Reading Response 2 to Artful Design
Reading Response #2 to Artful Design • Chapter 2: “Designing Expressive Toys”

Celeste Betancur Gutierrez
Music 256A / CS476a, Stanford University

Meta-technology, meta-tools

This time, I'm going to make a recipe around Ge's metaphors Artful Design

Ten years ago, my partner, my older son, and I went to a bookstore to buy a recipe book, we looked for half an hour, and then we bought a book about desserts. The book spent its first month on a book shelf and I thought that (just like many other books) it was going to be there without being used by anyone... One day, I was coming back from work and the house was smelling so delicious -vanilla, cheese, and blackberry- that I put my computer on the sofa and when fast to the kitchen. My son had made 50 cookies using one of the recipes.


  • 50 pages of a comic book
  • Phrygian Gates by John Adams on your preferred music streaming service
  • Warm hoddie
  • Meta-technology (Some will say 'a computer')
  • The smell of the food cooked with coal and love
    Mise en place

In chapter 1, one of the most simple yet powerful ideas is that ' we are, therefore we design ', that single statement is a great tool to visualize all the discourse in the second chapter because it shows the history of mobile devices and how our nature to design has sculped in a few years the ideas that science fiction writers imagined on their books. I was shocked while I was reading Arthur C. Clarke's description (1962) of what now seems so common and natural.
Technology has evolved at a surprisingly fast rate and I really enjoyed the way the book takes you on a short but fast trip to get a better understanding of the scope of designing as part of human nature. However, to understand the relationship between music and technology as part of an ancient love makes you feel more aware of the profund effect someone mention in the comic quotes of 'Scuola di Atene' by Rafael (Music and its uses have a profund effect on society p.58).

First, read the 50 pages while listening to Adams, Ralph van Raat version is so soft that by the end of the first 2 minutes my body has started to obtain the relaxation necessary to prepare this recipe.

My own experience with ChucK

The chapter goes deeply into Ocarina, Sound lighter, and T-Pain and due to the previous context in mobile technologies, that approach is clearly a way to understand how artful design is a way of conceptualizing years of research, particularly Ge's research. However, I would love to bring ChucK to this talk in the same way Ge's brought computers: as meta-tools that can be fashioned into other tools (p. 60). Page after page you see how every tool described was made using ChucK as a pilar, invisible yet essential. The same way technology is described in an optimal scenario. For me, ChucK has acted like a design that reshaped the way I think without even noticing it. Became a tool for bringing other tools to life.

If you prefer, add a hard cider while the Phrygian mode appears in all its magnificence

This recipe could be the perfect companion for a cold night in a quiet neighborhood. Nuclear war can start at any second nonetheless we will be here, doing music and building toys, instruments, and technologies in an artful way of saying we humans are more than ' that '.