas. How does it look like and why? What ideas were behind it? What techniques were used? Which references were inspirational? What ideology is implicit and how valid is it? The questions target the project itself and specific working process that formed it – circumstantial to the pre- defined program. It is the designer’s ultimate goal of a “what”, and the meriting justification provided by the “how”, that is placed under the spotlight. But the operative process, focused on the immediate goal, is only part of a larger system: method. This often instinctive and invisible component of design is both the structure of all creative production by an individual and the key constructor of the individual itself, not only as a designer but as the underrated yet central essence of a person. Establishing a way of understanding and acting upon the World also defines how to be in it, thus questioning method is questioning both how to design and how to be. That itself justifies the imperious need, and promising benefits, of reflecting upon method in creative design disciplines as Architecture and Urban Design.
  • 4. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 3 I) Creative method and the contemporary dilemma Before confronting the complexities of method, one must first establish a reference meaning for the word. Some answers can be suggested through aesthetics, on how Art comes to be: Ancient definitions as presented by Plato, of Art being product of a divine possession1 ; or, in more present terms, Kant’s credible account of the artistic genius as “nature giving rule to art”2 , outline a context under which to operate, but are still too broad for the specific practical conclusions one searches for. Intuitively it may be assed that method in Design implies a form of understanding, and thus thinking Design implies thinking understanding. It would seem wise to take up the origins of the debate‘s intensification, with XVI to XVIII century Modern Philosopher-scientists. The dispute between Empiricism and Rationalism would eventually find conciliation in Contemporary Philosophy, and that is apparently the correct position to assume. It is self-evident that in the process of production design engages both the inevitable compromise towards the World it serves, and the self-reflexive necessity implicit in any art-related practice. Thus, method may be defined as the structure of intellectual and material creation, brought to be by an individual’s empiric experience and internal conscious or unconscious reasoning. Such description alone displays how crucial method is in the design practice. Consequently, the understanding of its properties inherits the importance as well. Method is constituted by an individual – who has a purpose –, an object – on which the purpose is practiced -, and it is from the reciprocal relation between both that method functions. Routine relations with certain realities, and consequent growing understanding of them, encourage the maturation of guidelines, systems, criteria that ascertain patterns of apparently successful thought and action towards them – and then become references for thought and action towards similar or even unknown realities. So it is from an individual’s desires, capacities and limitations towards an object that a method is established on how to comprehend and act upon it. As a result this shapes both the individual’s form of interaction with the World and the object’s purpose in that same World. Creative design related disciplines, such as Architecture and Urban Design, inherit these anchoring notions of method, but their translation into the more tangible language of a specific field brings up unique aspects as well. One is terminology, which attaches meaningful words with substance to otherwise abstract and somewhat unreachable concepts. For example, it becomes clear who the individual is and what it is doing to the 1 “The gift which you possess of peaking excellently about Homer is not an art, but, as I was just saying, an inspiration […] In like manner the Muse first of all inspires men herself, and from these inspired persons a chain of other persons suspended, who take the inspiration. For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed.” – PLATO – Plato on poetry: Ion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996; 533 to 534 2 “Genius is the inborn predisposition of the mind (ingenium) under which nature gives rule to art.” – KANT, Immanuel – Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge University Press, USA, 2000; §46, page 186
  • 5. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 4 object when rewriting these terms as the designer designing with the purpose of creating a final product, a designee. Though, it must be stressed, the designation of designer should still transport with itself the notion of individual stated before, for the second is only such by being the first as well. Another singular aspect that must be mentioned, as it becomes structuring in the creative methodology, is the relationship between designer and designee which has historically been done predominantly through graphic representation. Establishing the purpose of replicating or synthesizing the object implies recognizing its existence and the effort of comprehending it, simultaneously generating criteria under which the individual defines it3 . The consequences of such terminology go much deeper than labeling though, for method structure in itself must adapt to the individual as a designer and the object as a designee. This means there is a specific “creative design methodology”, elaborated from and for creative design. Such seems to be fully described when distinguishing and interconnecting four frequently shifting stages: “analysis”, when an object is studied, understood and absorbed; “development”, when previously acquired knowledge is used in the production of a new object4 ; “communication”, when the final idea of object is settled, explained; and “validation”, when the representation of the object is actually materialized into reality, into the real object. This last point opens space for the self-critic or poly-critic action of analysis, turning this tendency into a constantly self-improving cycle. However, the relation between designer and designee is not carried out in a single way. In fact representation is practiced under many techniques that can be put under two main categories: traditionally drawing has been the prime instrument used; but in recent years digital techniques have come up to defy such domain. The exposed importance of method both to the designer as a person and to the designed as an object pushes the issue of technique choice to be considered beyond the loose relativistic acceptance of subjective generic diversity as an absolute value in itself, and to be judged as to its concrete merits and flaws, limitations and possibilities. Especially in a period when traditional hand drawing strategies are being unprecedentedly replaced by digital-era influenced computer designs, one must question how advantageous are, indeed, these mainstream tendencies for the object produced, and what side-effects are reserved for the designing individual. 3 Initially Plato considered Art’s imitative function as a flaw, for it would never truly replicate its object. Aristotle, later on, points out the educational function of imitative Art. It is that line of thought that is followed here: “Imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation.” – ARISTOTLE, Aristotle’s Poetics, Northon, New York 1982; The imitative art of Poetry – 1448b 4 “But though our thought seems to possess this unbounded liberty, we shall find, upon a nearer examination, that it is really confined within very narrow limits, and that all this creative power of the mind amounts to no more than the faculty of compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded us by the senses and experience” HUME, David – Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 1977; Section II – on the origin of ideas, page 11
  • 6. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 5 II) The reigning ritual and the rising revolution a) Drawing Historically drawing has been the preferred technique used in creative design related activities, and such inheritance has reached the present still in force. Though the hand, pencil and paper are not – as they never were – sole participants in the creative methodology, they do appear as a constant and structuring form of work and communication. These merits, allied to the various drawing technique’s flexibility and adaptability to new demands, contexts and complementary knowledge sources, have kept drawing as a valid option to modern designers. In fact the ancient character of this methodology also justifies why drawing is a comparison model towards other techniques. The very notion of “creative design” developed through the longest lasting tool it has had, drawing, and consequently its development stages, roles, strategies and applications were influenced in that manner as well. Creative design gained shape growing around drawing, and to understand the former one must understand the latter. The analysis stage is undoubtedly the most important step of any method, regardless of the technique used. First, if one considers the Lockean notion of experience as prime matter of our cognition5 . Second and stepping forward from this, reinvoking the Kantian account on human creativity stated in fact on the topic of aesthetics6 , as well as the perception of the World being fundamental for our understanding of it, and for our internal construction – especially if one fully adopts the Phenomenological suggested perspective supported. Metaphorically, and reasserting the Empiricist relevance on latter Rationalist processes, analysis provides the raw material for proceeding stages: new ideas are generated from the concepts gained here, and its future use is determined by how such is done. Drawing complies with this demand by being a rich instrument of observation and dissection of reality. Successful representation of an existing object requires the comprehension of its parts and their interaction as a whole. Therefore, even though the analysis benefits of drawings are naturally enhanced by capacity and practice from the 5 “To this I answer, in one word, from experience. In that all our knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives itself. Our observation employed either, about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking” LOCKE, John – An essay concerning Human Understanding, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1975; Book II: of Ideas - Chapter I, page 104 6 Kant goes further than Locke, determining that we are able to go beyond mere association, though the dependence on nature is still there: “The imagination (as a productive faculty of cognition) is very powerful in creating another nature, as it were, out of the material actual nature gives it. […] Thus we feel our freedom from the law of association (which attaches to the empirical employment of imagination) so that the material supplied to us by nature in accordance with this law can be worked up into something different which surpasses nature” KANT, Immanuel – Critique of the Power of Judgement . Cambridge University Press, USA, 2000; §49, page 192
  • 7. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 6 observer, the mere attempt of sketching an object – be in a perspective or a technical drawing – implies a careful, repetitive and investigative look, evermore astute and informative. This technique becomes especially powerful due to the easiness with which it relates to basic biological characteristics of the Human being. The pencil is a natural extension of the arm, the gestures of drawing interact directly with the body, and thus intellect and hand quickly and familiarly disclose themselves to each other as if made of one substance7 . “Observing and representing” becomes comparable to “hearing and talking” as a standard form of dialogue, of comprehension and expression, towards the observed object. In fact, the presence of drawing as far as the pre-historic ages may even be seen as evidence of how natural such form of communication is, or as justification for the present condition of drawing as an “acquired instinct”, or even as both. Whatever the case, the genuine character of drawing benefits the analysis process greatly, for the anti-dualistic contact between the sensitive perception and the intellect’s comprehension and imagination is more immediate, thus enriching it. More can be understood quicker, and consequently more can be gained. Individual and object become closer, and part of each other. Advantages of a drawn analysis stage are then carried to the design development. Stepping further in the previous considerations, and reminding what was initially said, “new ideas” merely come from the combination of “old ideas” 8 . This means that the more information attained during the analysis stage, the more diverse, the more precise, then the more resources available for the development stage. In this context another peculiarity granted specifically by drawing becomes especially useful: the language of object exploration and the one of object creation are the same. Both share the same signs that, duly insisted upon, gain space as a structuring cognitive language for practice and thought, very much like words do. Thus, drawing a project with the same codes used to draw reality ensures a fast and far-reaching association of memorized data - from conscious to (mainly) unconscious - hence multiplying the design possibilities and, consequently, increasing the chances of a better and stronger design. Drawing optimizes the process of creative generation by directly interconnecting its two fundamental components: recollection and association. The benefits ripped from such an extraordinary overreaching cognitive system becomes abundant internally and externally as written and spoken language itself: from the practical consequence for the designed object, that inherits a genuine Human component delivered from the individual’s very essence; to the transcending matters of 7 Through a curious perspective, one considers the reunification of Cartesian dualism (thus the consideration of a res cogitas and res extensa that are then reunited), drawing almost seems to partake as a component of the bodily res extensa, and not as separate component. 8 “And even in our wildest and most wandering reveries, nay in our very dreams, we shall find, if we reflect, that the imagination ran not altogether at adventures, but that there was still a connection upheld among the different ideas, which succeed each other.” HUME, David – Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 1977; Section III – on the association of ideas, page 14 paragraph 1
  • 8. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 7 the individual’s intimate self-construction, achieved through the personal interrogation process that is design. But the merits of drawing even go beyond the strict exterior representation of an interior imagination. Within this methodological strategy there are infinite techniques for its actual realization. Long living and continuously improving forms of sketching bestow huge flexibility to this practice and allow it not only to not be a technical obstacle to creativity – that would condition what may be made due to the how it can be made – but even to be an auxiliary component of the idea association that forms the new. Adopting historic forms of drawing implies receiving, in those techniques, the knowledge bestowed on them by other people in the past. Aware or unaware of it, the designer practices what others have learned, and becomes more than just himself. Next is the value of drawing as a communication tool, when the individual converts his internal language into a universally recognizable format. More important than that, it is a point where the individual displays the product of his intimacy to the frightening judgment of entities beyond it. Admittedly the effectiveness of such exposure via drawing can be argued. Yes, there is worth on the imagination left open in a hand drawing in accordance to a reasonable unpredictability of a project development; and even of the information filter that may be used when drawing, outlining the main defining characteristics of a project and abiding from distracting random elements. But these strategies are very hardly – or very inconveniently – built upon universally understood signs, at least not without demanding a detour from the purely productive stream of method. Nonetheless, given design’s necessary commitment to the World, this attempt towards a connection is an unavoidable step. In the attempt of doing so there is even another danger, of the final drawing becoming an object in itself and not the representation of one. The charm of producing a drawing can easily mislead its designer into abiding from its descriptive realistic function to create a beautiful image, and even if such practice is an innocent unconscious reflection of intent, its deceptive consequences to the object representation exist. At last the method reaches the moment of validation, when the design releases itself from the imagined represented condition – in which it lived in the previous two stages – to culminate into the physical form of its purpose, here forcibly universal. On one hand this is an ending point, for the method’s application towards the production of an object is fulfilled. On the other hand, in the broader context of a method’s evolution, this is the restarting point of a cycle that never ends, for reassessment of the created object implies the practice of yet again the familiar proceedings of observation, interpretation, representation that is analysis. Thus a repetitive self-critiquing and self- constructing feedback loop is established: the conclusions of validation become part of the analysis grounding foundation for the future object development. Unavoidably, as during the entire process, there is a deeper personal consequence to this phenomenon. Accepting once again the notion that the relation between individual and object transcends mere utilitarianism to become a constituting part of the individual’s identity, then the assessed object is not only an object in itself but the intimate product of an individual’s being. Thus judgment of the object is also a self-critique to the person beyond the designer.
  • 9. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 8 b) Digital The formidable information and communication technological revolution of recent decades reshaped the World. Burdens became nearly effortless, dreams materialized into realities, and the fantasies of the future need only time to come to be. In the personal and professional sides of people’s lives, the digital era is welcomed to flourish for all the instant benefits it provides. Creative design was not an exception to the contagious tech fever, reacting in the same enthusiastic way as any other subject to the sudden infinite possibilities available. New techniques invaded the creative production as an unprecedented avalanche with photography, video, image and video editing, vector works, digital and better physical 3D models, renders, simulations, rapid precise calculations and so many more major contributes. But side-effects of the overwhelming digital era start to surface, in creative design as well. Questioning arose with the unexpectedly unsatisfactory final physical product of digitally-conceived objects due to their lack of human empathy. To what extent is it beneficial and how far can it go until turning prejudicial? This also raised concerns as far as how an object-focused design process instead of a human-focused one was affecting who interacted with such items, designers and users alike. The recent rise of Phenomenology in the creative scene played a major role in finding answers and suggesting solutions. An extraordinary conquest of the digital era in the analysis stage is the simulations and calculations. These tools have been real myth-busters and a mine of discoveries, granting precision and scientific understanding to otherwise generic guesses and conveniently manipulated interpretations of the facts. A credible factual ground is paved for development to kick off from. Sadly this praise is isolated in a gloomy fog that even suggests the analysis stage as the main flaw of a digital-structured creative methodology. And considering that this is the basis of creative design methodology, as shown above, it may be argued that this problem makes the method limp along the remaining steps. There are in fact various digital techniques of analyzing pre-existing objects, of which the most frequently used and representative one is photography. It seems to contain far more and more accurate information than drawing, for its product is truly a direct copy of the existing. Photography presents reality as it is, with all the visual information that implies. But the analysis stage is not about copying reality, it is about understanding it, and such can only be accomplished by taking apart its various constituting components, they themselves being complex pieces. Thus the full information provided in a picture ends up clogging the inquisitive view with excess information, leaving the observer with nothing more than a distant general impression. In its more amateurish use, photography frequently exemplifies a two-edged sword issue of contemporary digital society: the near abolition of time in favor of the immediate. Brief seconds are enough to register what the eye caught, and in short minutes one may compile hundreds of photos. But the massive information contained in
  • 10. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 9 the camera remains there, and not in the human mind: on one hand, it overwhelms the perceptive capacity; on the other, such rapidness jumps past a profound understanding that only time allows. The shallow quantity-based productive context of contemporary times becomes evident here as well then9 . Curiously though, photography avoids such danger when used under the same principles of drawing: careful, patient observation. And under this regime it proves to be a useful and unique methodological tool. Yet another significant disadvantage of digital methods relative to drawing methods is the lack of physical involvement in the process. If the pencil ends up working as integrated extension of the body, a partaking res extensa, the mouse and keyboard and screen are far more of an obstacle. This issue goes beyond practice and familiarity with used tools, it is a matter of natural gesture, of the fluent movement synchronized with the body that digital techniques do not yet have. The relationship between individual and object is no longer of intimate dialogue, but mediated by a middle-man who works as a filter, delivering only partial information selected under its possibilities. The construction of knowledge and of the individual itself becomes therefore limited, and not expanded, by the tools used. The general ground problems of the analysis stage inevitably haunt the development stage as well. Reminding that the new is generated from associating pre- existing knowledge, the shallowness of acquired knowledge condemns new ideas born from it to the same state of insufficiency. If the analysis is considered complete with an unexplained impression, then development will limit itself to accomplishing the same vagueness – and yet even in this being doomed to fail, for the hidden design forming those very impressions was merely unconsciously felt and not necessarily understood. Such scenario reduces the development stage to a form of tinkering with snapshots, views and imagery in an uninformed and blindly tentative attempt of recreating the representative form in which the objects were seen, and not the object itself. The matter becomes one of “how it seems to be”, and not of “how it is”. The lack of intimate connection between individual and object due to the constant mediation of an intermediary is also relevant an issue, one that in fairness is a common accusation towards digital life in general. The human invention that is the digital is a simplified system that expands traits we are consciously aware in ways we consciously understand. This means that, beyond the unquestionable advantages it gives, the digital is also a reflex of how much is ignored about the complexity of an individual. It is an expansion of what is known that does not include what is not known. One of the most visible and direct consequences of this, in creative design as well, is a generated object deprived of the enriching human contribution of the individual, and the individual unable to fully absorb the unique contribution the object has to offer. A limited connection between both that supplies each other with little. After such harsh criticism, a bright note though. It is the communication stage of the method that gains the most with digital techniques. Representing reality as a 9 “Many people do not understand the sorts of things they encounter! Nor do they recognize them <even> after they had experience <of them> – though they themselves think <they recognized them> - HERACLITUS – Fragments – University of Toronto Press, 1987, fragment 17
  • 11. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 10 genuine approach to reality, and not only the final stage of the development’s continuing fantasies and unproven illusions, is a merit at this point, and one that can function to some level as a “validation before the validation”. More than that, it also translates the designer’s language into universally recognizable language, thus dialoguing with a broader audience. But there is also a shared danger with drawing – though here enhanced by the lack of strong methodological structure of the previous stages. Communication can easily become a mere pause in production for tinkering and view painting. Embellishing strokes and decorations are placed as an extra that may communicate a general intention of what is desired, but not more because it was never in the development stage to start with. At last, the validation stage is likely to be a faithful recreation of what was projected: inanimate object-like condition, alienated lack of intimacy, incoherent dialogue. The shape is materialized just as it was meant to, and the absence of genuine content behind it becomes clear as well. The cyclical character of creative method, which drives the validation stage onto analysis again, adds weight to the fault as well, for the knowledge that was not gained initially is also inexistent in at this point. So, given the apparently sound condition of the finished structure due to its correspondence with the communication product, one is fooled to assume the method has worked. And in a way it has, but only at the superficial level from which it can never break free. The main hope of escaping such cycle can only come from extra-methodology awareness, if the human essence of the individual beyond the mere designer becomes conscious of the object’s lack of response to his personal needs. This would appeal to the intimate content that was not satisfied during the previous method. But are the natural cravings of the designer as an individual enough to be heard above the characteristic alienation of digital techniques?
  • 12. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 11 III) Coexistence and aspirations for more It has become clear that both drawing and digital forms of work have innumerous benefits for the creative design methodology, both in a practical and personal level. In fact, the continuous practice and evolution of such techniques proves some degree of effectiveness and synchronization with the designer. But these reflections have also alerted that not all techniques should have the same function and predominance in the method. The primacy of drawing as structuring design process seems evident, not just due to the specific virtues of the technique in its parts, but especially for the globally complete and interconnected process built from beginning to end. Drawing also has the fantastic capacity of reaching beyond the circumstantial “designer and designee” relation to the long lasting “individual and object” relation. This implies not only advantages for the elaboration of the design practice, that feeds off the library of life experience and being the individual has to offer, but also at level of designer as individual, bringing the teachings of work into the very core of one’s identity. But it must be noted that digital methods, from photography to three-dimensional modeling and renderings, do surpass drawing in many regards (accuracy, effectiveness and time consumption for example). Yet, perhaps due to the relatively recent evolution of digital forms of practice versus the historic practice of sketching, these do not seem to have the global coherence and inter-relationship between work stages and detailed techniques that drawing has. This may also be the cause, or effect, or even both, of one particularly major difference that clearly distinguishes drawn from digital: the distant relation between individual and object. The critical argument attained does not deny the significant advantages provided today by digital processes – that should, in fact, be conciliated with a drawing core, to provide more diversity, detail and quality and to the design while keeping a sound structure -, nor does it even reject the possibility of valid digital-based design methodologies in a near future. What is stressed, however, is that for the contemporary conquests of the digital systems to surpass the object generated by drawing beyond the quick mass production and appealing easiness of framed renderings, they must first answer to the incredible creative cognitive process developed by tradition: a global process, conscious of itself and in touch with the very intimate essence of the designer and of the person that the designer is. The method of creative design that is the method of drawing.
  • 13. Iniciação - Revista de Iniciação Científica, Tecnológica e Artística - Vol. 3 no 1 - janeiro de 2014 Edição Temática: Comunicação, Arquitetura e Design 12 Bibliography  ARISTOTLE, Aristotle’s Poetics, Northon, New York 1982  DESCARTES, RENÉ – Meditations on First Philosophy (The Philosophical Writings of Descartes) – Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1984  DESMOND, WILLIAM – A filosofia e seus outros: modos do ser e do pensar. São Paulo, Edições Loyola, 2000  DESMOND, WILLIAM – Art, Origins, Otherness – New York, 2003, State University of New York Press  D’OREY, CARMO - A exemplificação na Arte: um estudo sobre Nelson Goodman. Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1999  HERACLITUS – Fragments – University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1987  HOFSTATTER and KUHNS (selection) – Philosophies of Art and Beauty: selected readings in Aesthetics from Plato to Heidegger” – Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1976 (first edition)  HOLL, Steven - Cuestiones de Percepción: Fenomenología de la arquitectura, Coleción GGminima, 2011  HUME, David – Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 1977  JAEGER,Warner – Paideia: the Ideals of Greek Culture – Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1971 (renewed)  JANEIRO, Pedro António - A imagem Por-Escrita: Desenho e Comunicação Visual: entre a Arquitectura e a Fenomenologia. São Paulo, FAUUSP, 2012  JANEIRO, Pedro António - Origens e Destino da Imagem: para uma fenomenologia da arquitectura imaginada. Lisboa, Chiado Editora, 2010  KANT, Immanuel – Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge University Press, USA, 2000  LOCKE, John – An essay concerning Human Understanding, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1975  Logos, Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia – Editorial Verbo, Lisboa, 1991  PLATO – Plato on poetry: Ion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online - http://plato.stanford.edu/