Clive Dilnot, “The Science of Uncertainty: The Potential Contribution of Design to Knowledge”

Category : Design, Philosophy

Thought essentially as configuration or as disposition, though in ways that will have to be explored, design is difficult conceptually. As Phillipe Jullien has pointed out with respect to how we understand some similar concepts in Chinese, the term lies stranded between the over-powering distinction between things (“their condition, configuration, and structure”) and forces or effects (the processes that give to things their form and therefore also their efficacy, their implications). The dichotomy in question is, like all dichotomies, abstract and inadequate to understanding. Nonetheless, it operates to ensure that, caught between the realms of forces and consequences on the one side, and that of the facticity of objects on the other, design is consigned to inconsistency. Its location uncertain, it thus remains largely unconceptualized—even though we sense that what is at stake here is everything that really matter (particularly, it must said, in reference to the realm of the artificial, which is of course the realm of design).

Source: Doctoral Education in Design Conference (1998), pp. 1-41  

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“Dynamic Symmetry” Student notes and drawings

Category : Arts, Design, Students

Source: New School Archives (1926)


Charles Eames and Ray Eames, “The India Report”

Category : Design

The Government of India asked for recommendations on a programme of training in design that would serve as an aid to the small industries; and that would resist the present rapid deterioration in design and quality of consumer goods.
Charles Eames, American industrial designer and his wife and colleague Ray Eames, visited India for three months at the invitation of the Government, with the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation, to explore the problems of design and to make recommendations for a training programme. The Eameses toured throughout India, making a careful study of the many centres of design, handicrafts and general manufacture. They talked with many persons, official and non-official, in the field of small and large industry, in design and architecture, and in education. As a result of their study and discussions, the following report emerged.

Source: Amedabad: The National Institute of Design, 1958

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Parsons, Frank Alvah. “Art in Advertising,”

Category : Arts, Design

In the past, nations and people have given their thoughts and their feelings to the world in material things. Each nation, as it has followed the last preceding it, has recorded its thoughts and its feel ing in stone, wood, metal, cloth, and what not, and through these objects we know the thoughts and something of the feelings of those who have long preceded us.

Source: Art and Progress, Vol. 2, No. 10 (Aug., 1911), pp. 291-294

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Art: Its Principles and Practice as Applied to Modern Life”

Category : Arts, Design

Decided modifications of the National viewpoint on any subject are apt to come very gradually. Sometimes, however, a change takes place almost as rapidly as the opening of a flower over night, and an entirely new outlook is the result. This produces a different attitude of mind, which is expressed in varying forms of activity.

One result of the alteration which has taken place in our national point of view is the new conception of the home as the expression of the individual taste of its owner. For a considerable period we have been engaged as a nation in finding ourselves, as every young thing is.

Source: Boss Studios, 1917: introduction

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Appreciation of Beauty Essential in Art” 

Category : Arts, Design

Broader every day grows the American’s conception of what art really is and of what it means to the social-economic questions arising daily. Art no longer finds its limits with the canvas of the artist painter, nor even is it confined to the “genuine antique” of a decade ago. Its mystery is a thing of the past. Its quality – beauty – is seen as an impersonal thing and man’s desire for it and his joy in its association are accepted as a natural, logical inheritance, common to all. This view makes the impersonal quality – beauty – a personal thing to every man and a desirable one to all alike. Ultra wealth no longer insures an artistic hoe, nor clothes less hideous than those worn by persons who have no means at all. Intelligence plays an important role in every good selection. Historic periods, expressing ideals and conditions of centuries gone, are to be studied, not copied; to be understood, not blindly accepted. This leads to intelligent personal expression.

Source: New York Tribune (12 October 1913): E20

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Architecture and Books” 

Category : Arts, Design

In spite of the radio and our national commitment to standardization and speed, we still need good books, and intelligent people want and read them. America, most cosmopolitan of all nations, a new country with new conditions and new problems, must create the answer to its needs by selecting and adapting the best from all sources from which its elements come. We are now awake, not only to this fact, but to the value of the art quality as an economic asset, as well as to its educational value in our environment; hence, the country-wide interest in the home, not alone in terms of comfort, but of beauty and of common sense.

Source: The Independent (28 March 1925): 358-364

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