Friday, October 7, 2011

Edges of Opportunity

"If design were simply a matter of solving problems, much of design activity could be eliminated and along with it would go much of the value of design.

David Pye has brilliantly debunked the notion of 'purely functional' design. He illustrates the presence of the human touch in all design including that which is supposed to be very objective such as structural design.

We also observe that design problems are not static; they change with time and are changed by the way we perceive them; a client may come to an architect with the problem of adding a room to the back of his house but the architect may expand the client's understanding of the problem to include energy consumption in the entire house or the impact of an addition upon the use of backyard space.

The designer looks for opportunities while working with problems; he seeks not only the application of known solutions but the invention of new solutions which extend human experience and delight.

One of the keys to inventing is the ability to see analogies between design problems and design solutions."

-- Norman Crowe & Paul Laseau, Visual Notes for Architects and Designers, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984), p.32

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