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Showing posts from April, 2012

Can designers train their intuition?

We are entering a time of complexity that is recognized everywhere, especially in design circles. Don Norman's latest book "Living with complexity" is a sign of this. But the fact that the world is getting more complex is not a new insight. Christopher Alexander wrote in 1964 in his book "Notes on the synthesis of form" that "more and more design problems are reaching insoluble levels of complexity" (p 3). He argues in his book that due to the increasing complexity, design can no longer be an activity that is done by people who has an innate ability to make good judgments. He argues that good intuition is not enough. Design is in need of more systematic approaches. Out of this idea grew his proposal for the use of pattern language in design.

Even though Alexander argued that intuition is not enough, the notion of intuition has always and will probably continue to be a core concept when it comes to describing what is needed from a designer. Intuition i…

Some ongoing readings

On my desk at the moment I have some book that I slowly are trying to get through. The problem is as usual that they are good which makes the reading slower at the same time as rewarding.

These are the books I am reading right now:

Christoffer Alexander "Notes on the Synthesis of Form", (1964). 
This is a re-read. I read this book in 1983 and I was really inspired and excited. Now, after only have read a few pages, I am equally excited and realize that many of the ideas I think are my own are probably from this book.

Bruno Latour, "Reassembling the Social", (2005)
Together with some PhD students and some colleagues we are reading one chapter every other week. Then we meet for an hour to discuss that chapter. It takes time but it is really worth it. This is a challenging book in which Latour redefines sociology in a way that is consistent with his earlier work while highly critical of traditional sociology. Is is fascinating to read someone who takes on such a huge ta…