Notes from The Shape of Design by frank chimero (MCAD reading assignment):
- The relationship between form and purpose – How and Why – is symbiotic. But despite this link, Why is usually neglected, because How is more easily framed. It is easier to recognize failures of technique than those of strategy or purpose, and simpler to ask “How do I paint this tree?” than to answer “Why does this painting need a tree in it?”
- Creative people commonly lament about being “blocked,” perpetually stuck and unable to produce work when necessary. Blocks spring from the imbalanced relationship of How and Why: either we have an idea, but lack the skills to execute; or we have skills, but lack a message, idea, or purpose for the work.
- The Shakers have a proverb that says, “Do not make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both, do not hesitate to make it beautiful.”
- My work was flat, because it was missing the spark that comes from creating something you believe in for someone you care about. This is the source of the highest craft, because an affection for the audience produces the care necessary to make the work well.
- When we build, we take bits of others’ work and fuse them to our own choices to see if alchemy occurs.
- I find the best way to gain momentum is to think of the worst possible way to tackle the project. Quality may be elusive, but stupidity is always easily accessible; absurdity is fine, maybe even desired.
- All design work seems to have three common traits: there is a message to the work, the tone of that message, and the format that the work takes.
- “No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be….This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.”
— Issac Asimov