Reading Responses: Week One

The first reading assignment for ArtGr 510x was the first chapter from Lateral Thinking. The author spent the entire chapter discussing basic brain functioning in terms of communication and information organization. The author does not seem to come from a science background because his writing does not go into a great deal of detail. In fact, many of his included statements seem to be common knowledge. The following examples illustrate the aforementioned point: he talks about how language is a coded form of communication, the mind can also interpret patterns in addition to codes, the mind passively makes its own patterns, the mind has a limited attention span, the mind sort input into patterns, the mind goes to the simplest answer first, old patterns sometimes need to be discarded when new information is presented, humor is a result of a temporary change in organization of information while insight is a permanent change. I didn’t feel like I really learned anything new or insightful from this chapter, but the author’s abundance of metaphors kept the selection interesting.

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The second reading assignment was the sixth chapter of The Shape of Design entitled “Context and Response.” The image used in this blog post comes from The Shape of Design chapter six. This chapter had a positive and, in a sense, encouraging vibe to it. The author encouraged designers to accept diversity in design solutions, to stay flexible, to trust their instincts, and to continue changing and improving. The one issue I had with the advice in this chapter is that the author seemed to imply that intuition was always more useful to a designer than logic. I don’t necessarily agree with that implication. However, I do agree that intuition is very important. I enjoyed the quote “When our work hits the target, that target moves.” It encourages designers to keep innovating and to move on from an idea – even if it worked once.


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