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Title: Good designers steal bad designers copy
Authors: Raman, PG
Keywords: Analogues;Prototypes;Heuristic methods;Design;Design practice
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Design, Development & Research Conference- CPUT
Abstract: In 1920 T S Eliot wrote: One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest. Hunt for visual motifs is a constant preoccupation of not only students but also architects, both imaginative and the not so imaginative, the former resorting to stealing so to speak and the latter to copying. The locution that ‗one does not want to reinvent the wheel‘ hints at the possibility of being informed by a prototype, which one would approve more readily than either copying or stealing. Heuristics on the other hand is about searching out an unknown goal which design can often be. All these ideas prompt the important question of the extent to which heuristic is dependant up on previous models or experience. This essay will attempt to explore analogues, prototypes and heuristic methods as it is encountered in design practice and describe their interrelations. Even better point of departure but in a similar vein is provided by the following statement of M H Abrahms (Abrahms, 1953:31-33): Any area of investigation, so long as it lacks prior concepts to give it structure and an express terminology with which it can be managed, appears to the inquiring mind inchoate – either a blank, or an elusive and tantalising confusion. Our usual recourse is, more or less deliberately, to cast about for objects, which offer parallels to dimly sensed aspects of the new situation, to use the better known to elucidate the less known, to discuss the intangible in terms of the tangible. This analogical procedure seems characteristics of much intellectual enterprise. There is a deal of wisdom in the popular locution for ‗What is its nature?' namely: ‗What‘s it like?‘ We tend to describe the nature of something in similes and metaphors, and the vehicle of these recurrent figures, when analysed often turn out to be the attributes of an implicit analogue through which we are viewing the objects we describe‘.
ISBN: 978-0-620-52128-4
Appears in Collections:FID - Conference Proceedings

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