Contextual Obstacles

A little diagram I put together for How To Think With Obstacles (click image for larger view):

In my creative practice, I find myself much less interested in honing a form or creating a frictionless experience. Instead, relationships and systems feel much more fruitful, with designed objects as a result of exploring that context. Thinking about how to represent this idea, the form of a “light cone” seemed appropriate. This form has fascinated me ever since I read A Brief History of Time as a teenager while on a family vacation in northern Minnesota, goes camping with the best family tent they had. It shows a singular point, the present, with two cones emanating from it: the observable past and future. Replacing the point with an object (say a chair), the cones become echoing contexts: material, experiential, social, biological, and cultural. In one direction, these contexts become increasingly physical and fundamental. Methods of construction lead to material choices and ultimately biology, geology, DNA, and atoms. In the other, our direct experience with a designed object comes out of and swims in the work and decisions of other people, the way we use objects and form memories with them, and how they fit into our culture. Obstacles wedged into one of these points—in the form of suggestions, amplifications, disruptions, challenges, or prompts—draw the design focus to relationships and result in unanticipated variations.

Artsy Genes

The “genes” used by Artsy to categorize artworks, likely a great resource for an upcoming project (click for full-sized image). Note the image is from August 2012, so the list has likely be updated.

Via: Artsy

Diagrams from “Specification And Prelimary Design Of An Array Processor”

Fantastic diagrams from “Specification And Prelimary Design Of An Array Processor” by D.L. Slotnick and Marvin Graham, a 1975 paper describing what would have been a $10 million computer (in today’s dollars).  Below is a selection of my favorites, mostly the most abstract and wonderfully geometric ones (diagrams whose function, I admit, I mostly have no clue about).  Lots more after the break (and in the full PDF).

Via: Hackaday, download the 250+ page PDF here

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