Tuesday, September 18, 2012
effective, affective surprise...
On the point of those 47% being dependent on government, I would like to point out that we are ALL dependent on government, 100 percent of us. Without roads, without law enforcement, without national defense, without public education, without some level of social safety net, and without civic ordinances and compliance with those ordinances the United States of America would be a pretty sorry excuse for human society.
Governor Romney, on the other hand, says what he meant was not elegantly stated, but he stands by what he said. If ever there was a more out-of-touch presidential nominee, I would be surprised and amazed. But not all surprise are effective. However, comments disparaging nearly half the electorate may turn out to be both surprising and affective... Leading most of us deeply insulted. Give the man a wrench and see if he can turn a bolt. Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. Can he possibly be one of those untrained by personal experience in the use of his hands? There is a relationship between idle hands and ignorant, out of touch minds.
One of the important principles of design is that of "visual illusion" but please remember that the principles and elements of design were intellectually crafted as a guide for visual artists. When you get into 3-D design, or become engaged in curriculum design for schools, the same principles and elements of design apply, but with some adjustment. Instead of "visual illusion", substitute the concept "effective surprise." While visual illusion may lead the eye into a painting, it is surprise that leads a casual viewer into participation and engagement with either an object or process. I also mention "affective" surprise because whatever happens in the work should affect the emotions as well as the intellect of the observer or participant.
I used a simple turned knob design the other day on a series of boxes, taking a thing that was commonplace, instantly recognizable but reshaped through a simple though delicate sanding operation. The instantly recognizable requests no further investigation, but that which incites curiosity leads to deeper engagement. This is a simple principle to understand, a sometimes difficult principle to put into practice.
Just as a painter may require advanced skill to create visual illusion, makers of things and planners of curricula, must think outside the box in their efforts to surprise. If there is one thing in particular troubling American schools it is the consistent lack of surprise. Humdrum, boring, routine. If it does not surprise in at least some simple way, it is not good design, and teachers whose hands are tied to tightly by administration do not engage children's minds in learning.
Make, fix and create...