Reading Response 1 to Artful Design
Reading Response #1 Prelude in Artful Design n. 1
to Artful Design • Chapter 1: “Design Is ______”

Celeste Betancur Gutierrez
Music 256A / CS476a, Stanford University

This response was an exercise of Guerrilla design.
Reading Response: Making choices

I'd like to dance around Principle 1.9, 1.10 and 1.13 in Artful Design

I am here, sitting in a room, in front of a book, 53 pages after I need to choose some ideas. The most important ones? The most practical? The most beautiful? The fact here is that the chapter itself reveals a method to deal with the dilemma. It works! Some ideas start to evolve and revolve and the synthesis between pragmatics and aesthetics arises.
Humans we are, but how and for what?


Principle 1.9 Design is addition

Being human is all that we can do.

Starting from what seems to be the most obvious (design is a creative endeavor p.39) , I realize that Principle 1.9 (design is addition) is the one that let us understand design as a bridge discipline. What I mean is that the creative act itself is a complex activity. It begins as planning/thinking but then it has to evolve into the ‘act of instantiation’ and here appears a bridge called design to entail the conversation between both sides. That is to say, ideas become inventions, and Plato offers his hands to Aristotle.
This principle is for me the door that lets us go deeper into the discussion between form and function.

Principle 1.10 Design is subtraction

Being human is all that we can do.

Nonetheless, despite the complicated mission, the fewer elements you bring to build the bridge the better… and here lies the secret behind Principle 1.10 (design is subtraction): saying no more words. (less is more p.40)

Principle 1.13 Design is human

Being human is all that we can do.

Silence for a couple of minutes, holding the book in my hands while standing on two legs… two.
I saw many pages exploring what is called ‘the classic dichotomy’ (p.35) and the text takes many lenses to explain that function(pragmatics) and form (aesthetics) are fundamental questions in design. Also showing what seems to be an ancient rivalry of who came first or who should come first. But the synthesis feels so natural that by the end of the chapter my thoughts are dancing in couples standing on two legs… two.

Artful design invites us to make choices, to set some constraints so we can go from ideas to instantiation using (the) fewer amount of artifacts but exhibiting both problem solving and playfulness/joy in a natural synthesis… and that is sublime.