Archive for the 02.Design and the Play Instinct Category

The Painter’s Tale (Aaron)

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on May 3, 2010 by Jay Yim

The painter’s tale is an fascinating article on the works of Harold Cohen, who was an artist using computer programming as his tools of artistry. The beginning anecdote written by the artist himself seemed quite dramatic but vague with no explanatory descriptions for me. However, it became more clear as i read on the story and started to comprehend this fully imaginative mind of Harold Cohen that the anecdote was his way of expressing The Moment he found something utterly new to the world, thus been born. Harold Cohen was an exceptional artist who excelled and thrived at being a traditional artist who showed off his talents even in his early ages but then crossed over to the field of computer science. He then drastically combined the two fields together with amazing success which i believe is truly a work of an innovative and brilliant mind. His work with the Aaron which is his program written and designed by himself to create original pictures is his masterpiece in this whole project. Although the story did not specifically tell, I was fascinated on how he factored his thinking process into programming sequences and adjusted its variables to produce this kind of work. In the first part of the story the author proclaims that Aaron is the first example of art and its encounter with artificial intelligence which I did not agree. As the artist wrote the codes to this program, and with my inquiry into how he must of factored his own innovative imagination when creating art, I had thought this program to merely be a tool which followed the artists train of thoughts of his mind from the beginning. And with all the specifications the artist must have set for the program itself  as the artist himself would think and with random variables to follow will create an original picture, the product of the program couldn’t possibly be called a product of the Aaron. The painter’s tale was a intriguing story of an artist who actually coded his imaginative art creating thinking process which seems a profound work of one man. In my opinion, i think that the programs art work could not be called intelligent product of the Aaron itself, but fully attributed to the mind of Harold Cohen himself to be the master of his art collection.


Play in the Design

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on February 21, 2010 by Sagar Khadabadi

One of those rare monuments “Megastructures” where Design meets Play. It is truly one amazing engineering marvel.

Taking a less formulaic approach to collaborative design

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 25, 2010 by Gregory Garrett

In undergraduate classes we are often given a rather formulaic, theoretical version of what the team design process looks like.  People are assigned roles, people are to defer criticism, a list of steps are executed, etc.  Yet, in reality, people never act quite as well as they do in theory.  This was part of the strength of the Collaboration in Design Teams paper, that the focus was less on high-minded steps and more on the social dynamic that goes into successful team design.  For instance, it states that certain team members can be expected to be advocating for concrete solutions from the beginning, something forbidden in brainstorming, but which is somewhat unavoidable in a group of problem solvers.  This is less of an issue so long as the team is properly balanced, with members who think at a more abstract level about a particular design choice, and a member who is willing to keep things on track.  The hardest part of creating a design team, then, is in selecting members that naturally fit these criteria, rather than attempting to force members into arbitrary roles.

The Creative Mind

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 24, 2010 by Waleed Manzoul

I just wanted to share Margaret Boden’s book “The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms“. In there, she talks about AARON and other AI systems that produce creative acts, like music, poetry, and stories (I think) in an attempt to understand the human creative process. I read it a little more than a year ago and it was an interesting read.

Constraints & Abstraction

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 23, 2010 by Supraja
  • I was struck by Rand’s claim that constraints can promote creative expression rather than inhibit it.
  • In his Tangrams example, he argues that while the pieces themselves are limited by simple geometry, they can encourage a student to think abstractly about what each shape can represent.  For example, in the image posted by Karen MacKay, Daniele Lago imagines the triangle as a person’s foot.
  • However one of our classmates observed that while constraints may inspire beginners, experts may find them obstructing instead.
  • Rand alludes to this as well.   He suggests that once a student has mastered the basic principles of a discipline, she can decide when to twist the rules or dismiss constraints.  Maybe in some cases, an artist’s deep understanding of what constitutes tradition can help him break from it.

Paul Rand and Tangram

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 22, 2010 by karen mackay

“Tangram” Modular Dining Table by Massimo Morozzi
Italy 1983

via sam kaufman gallery

via Daniele Lago

Just wanted to share some cool images inspired from Tangram that the Paul Rand article reminded me of.

Commentary on “Design and The Play Instinct”

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 22, 2010 by Chowhownd

Here Paul tries to draw an analogy between teaching Art and solving a Problem. The basic concept of this article lies on the fact that constraints and limits are more likely to yield a novel solution. Though constraints limit the possible solution, it provides a direction to think. This is essential as for teaching art it is necessary to arouse some curiosity in a student. It is this constraint which holds a students attention and thus the student engages himself in this creative faculties.

One of the very good examples that Rand talks about is the Cross word puzzle in which the major constraints are the number of alphabets and the synonyms. It is these two constraints that finally lead us to a solution.  In the Chinese toy Tangram the constraint is the shapes of the tans. However in this case the output may vary from student to student depending on his self imposed constraints.

The Author also suggests that it is better to set some constraints and learn the basics of an Art before thinking out of the Box. This will lead to perfection in art. This was illustrated in the example of having imaginary grids which jotting down a Chinese character “tan”.

However there are a variety of examples that the author puts forth in this paper to suggest that Art is an outcome of Discipline, Simplicity and Restraint. Some very good examples mentioned in the paper are the African art forms which uses the earth color, the ones that uses the ice from the polar region and more. The Chasen created from a Bamboo and a simple tiny pen-like tool is also a good example of the same.

Rand not only draws an analogy between an Enigma and study of Art but also suggests that the solution and final outcome depends mainly of two factors i.e., the kind of problem chosen to study and the way the problem is posed.

-Anuja Chockalingam