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The importance of paradox to the design process Becher, Tom 1980

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THE IMPORTANCE OF PARADOX TO THE DESIGN PROCESS by THOMAS JOSEPH BECHER B.A., The Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971 B.Arch., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Architecture) We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1980 (c^J Thomas Joseph Becher, 1980 In presenting th i s thesis in par t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shal l make i t f ree ly avai lable for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scholar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publ icat ion of th i s thesis for f inanc ia l gain shal l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of & t t * P u * n s . - s n ^ u ^ s The Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT This paper attempts to deal with arch i tectura l theory at the level of the design process. By concentrating on a par t i cu la r idea, or r ea l l y a par t i cu la r type of idea construct ion, I intend to i l l u s t r a t e the nature of contemporary design process. The method of idea construction dealt with i s the notion of paradox. The nature of the contemporary design process i s i l l u s t r a t e d through discussions which mark the t rans i t i on from Modern to Post-Modern design. It i s my contention that the paradox i s a pa r t i cu l a r l y strong vehicle with which to discuss the s h i f t from the Modernist approach to the Post-Modern concept of designing. Further, I w i l l i l l u s t r a t e how paradoxes possess innate qua l i t i e s which are greatly prized by the Post-Modernists but which were not highly exto l led by the Modernists. The qua l i t i e s of paradoxes which are proving to be of considerable value to design are ambiguity and complexity. These qua l i t i e s are held to be of great importance for creative work. Their special value today results from the diverse and rapidly transforming social and technological realms, which require complex yet integrated conceptual models in order to cope with rapid change. Paradoxes are shown to pa ra l l e l the structure of creative thinking in - so- far as c r ea t i v i t y has been described. Paradoxes are a special case of the b i -association used in creative th ink ing. In b i -assoc iat ion one ent i ty i s juxtaposed in a s ingle framework with an antagonistic en t i t y . The resultant c o n f l i c t gives r i se to the creation of new integrated ideas. In a paradox the i i . c o n f l i c t ar ises over the question of whether or not a contradict ion i s true or f a l se . In fact the ambiguity that results from a contradict ion that i s both true and fa lse at the same time i s one of the most valuable properties of a paradox. The creation of an integrated idea that can deal with the ambiguity i s to resolve the paradox and to perform a promising creative act. In short, a paradox can be defined as an apparent contradict ion. It i s to be valued for i t s a b i l i t y to introduce indeterminate thinking to the design process. By def in i t ion , the paradox retains the idea that a con-t rad ic t ion i s present, even while the contradict ion i s known to be fa l se . I w i l l maintain that an appreciation of a contradict ion even a f te r the contradict ion i s shown to be fa l se has the a b i l i t y to vault the designer to s t i l l higher levels of synthesis and abstract ion. This movement between levels of abstract integrat ion i s held to be fundamental to the design process in general and to paradoxical thinking in pa r t i cu la r . This paper introduces the idea of the paradox in preparation for a discussion of the complexity and indeterminacy that results when we attempt to apply i t to pa r t i cu la r examples. The body of the paper i s taken up with the def-i n i t i o n and discussion of the role of seventeen paradoxes. These paradoxes have been chosen for the i r a b i l i t y to i l l u s t r a t e the transformation from Modernism to Post-Modernism, which in the broadest terms are described as the machine age and the communications age respect ively. The intention has been to i l l u s t r a t e the character and role of paradox in spec i f i c instances. But add i t iona l l y the selected examples are intended to reveal how paradoxical thinking has a natural a f f i n i t y with the s e n s i t i v i t i e s and objectives of Post-Modern design. i i i . The general conclusion based on the ins ights gained from discussing the paradoxes i s not r ad i c a l . To conclude that the essential purpose of de-sign must be to personify the perpetual act of creating meaning on many levels at the same time i s to corroborate findings established in many quarters. The fact that the notion of paradox reinforces widely held be l ie f s does reveal the relevance of paradoxical thinking to mainstream design. E s sent ia l l y , paradox i s important to the design process as a rat ional construction of a type which incorporates i r r a t i ona l functions. A very potent creative tool results when both rat ional and i r r a t i o na l functions can be combined to compose meaning at a var iety of levels at the same time. i v . TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i t Introduction 1 Chapter One: The Contradictions of Paradox 15 Chapter Two: Paradox in Myth 31 Chapter Three: The Paradox of Progress; The Paradox of the Avant-garde 40 Chapter Four: The Paradox of Metaphors of Order 46 Chapter Five: The Paradox of Disorder 59 Chapter S ix: The Paradox of Chaos 64 Chapter Seven: The Paradox of Language 69 Chapter Eight: The Paradox of Information 78 Chapter Nine: The Paradox of the Second Law of Thermo-Dynamics 84 Chapter Ten: The Paradox of the Excluded Middle . . . . 100 Chapter Eleven: The Paradox of the Aesthetic Contradiction 109 Chapter Twelve: The Paradox of Iconic Models 116 Chapter Thirteen: The Paradox of Programming 122 Chapter Fourteen: The Paradox of the Environment 137 Chapter F i f teen: The Paradox of Tradit ional Art ; The Paradox of Post-Modern Art 144 Chapter Sixteen: The Paradox of Modeling the Future . . . . 153 Chapter Seventeen: The Paradox of Design as a System . . . . 165 Chapter Eighteen: The Paradox of Difference 178 Chapter Nineteen: The Paradox of Form Giving 191 v. Chapter Twenty: Summary of the Paradoxes of Design . . . 197 Conclusion ' • •. - .203 Bibliography . .218 Appendix: Glossary 226 v i INTRODUCTION This thesis i s the outgrowth of an interest in the state of arch i tectura l theory today. I n i t i a l explorations confirmed the generally held view that a pa r t i cu la r theory of architecture i s un l ike ly to.be derived in the future, ju s t as i t has not been derived in the past. There are pa r t i cu la r theories about how physical form can be generated, to be sure, but there i s no generally acceptable theory about the role of arch i tecture, i t s value and place in society, or about the elements of a rch i tecture, the i r use and d i spos i t ion in bui ldings. Discussions of arch i tectura l theory tend to take place at one of two leve l s . The f i r s t level i s th i s more spec i f i c f i e l d of discourse, at which pa r t i cu la r methods are described or sty les are depicted. Given the wealth of possible solutions to problems in the b u i l t environment, i t i s inev i tab le that pa r t i cu la r methods or sty les w i l l lead to unique rather than general solut ions. Even the most successful and widely spread method or s ty le enjoys only a l imi ted period during which i t i s un iversa l ly appl ied. In-deed, the universal appl icat ion of a type of architecture seems to imply a rather indiscr iminate use which i s sure to resu l t in a backlash. Conse-quently the greatest examples of architecture which we can name are examples of par t i cu la r types of architecture rather than of architecture generally. One example to draw upon to i l l u s t r a t e th i s s i tuat ion i s the question of whether or not the Pyramids are architecture at a l l . There are those who would state that a Pyramid is as good an example as any of architecture in general. Others would counter with the argument that a Pyramid i s a very 1. par t i cu la r type of architecture. And others would claim that a Pyramid i s not architecture at a l l , but rather a primary geometric s o l i d designed independent of man. My intention in th i s paper i s not to deal with the level of theory which deals with par t i cu la r means whereby form can be generated, whether or not that form has unique or general qua l i t i e s . My interest i s not in the methods or styles exercised by the indiv idual to achieve purpose bu i l t structures. Rather, i t i s at the second, more general level of arch i tectura l discourse that I wish to contribute to theoret ical discussion. This second level of discourse in arch i tectura l theoriz ing operates at the level of the "paradigm" as i n i t i a l l y conceived by Kuhn. We are dealing with a pervasive image of what architecture i s or could be when operating at th i s l e v e l . This image or paradigm is b u i l t up of widely recognized arch i tectura l considerations that for a time provide procedural models for a community of pract i t ioners. (1) That i s , a number of considerations which act together cons istently over a substantial period of time tend to characterize an era. They become the general case or paradigm present in a l l pa r t i cu la r instances during that period. Pa r t i cu la r problems are de-f ined from the context of a paradigm, and i t i s the paradigm which w i l l determine the s t a b i l i t y of the i r so lut ion. The s h i f t from one paradigm to another i s a transformation of s i gn i f i can t proportions. In f ac t , Kuhn considered a paradigm s h i f t to be a "revolut ionary" change. In that i t has been my intention to deal with th i s general, sec-ondary level of ontological structure I have sought to account for theoret ical transformation in architecture at a very profound scale. Indeed, i t i s 2. debatable whether or not we can discuss ideational structures at the level of paradigm as theory at a l l . The term theory might best be re -served for that level of discourse at which indiv iduals have f u l l and conscious control (even though certa in aspects of a theory may i n i t i a l l y be unconsciously generated). At the level of paradigm the indiv idual i s not normally aware of the image he i s using. But rather he senses the boundary of the super-structure which surrounds his theor iz ing. He d i s -criminates on the basis of his education within the system which values that paradigm. So i t i s that a discussion about paradigms i s a discussion of history rather than a discussion about pa r t i cu la r works, since large time-scales are required to define conceptual structures of such magnitude. I am interested in history in th i s paper in so far as i t i s necessary to i l l u s t r a t e the nature of the revolutionary change with which I am deal ing, but i t i s not a history paper describing a paradigm or a paradigm s h i f t . Rather i t i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of a paradigm s h i f t as seen through the i n -vestigation of one par t i cu la r en t i t y . I am dealing with a d i s t i n c t i v e conceptual t o o l , namely, "the paradox", which i s not only extremely valuable in design theor iz ing, but which provides an excel lent opportunity to i l l u s t r a t e the most recent paradigm s h i f t in design. It i s my assumption that the la s t paradigm s h i f t in the design f i e l d has been the s h i f t from Modernism to Post-Modernism. Modernism was not a s ty le but a paradigm, as indicated by our label ing of such d i f fe rent designers as Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as great Modernists. In general, the paradigm of Modernism i s best summed up in i t s ubiquitous metaphor, "the machine age". The machine was espoused as the vehicle of 3. transformation from the paradigm which preceded Modernism, or as Frank Lloyd Wright saw i t , "We see this adversary to the old order, the machine, as-at-l a s t -a sword to cut old bonds and provide escape to freedom; we see i t as the servant and savior of the new order - - i f only i t be c reat ive ly used by man!"(2) The machine metaphor proved to be an extremely useful and powerful "servant" to establ i sh the Modernist order or paradigm. But as Wright seems to admit in th i s quotation of 1953, the machine eth ic required a " sav ior " by that time. As a true Modernist he continued to re ly on the machine metaphor even though another revolutionary transformation was being i n i t i a t e d during the 1950's which would lead to Post-Modernism. For Wright the machine provides the requis i te freedom, but his proviso i s that i t be creat ive ly used. I w i l l argue that the machine order has b u i l t - i n l im i ta t ions for the very reason that i t denies certa in dimensions of c r ea t i v i t y . In pa r t i cu l a r , the machine metaphor led the Modernists to believe in the el imination of complex and ambiguous ideas, such as the paradox. And the absence of complexity and ambiguity r ad i ca l l y l im i t s creative freedom in the long run. Note that the r a t i ona l , pur i s t and s c i e n t i f i c emphasis of the Modern movement was more evident at the second, general level of paradigm construction than at the f i r s t level of spec i f i c theoret ical construction. The pursuit of l o g i c a l , simple truths characterized the Modernists in general, but i t did not necessari ly describe the par t i cu la r works of certain Modernists. That i s , the great Modernists, l i k e the great designers working in any era, revealed in the i r work very complex truths. In f a c t , that i s the reason they are great, they are able to provide a richness beyond the l im i t s of any theory. 4. Certainly the best of the Modernists were not more s c i e n t i f i c than the i r predecessors in the way in which they designed. But they were caught up in the use and select ion of mechanical imagery and indus t r i a l elements, as society was in general. The difference between them and the rest of society was that the great Modernists were able to be creative despite the mechanical order. The majority of persons under the Modern paradigm have been w i l l i n g to apply the machine image to the spec i f i c instance. These persons have r e l i ed on planning, data bases, methodologies, systems th ink ing, s c i e n t i f i c research and log ic to animate the indust r ia l elements. It has been the concern of many design theor ists over the l a s t twenty years that the mechanical image came to infuse the design process to a degree that s t i f l e d creative design. The conclusion to be drawn i s that the machine image is incompatible with the thinking required within the creative design process. This i s not to say that the machine image i s incompatible with design, with form, or with progressive paradigms. After a l l , the machine image served successful ly to break the shackles of the Nineteenth Century gripping the early Modernists. But i t i s to s!ay that the reduct ionist and rat ional thinking which developed as an accompaniment to the machine image, and which came to dominate the design process l a t t e r l y , tends to l i m i t certain types of creative behavior. The i n a b i l i t y of the machine age to provide creative solutions to the major problems i t faced resulted in a movement to replace the paradigm i t supported. The fundamental changes that have been promoted since the Second World War have been the development of better conceptual constructions with which to deal with complexity. The f i e l d s of science and engineering took the lead in 5. the development of images and models which could replace the mechanistic world view with a more synerg ist ic one. It i s character i s t i c of th is Century that science and engineering should provide the foundation for the machine age as well as for the paradigm which has replaced i t . I a t t r ibute this to the fact that the most creative work in our society, that work which i s revolutionary to the degree that i t can cause paradigms to s h i f t , takes place in the pure and applied sciences. The impact of th i s s c i e n t i f i c work f i l t e r s throughout society in the form of new tech-nological tools . Science has been concerned with complexity rather than s imp l i f i ca t i on during the l a s t few decades. The impl icat ion for s pec i f i c everyday a c i t i v i t i e s is a preoccupation with interact ion and with information processing tech-nology. The impl icat ion for theory bui lding and conceptualizing is a pre-occupation with metaphors and models of process and communication. So i t i s that the paradigm s h i f t away from the machine age is to the "communication age". I have sought to deal with th i s paradigm s h i f t to the communications age as the most important influence on arch i tectura l theory today. Since I wish to deal with architecture in - so - far as i t i s a creative process, I w i l l be concerned with the "design process". I t i s the design process as a conceptual a c t i v i t y which must deal with the models of thought implied in the new paradigm. I expect that the designer w i l l be heavily involved in the near future in adopting various metaphors of communication to spec i f i c design works. This process is already taking hold strongly - - i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to discuss design today without resorting to highly top ica l l i n g u i s t i c 6. references. The infusion of l i n g u i s t i c , or in more general terms, communi-cations analogies into the design process conforms d i r e c t l y to the pattern I have made reference to above. For the communications age, as for the machine age, a maturing of the paradigm occurs as the bold image and early assumptions work down into the pa r t i cu la r methodological works; An addit ional pa ra l le l deals with the e a r l i e r , i conoc last ic phase of a paradigm. As noted, the Modernists r e l i ed on the forms implied by the machine to break with the past, the preceding order. These early Modernists did not have the systematic conceptual tools which were to be developed in late Modernism a f te r the Second World War. S im i l a r l y , present day Post-Modernists are in the vanguard, infatuated with the forms which are implied by the communications age. But mature and sophist icated conceptual tools which are capable of incorporating the communications paradigm into the generative process have yet to be developed. Post-Modernism i s presently f i l l e d with cant and posturing, since at th i s stage the statement i s more important than the substance. It i s my proposal that the concept of paradox can serve very well to or ient a discussion of design theory in the eventual d i rect ion of a mature Post-Modernism. At i t s least the paradox i den t i f i e s issues that are c r i t i c a l to the advancement of design theory. At i t s best the paradox personif ies the very structural character i s t i c s of r ad i ca l l y creative designing. The creative power of the paradox rests in i t s pa r t i cu la r s t ructura l qua l i t y . A paradox is a unitary, whole ent i ty which by i t s nature i s both ambiguous and complex. As we have discussed, a major concern of the communications age i s to deal with complexity. Science t r ad i t i o na l l y dealt with complexity by 7. breaking i t down, by s impl i fy ing — the image of science adopted by the Modernists. However, most evolving s c i e n t i f i c work in th is Century has been seeking to deal with complexity in tegrat i ve ly . S im i l a r l y , theoret ical applied and social sciences have been preoccupied with organic, b i o l o g i c a l , systematic, cybernetic, communications, s t r uc tu ra l , or l i n g u i s t i c models. The results of these del iberations are gradually being adopted by the de-sign professions. New conceptual and theoret ical constructions are emerging in design which increasingly permit complex ideas to be handled. The sciences have not yet dealt with ambiguity as they have with complexity: by and large ambiguity i s s t i l l anathema to the s c i e n t i f i c or scholarly world, although a number of author i t ies have taken up the cause.(3) The examples of paradox discussed in the body of th i s paper i l l u s t r a t e the pa r t i cu la r value of ambiguity to the creative act of design. The tension found in ambiguous relat ionships proves to be very f e r t i l e to creative work. It i s the a b i l i t y of a paradox to encapsulate both complex and am-biguous relat ionships which has led me to propose paradoxical thinking as fundamental to Post-Modern design a c i t i v i t i e s in pa r t i cu l a r , and to creative a c t i v i t y in general .• Ordinary language i s the best model we have of the advantages of complex and ambiguous systems. S t r i c t adherence to the pr inc ip les of a language are required in order to use i t e f f e c t i v e l y . However, the high level of re-dundancy and ambiguity permits us to eas i l y create new meaning using old forms. This essential ambiguity found in language i s a good reason why analogies with language systems are so strong in the socia l sciences and the arts today. 8. I t i s on this basis that I intend to explore and define paradox as a precise  conceptual apparatus for constructing spec i f i c ambiguity, c o n f l i c t , and  complexity within an integrated whole. I define a paradox as an apparent contradict ion. A paradox is a contradict ion which, viewed from another vantage point, proves to be fa l se . However, to discover that a contradict ion i s only apparent and not real i s not s u f f i c i en t to ident i f y a paradox. Rather, we chose the term paradox to apply to a contradict ion which we value and wish to keep in mind even though we know i t to be fa l se . That i s , we apply the term paradox to those s i tuat ions in which we wish to preserve the d idact ic value of a c o n f l i c t despite the fact that i t s construction i s not an outr ight contradict ion. From certain con-f ined perspectives such a c o n f l i c t may appear to be an outr ight contradict ion. But any c o n f l i c t which stands up to a l l tests as being contradictory would not be labeled a paradox, i t would simply be ca l l ed a contradict ion. A paradox is resolved through the very act of defining i t . The construction of a paradox para l le l s d i a l e c t i c a l thought processes. Whenever we f ind value in po lar iz ing en t i t i e s into a s ingle oppositional framework, we are using d i a l e c t i c a l thought processes. Should en t i t i e s in an opposition be considered to be d i r e c t l y contrary to one another, we would term them opposites. Should some facet of one ent i ty in an opposition deny some facet of another en t i t y , we would have a contradict ion. I f the contradict ion can be exposed as being in error , we would only be dealing with an opposit ion. I f we should construct one assertion which seems to be su i tably convincing while implying the f a l s i t y of another, we are dealing with an antinomy. However, should a contradict ion be found to have innate value even while we 9. expose i t as fa l se by moving to some higher frame of reference, we have a paradox. The paradox i s a complex pattern of manifold meaning in that i t s h i f t s from the non-contradictory, integrated stance to the contradictory stance that has been preserved in i t s structure. It i s th i s structured ambiguity which makes the paradox so potent a tool in the creative process. To use a paradox f r u i t f u l l y implies an a b i l i t y to r i se above the ambiguity of o s c i l l a t i n g between a contradict ion that appears true at one moment and fa lse at another. The paradox demands that extra synthetic act which sur-mounts the s ingle polar ized dimension in order to be s e l f - c r i t i c a l . E f f e c t i ve l y , a paradox can be structured by acknowledging the p r inc ip le of h ierarchica l integrat ion. By moving the discussion of a contradict ion to a higher level of abstraction i t i s possible to test whether the contrad ic t ion, holds. By reframing the c o n f l i c t from a broader point-of-view the contra-d ic t ion might be resolved. I f so, i t i s a matter of using the p r inc ip le of integrat ive reframing, much a f te r the fashion of Hegelian d i a l e c t i c s , to create a synthesis of a proposit ion.that i s va l i d one moment.and fa lse the next. An ind icat ion that the properties of paradox are becoming of increasing interest to many commentators i s to be found in the coining of the term "Janusian" th inking. This label i s used by Olsson (4), Koestler (5), and Rothenberg (6) to refer to a type of thinking in which two or more contra-d ictory elements are dealt with simultaneously. According to th i s view the co-existence of antagonistic elements in a s ingle frame is.considered to be the most powerful avai lable construction to spawn creative acts. The name "Janusian" i s derived from the multi-headed Roman god, Janus who i s capable of 10. looking in more than one d i rect ion at the same time. Rothenberg studied the creative works of a great many b r i l l i a n t people, including E ins te in , O ' N e i l l , Conrad, Mozart, and Picasso in order to ver i f y the i r adherence to the hypothesis of Janusian thinking.(7) The record o f ' g reat creative acts assembled by Rothenberg suggests that i t i s very important that the e s tab l i sh -ment of oppositions be a conscious and rat ional act. I t i s through the tensions considered and tested when incompatibles merge into a transcendent whole that a creative release i s potent ia l l y ava i lab le . A paradox i s a conscious juxtapos it ion between the idea of a contradict ion and the idea that the contradict ion i s fa l se a f te r the manner of the Janusian construction. Consequently, paradoxes should be seen by the designer as furnishing excel lent opportunities for his most creative and powerful work. They are rat ional constructions which u t i l i z e the potential of the i r r a t i ona l and indescribably complex to achieve highly integrated resolut ions. This has been character i s t i c of the design process for centur ies, and the rapid rate of change in our culture increasingly demands creative thinking tools which can de l i ver c o n f l i c t resolut ion in the midst of unprecedented complexity and d i ve r s i t y . To lose s ight of the ambiguity.and c o n f l i c t in an apparent contradict ion i s to lose sight of an integrat ive understanding of a certa in aspect of the world. I have chosen seventeen par t i cu la r paradoxes for discussion in th i s paper out of the large number of paradoxes potent ia l l y ava i lab le. These paradoxes have been selected on the basis of two main c r i t e r i a ; f i r s . t . , each had a general a p p l i c a b i l i t y to design in that they embody perennial struggles faced by the designer, s e cond , these paradoxes are espec ia l l y topical con-11. siderations to the designer concerned with the emergence of Post-Modernism. That i s , these paradoxes are themselves pr imar i ly the resu l t of the s h i f t from mechanistic to communicational thought processes. The seventeen paradoxes have been summarized and l i s t e d in Chapter Twenty for ease of i den t i f i c a t i on and comparison. While the value to the design process of any s ingle paradox, or of paradoxes in general cannot be proven, each instance c i ted i l l u s t r a t e s the s t rateg ic advantage of such a construction. The Modernists chose to el iminate com-p lex i ty and ambiguity in favour of s imp l i c i t y and pur i ty . Consequently they could not value the paradox pos i t i ve l y as a creative device on i t s own. I w i l l argue that disregard for paradox i s to lose an important creative advantage which serves to enrich design. The complexity, heterogeneity and c o n f l i c t that are character i s t i c of everyday l i f e are being exto l led today as the very qua l i t i e s which should be found in our b u i l t environment. Paradoxes are excel lent tools with which to i l l u s t r a t e the mu l t i - l eve l process of creating meanilhg and s ign i f icance in the design process. The construction of a paradox i s more complex than i s generally perceived. However i t can generally be stated that people i n t u i t i v e l y appreciate the mult iple levels of meaning that i s implied by the use of the term. To c a l l a thought construction a paradox i s to imply that a certa in ambiguity i s being conserved, that there i s an advantage in not s tat ing things as e i ther "black or white". Further analysis of paradox exposes the rat ional and non-rational aspects of such a construction. It becomes very d i f f i c u l t to f u l l y explain the non-rational dimensions, since we use the term "non-r a t i ona l " to refer to that part which cannot be adequately described. 12. The designer, l i k e others involved in creative endeavors, make great use of the non-rational and the i r r a t i ona l to pul l together highly complex considerations. Such considerations would remain fragmented and i l l - conce i ved i f only rat ional processes were appl ied. The importance of the paradox to the design process i s to provide the designer with a device which i s i den t i f i ab l e and rat ional in e f f e c t , but which incorporates highly integrat ive and synthetic aspects which are espec ia l l y valuable to creative work. 13. FOOTNOTES 1. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p . v i i i . 2. Frank Lloyd Wright, The Future of Architecture (New York: Horizon Press, 1953), p.33. 3. See Chapter Thirteen, The Paradox of Programming, pp.122-136. 4. Gunnar Olsson, Birds in Egg (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Univers ity of Michigan, Michigan Geographical Publ icat ion No.15, 1975), pp.218-221. 5. Arthur Koestler, Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp.57-58. 6. Albert Rothenberg, "Creative Contradict ions", Psychology Today, vol.13, n o . l , June 1979, pp.55-62. 7. I b id . , p.56. 14. CHAPTER ONE THE CONTRADICTIONS OF PARADOX Within the often vague and inaccessible methods used by the designer to pu l l concept from chaos l i e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of contrad ict ion, such that the res-u l t i s f a l se . But i t i s normal for the design elements to c o n f l i c t one with another despite a well motivated process attent ive to l og i ca l connection and semantic cor re la t ion . It i s also normal for the connections and the meanings of the elements to maintain the i r truth and propriety no matter how much rev is ion i s undertaken in order to resolve the c o n f l i c t . The design so lut -ion must very often sa t i s f y i t s e l f with a compromise. Consequently we must look to the very premises upon which are founded e i ther of two elements in opposition in order to gain f u l l resolut ion of c o n f l i c t in a fashion that does not make compromise a d i r t y word. It i s not normally the case in any discourse that there be an i nc l i na t i on to go back to the foundations of the elemental conceptions in order to reconci le an elus ive c o n f l i c t . The term paradox is used in fact to apply to a s i tuat ion in which the log ic i s not merely inconsistent, but where the inconsistency i s an acknowledged part of the by now doctr ina i re discourse. There i s l i k e l y no intention of t ry ing to understand the contradict ion for a host of usually comfortable excuses. Primary among them i s the dis-ease that w i l l resu l t with in the ent i re l o c i of events when the root premises on which the ent i re structure i s founded are a l tered. Natural ly changes in thinking are required a l l the way along the l i ne once a p r inc ip le changes. Paradox i s one type of contradict ion. It i s a type which is rather uncomfort-able because i t c a l l s the conceptual context of the .contradiction into question. 15. In f a c t , the word "paradox" is applied only when someone thinks something i s wrong with the context of the perceived contradict ion. Further discussion of the larger f i e l d of contradict ion w i l l better or ient the att i tude we take to paradox. Contradiction which can be revealed to be only apparent ex i s t s both in the world of perception and of conception, the world of subsistence and of existence. A good deal more i s brought into existence (C indere l la , A l i ce in Wonderland), than is brought into subsistence (Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren). But more to the point, something brought into subsistence must necessari ly be discovered (brought into existence) in order to enter into discourse. Susanne Langer points out that h i s t o r i c a l l y , from the c l a s s i ca l period through the medieval period, the notion of dealing with contradictions of appearances as po l a r i t i e s has become an ingrained way of thinking for the modern layman.(1) This basic d i a l e c t i c scheme of thesis and ant i thes i s was the foundation of pre-modern science. The theme of th i s l i ne of reasoning i s to turn eachact ion and reaction into a p r i nc i p l e . This manner of thinking i s so much a part of us that we often f ind i t d i f f i c u l t to object i f y to a point where we can see the contradict ion taking place, for these pr inc ip les have come to form the perceptive log ic of Western culture. In th i s scheme the an t i t he t i ca l charac-ter of physical things i s resolved by establ i sh ing i t s opposite measure - -thus coherence i s achieved, order maintained, and regulation made possible because any given posit ion can be maintained by measuring out proportionate quant i t ies ; too much heat i s the resu l t of a lack of a proportionate amount of co ld , j u s t i ce i s something that hangs on a balance, e v i l can be counter-acted with an equivalent dose of good, and so on. This approach to the s t ruc t -16. uring of pr inc ip les in order to resolve contradict ion has i t s e l f l i k e l y given r i se to more paradoxes than any other schema we can name. Just how a quant-i t y of e v i l could be undone by a proportionate penance i s incomprehensible, but also unquestioned, in deference to the coherence obtainable in socia l discourse should people agree to abide by such a p r i n c i p l e . Given the ambiguit ies 'of language, the c o n f l i c t amongst a man's des ires, and the diachronic dimensions of circumstance, there is very good reason to seek consistency. Consistency i t s e l f becomes a most important heur i s t i c tool in society and in design in the face of such sources of contradict ion. In fact the ease with which contradict ion can be mul t ip l ied upon the introduction of any s ingle element suggests that the designer i s obliged not to undermine the design process by exposing internal or external contradict ions. More pointedly, he should resolve the greatest number of contradictions with an economy of means. The consistency of the design and of the design process must both be found in the profound unity of the methodology. The consistency i s not found in the description of contradict ions, nor in the s imp l i f i ca t i on of the appear-ances of the material so lut ion. The consistency i s found in aspects of method-ology which permit the great variety of types of descr ipt ion and types of app-earances to ex i s t . These are completely d i f fe rent aspects of design method-ology than those which merely resolve the contradict ions, only to have them r i se up in another place and be resolved again ad in f in i tum. And the resolved contradict ion w i l l r i se again because i t requires no change in p r i nc ip le s , never mind a change from p r i nc ip le s , to gain a reso lut ion. In fact contradic-t ion which gives the i l l u s i o n of consistent, coherent unity is i t s e l f a para-dox. 17. While the concept of paradox has seemingly alluded him, Michel Foucault, in his treatment of the contradictions of archaeology, establishes a ro le for contradict ion at the end of analys i s ; for us, i t i s at the end of the design that: " . . .on ly residual contradictions remain - - accidents, defects, mistakes - - or , on the contrary, as i f the ent i re analysis had been carr ied out in secrecy and in spite of i t s e l f , the fundamental contradict ion emerges: the bringing into play at the very or ig in of the system, of incompatible postulates, i n t -ersections of i r reconc i l ab le inf luences, the f i r s t d i f f r a c t i on of des ire, the economic and p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t that opposes a society to i t s e l f , a l l t h i s , instead of appearing as so many super f i c ia l elements that must be reduced, i s f i n a l l y revealed as an organizing p r inc ip le , as the founding, secret law that accounts for a l l minor contradictions and gives them a f i rm foundation: in short, a model for a l l the other oppositions."(2) The organizing pr inc ip le which is going to contextualize a l l the oppositions of the design is the paradox, which must be found out in order to test how serious we are about the lesser contradict ions, and not necessari ly to d i s -cred i t them, or replace them, for they are constituent parts at various levels of function which are also working synthet ica l l y . The models and approxima-t ions , the elements of the puzzle, the theoret ical options, the predetermined variables which modulate the methodological sequence do not promise an easy, smooth and f u l l y ve r i f i ed path. But there w i l l be no consistency or coherence in the whole design without that design becoming the model of a dominant con-t rad ic t ion which i s both affirmed and negated at the same time. In other words, the design must be_ i n t r i n s i c a l l y the paradox, in some way, at the same time as i t resolves i t . For Herbert Marcuse, "advanced indus t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n leads to the triumph of the one-dimensional r e a l i t y over a l l contradict ion. " (3) His One-Dimensional Man i s the contemporary person who has found a set of p r i n -c ip les worthy of tota l conscious investment. In fact these pr inc ip les of scientism 18. operate at re l ig ious and mythic levels to hide contradict ion. The ancient bivalent world where both high and low were one word (the Latin altus) or where holy and profane were one word (the Latin sacer) has been reduced un t i l contradict ion i s pejorative and paradox untenable. Rulon Wells mentions that change i s simply "a synchronic re f l ec t i on of diachronic diversity."(4) It i s interest ing that th is i s precisely Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man, who can appreciate d i ver s i t y over l i nea l time only but cannot appreciate synchronic  d i ve r s i t y , which is d i ve r s i t y in one thing at the same time. The word we normally use for synchronic d i ve r s i t y i s ambiguity. The opportunity exists for paradoxical thinking to become more than an i n -strument, for tools of reasoning gain a l i f e of the i r own, extending into an otherwise unreachable praxis. Because the notion of paradox confronts conventional reasoning, challenging the log ic of systematic th ink ing, the d i a l e c t i c a l movement of contradictions provides the hint of multi-valence required in our methods to complement the multi-valence we more readi ly ad-mit in our physical environment. The goal of a l l knowledge is not to f a l s -i f y , even though each gain in knowledge seems to lead to a gain in ignorance, and even though the either/or of yesterday appears to be moving towards a both/and for tomorrow. The goal must be to create knowledge by extract-ing the next layer of the implicate order, of the b u i l t - i n structural tens-ion of r e a l i t y . S c i e n t i f i c knowledge and i t s methodological influences are pervasive, even to the point of cannibal iz ing d i a l e c t i c a l thought. Witness Herbert Marcuse's statement that " . . . the power of negative thinking i s the dr iv ing power of d i -a l e c t i c a l thought, used as a tool for analyzing the world of facts in terms 19. of i t s internal inadequacy." (5) While he acknowledges the ambiguity in the world of facts , Marcuse adopts negative analysis as the descr ipt ion of d i a -l e c t i c s . This i s to say that he adopts the "Law of Contradiction" as i t re-lates at least to fact s : one form of the law being "a thing cannot have oppo-s i t e attr ibutes at the same time." (6) I t i s th is Law of Contradiction, which is used in the " s c i e n t i f i c method", since i t i s necessary to proceed in s c i -ence by means of theories that are disprovable. A s c i e n t i f i c theory has the seeds of i t s own disproof in i t , for a theory that can ' t be disproved i s of no use. It i s impossible to show that there are no unicorns, i t i s impossible to prove the negative, consequently s c i e n t i f i c theories must be statements of the knowable. I f th is i s what Marcuse considers to be the d i a l e c t i c , the thesis and ant i - thes i s of science, he is dismissing the existence of un-icorns, or better, he i s dismissing the concept of the contradictory en t i t y , unicorn. Consequently the s c i e n t i f i c method cannot be expected to ever prove the existence of a unicorn, because the unicorn has properties a p r i o r i which are incompatible according to science. The unicorn may yet ex i s t in another "region" which permits contradictory facts "incompatible to science". Limit ing the d i a l e c t i c to negation as found in the s c i e n t i f i c i s to ignore the idea of d i a l e c t i c as the opposit ion, for the negative only asserts an absence. As we saw, science can only show that a unicorn has not yet been, found, i t cannot show they do not ex i s t for i t says nothing about what pot-ent ia l pos i t ive state can be obtained. Therefore the Law of Contradiction does not prohib it unicorns, although natural law might. D ia lect ics as the opposition of incompatible properties does not so much need the Law of Con-t rad ic t ion as laws of nature. The laws of nature are required to establ i sh 20. a base-l ine structure, while the Law of Contradiction establishes nothing so much as inductive, rat ional p r inc ip le s . That rat ional ism needs structure as well i s to point out that the overgoal of thought may very well be s t ruc-ture, since i r r a t i o n a l i t y and non-rat ional i ty require structure as well i f f o r no other reason than to be so i d en t i f i e d . As Garelick pos i t s , to suggest otherwise i s paradoxical: "Every denial that reason can t ru l y perceive that the world i s structured adds up to an aff i rmation of jus t what i t attempts to deny. And this because the log ic and language we use in denying presupposes necessari ly that reason i s capable of seeing t r u l y . " (7) I t would seem "reasonable" to conclude from th is that the unicorn is emin-ently r a t i ona l . Sound acumen i s required to ident i f y what i t s attr ibutes are, what is incompatible, and indeed what attr ibutes are and what incompat-ib les are. Contradiction i s used to establ i sh the dimensions of the subject, the i r quantit ies in the object and the c r i t i c a l departures from experience, but the unicorn i s not negated in the sense of absent, i t i s present as the tension of the opposition. An opposition does not have to be created out of horse, stag, l i o n , and the odd horn, for they are created in human discourse. "The point we have been leading up to i s that objects and events are experienced through the medium of schemas and that people with r ad i ca l l y d i f fe rent schemas w i l l ass imi-late and interpret data in d i f fe rent ways. Their descr ip-t ion of the same data w i l l at times vary to the point of being unrecognizable." (8) People seem to view a garden variety horse as var iab le; surely for many i f a horse's t a i l could be l o g i c a l l y mistaken for a l i o n ' s , a r ide on one's back could be a f l i g h t on a unicorn. But the Law of Contradiction " . . . i s made to y i e l d a world in which the Real i s Rat ional . " (9) I f the unicorn cannot comfortably be ca l led rat ional because reason is assoc-21. iated wi/th the type of negation practiced in science, l e t i t take this neg-ation which also propels the d i a l e c t i c , and remake the veh ic le , d i a l e c t i c , so that i t runs on opposit ion, a more v o l a t i l e fuel for c r ea t i v i t y . The de-signer is concerned with comprehensive units and in transcending the narrow confines of the s e l f through processes of c r o s s - f e r t i l i z a t i o n so d e f i n i t i v e l y discussed by Arthur Koestler as " b i s o c i a t i on " , as c o l l i d i n g mental "holons", or as "mutually incompatible frames of reference". (10) The processes of cre-a t i v i t y and humour appear when we establ i sh the tension between p o s s i b i l i t -i e s , rather than the truth of the i r synthesis. The truth value of the syn-thesis i s up to the indiv idual consumer, ju s t as a joke, once constructed, depends on the audience to develop the consistency in the parts which lead up to the c on f l i c t in the whole. The value of the d i a l e c t i c as opposition i s that the "excluded middle" be-tween the dueling parties i s potent ia l l y ava i lab le. Rather than have a un-icorn negated by nature the dual i ty can be represented as a continuum, which possesses two poles; in th i s case the poles might be f i c t i o n a l beasts and non-f ict ional beasts. Now science would claim that the structure of r e a l -i t y i s based on the negation of the f i c t i t i o u s construction. However th i s never gets r i d of the f i c t i t i o u s , much in the manner that knowledge never gets r i d of ignorance, i t merely seems to establ i sh a s t i l l larger number of unknowns. And given the ambiguity with which people view a s c i e n t i f i c datum, the non-f ict ional pole is highly phenomenological when we are deal -ing on any plane of concern to the designer. The unicorn can be seen to i n -habit the "excluded middle" between the f i c t i o n a l and non- f ic t iona l pole, since i t i s by no means that fanc i fu l an animal - - i t i s made up of known 22. animal parts. The assemblage of parts of a horse, a stag and a l i on may not conform to r e a l i t y in aggregate, but the parts are very leg i t imate, funct-iona l l y assembled on a non - f i c t i t i ou s model, and operational ly e f fect i ve in the i r mythic context. The disorder i s eminently r a t i ona l , the unicorn as form is a conceptual unit ambiguous at only one l e v e l , and unl ike ly to be ambiguous at a l l i f one did not independently know each of the three animals of which i t i s const i tuted, as might occur with a c h i l d . "Michael Polanyi wrote that creative thinking was thinking as a ch i l d with the tools of log -i c a l structur ing given by maturity."(11) The s c i e n t i f i c method of deductively negating theory through fact must, paf radox ica l l y , re ly on new f i c t i o n a l constructions which are searching for supporting proof and l og i c . Science has, to i t s c r ed i t , delivered us from many fantasies whose order i s inconsistent with fac t s , but in so doing has condemned the excluded middle of potential or interpreted f a c t , where for Will iam Blake "anything capable of being believed i s an image of truth."(12) In our society the s c i en t i s t as -the new high pr ies t upholds the Establishment and the absolute, that which must be believed. The creative i s necess-a r i l y a departure from present structures. So i t i s that arch i tecture, representing large-scale socia l investment, i s a fol lower more than a leader in the creative struggle, i s not usually humorous, and i s s o c i a l l y complacent in acknowledgement of the fact that the Establishment commissions i t . And yet i t does, i t must change, as Kalakowski points out: "Pr iest s and jesters cannot be reconciled unless one of them i s transformed into the other, as sometimes happens ... In every era the j e s t e r ' s philosophy exposes as doubtful what seems most unshakable, reveals the contradictions in what appears obvious and incontrovert ib le , derides common sense and reads sense into the absurd. In short, i t undertakes 23. the da i ly chores of the j e s t e r ' s profession together with the inev i tab le r i s k of appearing r id i cu lous . Depending on time and place, the j e s t e r ' s thinking can range through a l l the extremes of thought, for what i s sacred today was para-doxical yesterday, and absolutes on the equator are often blasphemies at the poles. The j e s t e r ' s constant e f f o r t is to consider a l l the possible reasons fo r contradictory ideas. I t i s thus d i a l e c t i c a l in nature - - simply the attempt to change what i s because i t i s . He is motivated not by a de-s i re to be perverse but by d i s t rus t of a s t ab i l i z ed system. In a world where apparently everything has already happened, he represents an act ive imagination defined by the oppos-i t i o n i t must overcome." (13) If i r r a t i o n a l i t y is thought without structure, the unicorn i s not i r r a t i o n a l , i t simply acknowledges that structures are not consistent as much as pers i s -tent, are not d i s jo inted as much as jo in ted. In the d i a l e c t i c a l we can frame the thought processes which a r t i cu la te and uncover the levels of structure at work, even in the s ingle opposition. It i s as i f the opposition confirms structure by i l l u s t r a t i n g the impotence of thought which does not acknowledge i t . Meanwhile the c i r c u l a r i t y of the Law of Contradiction con-firms the r a t i ona l i t y of thought which uses the p r inc ip le of negation to con-f irm structure. The fact that contradict ion could actual ly ex i s t i s impor-tant only to the degree that i t would i l l u s t r a t e thought i s consistent with experience. But th is i s the universal revelat ion and works equally well to show that the value of synthesis i s the degree to which i t i s consistent with experience, for "as Plotinus sa id , (that) man has an eye to what i s seen, and i s i t s e l f l i k e the object of i t s v i s i on . " (14) Paradox is an apparent contradict ion that haunts the excluded middle estab- l i shed by the d i a l e c t i c . The contradiction arises because the balance, the apposit ion, the pos it ion taken between two opposites is not appreciated. The contradiction i s only apparent because i t results from an unwillingness , 24. to s h i f t to another level of structure so as to order in unitary terms the ostensibly con f l i c t i ng e n t i t i e s . Paradox cannot be explained in terms of the Law of Contradiction in the sense that a paradox cannot be solved through negation, nor does one of the en t i t i e s precise ly deny another. The c o n f l i c -t ing parts of the paradox are a resolvable unity at a level at which the i r opposition i s subsumed within yet another, higher opposit ion. In each f i e l d paradox occurs just at that point where resistance begins to emerge in the thinking process, where implications have not been made f u l l y conscious in the past for a variety of reasons. The hidden assumptions, the habitual con-s t ruct s , the formulaic aspects of experience are very strong in a f i e l d such as design which derives from c ra f t t r ad i t i on s . Consequently there i s great opportunity for paradox to emerge in the design methodology which cannot be exorcised by the s c i e n t i f i c method, the appl icat ion of data and systems, or the appl icat ion of absolute novelty or fancy. Paradox requires synthesis, jus t as ar t does, in the ready-made semi o t i c world which defines i t . But any expression i s , s upe r f i c i a l l y creative, for commun-icat ion requires in terpretat ion, requires the connecting of at least two e n t i t i e s , requires that union be made. Unity achieved in the face of adver-s i t y is considered to be aesthet ic, a dimension valuable to art works because art works have a r e a l i t y of the i r own. The fact that architecture has many purposes in addition to the function of operating as an art object, the fact that architecture is a soc ia l art form, the fact that architecture i s such an active element of l i f e i t s e l f suggests that there i s immense opportunity for paradox. While the moral dimension of art refers to the resolut ion of c o n f l i c t (whether in co lor , shape, theme, character), the moral dimension of 25. architecture is found in the addit ional structural levels (scale, cu l ture, s o c i a l , organizat ional, economic) at which c o n f l i c t i s found and, short o f tragedy, i s resolved. Thus the essential oppositions of l i f e , the r e s i s t -ance of the material world to the force of ideas, the resistance of an idea to i t s own persistent ramif icat ions, are the processes which, when manifest in da i l y l i f e , establ ish a social presence and for the arch i tect become form. Resolution to the paradoxes of f ac t , of r e a l i t y , and of experience may l i e , i t i s widely suggested today, in the dynamic terms of process, in movement, in the doing rather than in what i s done. But the act i s grounded in some other matrix, a medium of f a i t h , or energy, or perhaps some cosmic j e l l y . The pursuit of th i s other medium i s of no interest to us here, for we are concerned with the a b i l i t y to communicate our f indings, our discourse requ i -res that other process, semiosis. "Philosophers have usually f e l t that a primary antinomy of th i s sort condemned a structure of thought as unsound. Kant devotes a number of sections of his c r i t i que to the 'antinomies of pure reason,' endeavoring to eliminate them by a process of detour. Yet although paradox has long been unrecognized as a p o s s i b i l i t y in any sound philosophy, i t has always in modern times been i m p l i c i t l y present. In i t s various aspects i t has permeated every f i e l d , and the ent i re turmoil in present-day thinking may be said to be merely a phase of t h i s deeper unsett le-ment, an unsettlement which goes to the bases of Western thought and which requires a type of analysis and c r i t -icism which i t has never had." (15) With respect to the type of c r i t i c i s m which we have had, the S t ruc tu ra l i s t movement in the humanities is the ascendent paradigm in the d i a l e c t i c a l t r a -d i t i o n , however the emphasis has been excessively on s t a t i c structure to the detriment of any understanding of structural dynamics. The communications theoretic f i e l d s do, on the other.hand, speak of dynamic events, but they do 26. i t in non-ambiguous terms. The s c i e n t i f i c method, bereft .of ambiguity, leads to Whitehead's " f a l l a c y of concreteness" (16) and to Husserl ' s " f a l l a c y of object iv i sm". (17) This type of analysis i s concerned with what exists and i s onto log ica l . I t i s opposed by the epistemological approach, concerned ' with how we know. The d i a l e c t i c used in th i s mode revolves pr imari ly around the mind/body opposition: "In d i a l e c t i c one c r i t i c i z e s one's mode of conceiv-ing things, rather than the actual matter of fact that one has conceived." (13) While th i s i s much more dynamic, i t often happens that the subject takes him-se l f too ser ious ly, "any idea ser iously entertained, however, tends to bring about the rea l i za t i on of i t s e l f " . (19) A vicious c i r c l e wherein the ind i v -idual i s referenced for a l l knowledge is to be set upon by a Zen master with no answers and therefore no p o s s i b i l i t y of communicating. Words seem to be made for giving answers. For Lewis Thomas, " I f i t were not for the capacity of ambiguity, for the sensing of strangeness, that words in a l l languages provide, we would have no way of recognizing the layers of counterpoint in meaning, and we might be spending a l l our time s i t t i n g on stone fences, star ing into the sun... The great thing about human language is that i t prevents us from s t i ck ing to the matter at hand." (20) D ia lec t i ca l as werare, knowing that the answer is going to be ambiguous pro-duces a countervai l ing force to make the question as s pec i f i c as possible. This i s contradictory and sure to f a i l , for the question cannot change the nature of words, but the questioner might be helped i f he were to s t r i ke up a dialogue. Festinger notes that the discomfort with dissonance i s in part the w i l l to order, the drive to achieve congruity.(21) Paradoxical ly the drive towards consonance requires dissonance as the antecedent condit ion. Viewing design methods as semiosis i s to take advantage of the c r i t i c a l s t r -27. ucture in discourse on language, but of more interest here is the opportunity to make use of the paradoxical confrontation of meaning present in thought and language. The design task para l le l s the process of transforming thought into action whose intent i s meaning and whose consumption i s as meaning. To judge from the semiotic model, there i s no design method based on knowledge, there is only design method based on error. "So much for the basic antinomy of existence as we know i t . However, beyond th i s ever recurring paradox, there i s the mystic unity, the ult imate, the non-paradoxical, which is the only certa inty we have, for i t i s what we mean by the I n f i n i te i t s e l f . To describe the nature of th i s ultimate i s impossible. Yet f a i t h in i t i s necessary, not only as a pract ica l or ient ing r e l i g i o n , but as the very basis of l i f e i t s e l f . Our wage toward such a f a i t h in the super-paradoxical, toward the I n f i n i te in re lat ion to which alone the whole object ive, s c i e n t i f i c world of ours gains i t s very meaning, toward an Ultimate Purpose, represents on the plane of pract ica l l i v i n g what we know in the i n te l l e c tua l world as the interest in philosophy i t s e l f . " (22) 28. FOOTNOTES 1. Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form (New York: Charles Scribner, 1953), pp.16,17. 2. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (London: Tavistock, 1972), pp.150,151. 3. Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (Boston:Beacon Press, 1964), p.124. 4. Rulon Wells, " D i s t i n c t l y Human Semiotic", in Essays in Semiotics, J . Kr i s teva, e t aa l , eds.- (The Hague: Mouton, 1971), p.99. 5. Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press, 1960), p . v i i i . 6. Herbert Garel ick, "Blanshard and the Law of Contradict ion" , I dea l i s t i c Studies, vol.4, 1974, p.51. 7. I b id . , p.57. 8. John Parry, The Psychology of Human Communication (New York: E l sev ier , 1968), p.103. 9. Garel ick, 194, p.54. 10. Arthur Koestler, Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1978), pp.113-114. 11. Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg (New York: Pocket Books, 1971), p.20. 12. Ib id . , p.11. 13. Leszek Kolakowski, "The Pr ies t and the Je s te r " , in Toward a Marxist Human-ism, translated by Jane Z. Peel (New York: Grove Press, 1968), p.34. 14. Garel ick, 1974, p.63. 15. Richard Rothschild, Paradoxy (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930), p.5. 16. A.N. Whitehead, Process and Real ity (New York: MacMillan, 1929). 17. Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology and the Crises of Philosophy (New York: Harper and Rowe, 1966J. 18. J.N. Findlay, Language, Mind and Value (London: Allenrand Unwin, 1963), p.219. 19. Pearce, 1971, p.7. 29. 20. Lewis Thomas, "Language and Human Communication", Dialogue, vo l .8, no. 3-4, 1975, p.33. 21. Leon Fest iger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957). 22. Rothschild, 1930, p.256. 30. CHAPTER TWO PARADOX.IN MYTH . The four narrative prototypic categories of l i t e r a tu re which precede any t rad i t i ona l l i t e r a r y genre can useful ly help to i l l u s t r a t e the mythic level of confrontation with paradox. Northrop Frye has elaborated the pattern of elements which make up the four pregeneric p lo t s , and which in unity and in ideal form underlie a l l myth.(l) These four categories, including romance, tragedy, s a t i r e , and comedy are not exclus ive, although tragedy and comedy contrast, as do romance and sa t i r e . The f i r s t pair champions the i d e a l , while the second pair champions the actua l . The c y c l i c a l qua l i ty of univer-sal myth reveals i t s truth in the eternal c o n f l i c t of the pursuit for syn-thesis within these four forms. Note that neither the i d y l l i c nor the cha-o t i c are objectives in myth or in story t e l l i n g , but rather the goal i s to portray the perennial struggle, for i t i s in movement that e i ther resultant fate is avoided. Romance The essence of the romantic d i s t i l s to a confrontation between two elements, which may be found in symbols, in characters, or in ideas. I t i s not only essential that two forces meet, but that they be opposing forces, and that they c o n f l i c t . The nature of the romantic i s to s impl i fy opposition in the antagonist-protagonist d i a l e c t i c . The archetypal hero, incorporating spr ing, dawn, order, f e r t i l i t y , and youth, represents w i sh - fu l f i l lment within a dream l i k e coincidence of success. The v i l l a i n , representing winter, darkness, con fus ion, s t e r i l i t y , and old age i s a threat to socia l ideals . Romance i s a decidedly proletar ian form which s p i l l s over the bounds of r e a l i 31. in i t s naivete' and a f f i n i t y for nostalg ia. The h i s t o r i ca l alignment of de-sign with bourgeois or noble taste accounts for a current lack of sens i t i v -i t y for what the romantic can do to resolve contradict ion, despite the pre-sence of some imposing examples, such as Disneyland. The fact that Post-Modernism i s "Learning from Las Vegas" i s a healthy hint that class d i s t i n -ct ion may very well be dead, not as a resu l t of the l i v i n g of mass society as predicted, but as a resu l t of the object i fy ing of mass society, in which the new specia l ized communities of interest reap a harvest of nostalgia from the once thought barren plains of mature consumerism. The importance of the Romantic in resolving paradox remains consistent, the ideal i s promoted be-yond the actual l im i t s of the day, and the devi l i s demised. Today, even any pockets of cu l tura l e l i t i s m which might remain seem to be w i l l i n g to deny the log ica l conclusion of long held be l i e f s . And these be l ie f s are f a ta l impostures i f the i n te l l e c tua l conscience does not take up the d i rect ph i l o -sophical challenges that they represent in a world courting ann ih i la t ion. The a c t i v i t y of design must a l ign i t s e l f with the progression of i n t e l l e c t -ual h istory. The designer mirrors soc iety ' s present wi l l ingness to admit the conjunction of many dangerous att itudes to environmental management. There i s even a doctr inal acknowledgement of the prevalence of paradoxical phenomena, these con f l i c t i ng forces appearing at every turn, and a further acknowledgement that these are not understood. Yet the philosophical stances seem to be hardening just when philosophical inquiry should be dropped. Here Romance may serve an important purpose to cloud further philosophical ex-p l i c a t i o n . Where Post-Modernism i s a confronting of these paradoxical times with a re-appraisal of what has been l e f t out of Modernism, we may end up with nothing but dragged up o ld-th ink and nostalgia - - the new Camelot w i l l be 32. a thread-bare romance. We can already see too much Post-Modernism weighed down with nostalg ia, seemingly looking for success in a dream-scape. Tragedy Tragedy i s of course what happens in the real world when the Romantic is forced to face up to the omnipotence of natural law. Within the archetypal characters of tragedy, the t rag ic hero i s not the same character as the hero in comedy. In tragedy the challenge to power comes not from the hero but from a mantic f igure, a nemesis, who r ea l l y only promises that things w i l l go bust. The actual restoration of law comes about through outside forces far larger than the t o i l of men. The trag ic hero i s a v ict im of events, and too confused to be able to r ight the impell ing pe r i l of the t rag ic process within which he has found himself. The designer as t rag ic hero must accept his g u i l t despite his good intent ions. Actua l ly , the authority vested in the designer by our culture i s so nominal that he does not eas i l y f i l l the role of even i l l e g i t ima te power, hence the designer appears on the modern stage as the dethroned nemesis. The designer has not brought forth the f r u i t of the indust r ia l cornucopia, rather the de-signer has brought modern society i t s punishment - - anomy. As nemesis the designer serves up the vengeance of natural law transgressed. Science as the stalwart f r iend appears to try to d i rect the indust r ia l machine (the t rag ic hero) while staying untainted by g u i l t . Paradoxically the designer packages the materialism of hero industry with the best moral and aesthetic rect i tude, but i s helpless to overcome i t s damning a f fect on the suppliant consumer, and in fact when sympathetic to industry, 33. he t yp i ca l l y adds another dimension of a l ienat ion to the product. The plot in design history has been thickened by the greater or lesser a f f i n i t y de-signers may have for ends, and espec ia l ly i ndus t r i a l i zed materialism. This has been the basis for continued c o n f l i c t between the hero and the nemesis. However, in tragedy the c on f l i c t resolution i s v i s i t ed upon the puny plot by exter io r forces who w i l l not suffer the reign of ter ror forever. Natural law i s asserted and contradiction resolved, usually by el iminat ing the protagon-i s t s . While l ightning may s t r i ke e i ther or both indust r ia l materialism and design as we know i t , we w i l l discuss farther in th i s paper the rapid redef in -i t i o n of design praxis undertthe pressure of natural law. Sat i re The use of sat i re or irony i s not a casual or low brow occurrence, for i t rep-resents the use of wit and i n t e l l e c t to expose contradictions concealed in: the status quo. Sat ire espec ia l ly i s applied to the obsessive passions of man for transcendence through t r i v i a l worldl iness. While man's squalid gropings for sa t i s fac t ion of his animal appetites i s an easy target, at the other end of the spectrum sat-i re reaches a very high moral and i n te l l e c tua l l e v e l . The greatest wit i s required to expose overly serious adherence to the established order against which innovation must compete. Once ensconced the i ne r t i a of the status quo ensures that i t must be shown to be absolutely absurd before change i s permitted. Since the s a t i r i s t cannot use force, c r e d i b i l i t y in the protagonist i s helped i f he is o l d , wise, expert, or sanctioned along the l ines of the court je s te r . Sat ire is a natural f i e l d in which to use paradox, but the d i f f i c u l t y we have resolving paradoxes in everyday garden variety thought suggests why sa t i re 34. must be flagged with special signs reading "Caution, sat i re used here". Sat ire u t i l i z i n g rank humour is usually found out; however more subtle sa-t i r e i s eas i ly mistaken for the most impious affrontery to the established order. A r t i s t s and p o l i t i c a l pundits are l icensed sat i re users because we "know" (think) that the world w i l l be ordered exactly the same the next day despite them. Designers take themselves so ser iously that they make poor s a t i r i s t s , except after the fac t , when we retrospect ively see a great deal of unintended sat i re in design. This may be es sent ia l l y the resu l t of con-temporary design benefactors, who short of commissioning a few art works of considerable s a t i r e , never conceive of the work they commission as a " f o l l y " (at least before construction). Comedy Like the other types of narrative associated with the theatre, comedy finds i t s in sp i rat ion most often in i l l u s o r y manifestations of power. In comedy the hero i s usually blocked by a power-figure, the machinations involved in over-coming this obstacle providing the substance of the p lo t . The paradox of humour is derived from the juxtaposit ion of the log ic of those who would claim power i l l e g i t i m a t e l y and the log ic of the hero. According to Koestler the fundamental source of humour i s "the perceiving of a s i tuat ion or idea in two se l f -cons i s tent but mutually incompatible frames of reference or ass-oc iat ive contexts."(2) Comedy can appear in the guise of comic stereo-types, the humour derived l a r -gely from our associations of memory rather than from what necessari ly takes place on stage. This i s as close as most purpose-built designs may come to being comical. A design which gives an indicat ion of ce lebrat ion, of l i g h t -35. heartedness, of whimsy, or which may even display a zoomorphic d ispos i t ion of elements are sources of humour through associat ion. It i s much rarer to actual ly f ind a design as f o l l y which i s associated with two d i f fe rent contexts whose comparison inv i tes the tenseness necessary to re l ieve i t with laughter. Our laughter i s more often of a scornful var iety aimed at another exaggeration, a Swiss chalet or country cabin innocently b u i l t into the heart of the c i t y . The image of Kitsch i s too common in the b u i l t environ-ment to prompt much humor when yet another hamburger stand takes on the form of i t s best s e l l i n g product. The commercial exp lo i tat ion of the environment through signs, slogans, and bi l lboards reduces the humour avai lable in b u i l t form to variat ions on s lap-s t ick comedy. It would appear that the paradox of comedy in the b u i l t environment must be exercised much more subtly to gain i t s desired end. It may be more agree-able to adopt the Greek theatre ' s t rad i t i on of comedy, which used the term to refer to the survival of the hero through the f u l l duration of the play, and who, i f he were lucky, might even be united with the heroine. But then i t would be paradoxical to refer to any design that "gets i t together" as a comedy. Double Staging Arthur Koestler has observed that the theatre of l i f e i s played out on two d i f ferent stages - - a T r i v i a l Plane and a Tragic Plane.(3) The Tragic Plane refers to experience levels of the absolute occasioned by death or trans-cendent conditions. At such times normal existence seems f i l l e d with f r i v -olous da l l iance: A l ternately everyday perspectives view the absolutes as Greek Theatre, "Sturm und Drang", or at least as operat ic. Within the space 36. between these two planes i s much of man's a r t i s t i c and creative endeavor. The paradox involved in marrying the eternal with the tangible operates at both conscious and unconscious leve l s . Both a r t i s t and s c i en t i s t serve as high pr iests for ceremonies where "The i n f i n i t e i s made to blend i t s e l f with the f i n i t e , to stand v i s i b l e , as i t were, attainable here."(4) Comedy, romance, s a t i r e , and tragedy are the types of forces at play in un it -ing the action between one plane and another. The universal myths which . t r a d i t i o n a l l y provide passage between these planes can be seen to supply the plots which i l l u s t r a t e the essential paradoxes of existence. For Levi-Strauss myth i s a universal form of art functioning to provide coherent cognitive models capable of overcoming these contradict ions. Meaning is the resu l t of th is mediation - - worldly s ign i f icance emanates from the higher plane of meaning. Fr iedr ich S c h i l l e r associated the higher plane with form. " I ts object i s shape, the formal qua l i t i e s of things, the i r re lat ions to the i n -t e l l e c t and rat ional ideas, the laws of reason, s p i r i t , and moral ity. " (5) We are provided in th is German enlightenment view with the unmistakeable impression of the morality of form, and hence the moral re spons ib i l i t y of that which would construct a mediation between the two planes, namely art and design. We must contend, however, with a contemporary s i tuat ion where the transcen-dent conditions are confused with the everyday, where the form i s not so im-portant, never mind the morality of s i gn i f i cant human events. The communi-cations age tends to turn the T r i v i a l Plane and the Tragic Plane into a s ingle soap-opera, where the value of myth to negotiate the gap between universal laws and da i ly l i f e i s questionable, since a family may spend,more time with 37. te lev i s ion personal it ies than with each other. Insulated from the elements, hunger, and disease, and knowledgeable in the reduction of a l l things to equivalent monetary value, the question the family might s t i l l ask i s whether th is absence of any myths to mediate higher levels of order i s t r i v i a l or t rag ic . 38. FOOTNOTES 1. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i sm (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967). 2. Arthur Koestler, Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp.113, 114. 3. Arthur Koestler, "The Truth of Imagination", Dioaenes, vo l .7, no.4, 1977, pp.103-110. 4. Car ly le , quoted in Koestler, 1977, p.109. 5. Tom* F. Fratto, "Undefining A r t " , D ia lec t i ca l Anthropology, vo l .3 , no.2, 1978, p.129. 39. CHAPTER THREE THE PARADOX OF PROGRESS; THE PARADOX OF THE AVANT-GARDE There i s no more ubiquitous symbol of the rate of change than the exponen-t i a l graph. Every conceivable index of contemporary man's mastery of the elements i s today portrayed as an increasingly ve r t i ca l l i ne plotted against time. Although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to establ i sh exactly what the inherent l im i t s are to each index of progress, i t i s obvious that the rate of acceleration of change must subside or we w i l l lose our means of rendering i t , i f not of experiencing i t . Progress over the l a s t two centuries has not been mere con-tinuous technological advancement, but has been continuous exponential advan-cement. Nature.abhors endless exponential growth, such that a notion of pro-gress which incorporates i t must be se l f -cont rad ic tory , i t must be a paradox. Since the f i e l d of design i s acted upon d i r e c t l y by the rate and nature of technological development, we might expand the discussion on the l im i t s to progress in order to further establ i sh the conditions for design. Progress in design, has a f ter a l l , been defined very much as i t has in economic and technological realms. Revamping our concept of progress implies a redefining of what constitutes advancement in the practice of design. According to Gunther Stent "progress" as a complete epistemological descr ipt ion of our age i s nearing an end because of i t s b u i l t - i n contradict ions. (1) Clouding the v is ion of human discourse as "progress", ca l led "a notion of perpetual Plus U l t r a " by S i r Peter Medawar, are new states of indeterminacy which are con-structed as a resu l t of lessening rel iance on the p a r t i a l , l i nea r , reduction-i s t "decadence of sc ient ism". (2) While we can make very l imi ted observations on how this condition w i l l d i r ec t l y a f fect design, i t would seem that we may 40. already be feel ing i t s impl icat ion. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , we should s tar t get-t ing used to Post-Modernism, for the indeterminacy of p l u r a l i s t i c , nosta lg ic , mult i -va lent, even schizophrenic design is not fad, fashion, or the tentat ive uncertainty which emerges into a s t y le . Indeterminacy is_, but more importan-t l y , indeterminacy i s permitted. The discussion of indeterminacy overal l goes hand-in-hand with a discussion of freedom. Al igning progress with the freedom that results from economic secur i ty , dominion over nature, and increased knowledge provides real indices that freedom has increased. (Other cultures may not use any of these indices to measure the i r freedom, and indeed may f ind them meaningless.) Other more s p i r i t u a l or subjective types of freedom can accrue to th i s cu l tura l trend. For example, Western avant-garde art i s l iberated to a degree which prevents any operative canon of taste or random l im i ta t i on of form to come immediately to mind. An information theoretic view of evolving sophist icat ion in the arts can ex-p la in in general the appearance of successively less r i g i d sty les as the re-su l t of numerical increases in a r t i s t i c acts. Where the meaningfulness of art i s related to the consumption of new creative acts, the probab i l i ty of meaning being found in any s ty le goes down with time. The accelerating rate of avant-garde experiences requires a corresponding rate of creat ion, imply-ing fewer and fewer constr ict ions can be permitted i f novelty i s to be obtain-ed: "The amount of information embodied in any event i s the higher the greater the number of a l ternat ive events which the per-c ip ient expected would occur given the antecedent s i tua t ion . I f that s i tuat ion i s so highly structured that the perc ip ient ' s 41. expectation of occurence of the event i s very high, the information content of the event is low. But the meaning of the information provided by the event derives from the evaluation of that information in respect to past and future events. That i s , for an event to have meaning, i t s occurence must not only have been uncertain but i t must be capable also of modifying the p robab i l i s t i c appreciation of the consequences of the e a r l i e r antecedent s i t ua t i on . " (3) Each avant-garde act exhausts further the p o s s i b i l i t y for new meaning. Technological and organizational aspects of progress enhance the novelty d i a l ec t i c . By being able to photograph, v i s i t , store in l i b r a r i e s , consume through printed and e lectron ic media, and disseminate physical form we acce l -erate f am i l i a r i z a t i on . The notion of the avant-garde i s paradoxical, for  endless generation of novelty by rule i s impossible. The careers of John Cage in music, Andy Warhol in the p l a s t i c a r t s , Eugene Ionesco in theatre, Ph i l i p Johnson in arch i tecture, and Ala in Robbe-Gri1 l e t in wr i t ing attest to the exhaustion of order and structure as a route to meaning.(4) The phy-s i c a l demand for structure and sequence in architecture suggests some consis-tent engineering requirements are perpetual, although ant i -arch i tecture move-ments have been rampant; but so-cal led Post-Modernism on the whole addresses the formal indeterminacy in architecture today. The progenitors of the Modern Movement had verbalized th i s indeterminate state in the i r manifestoes before the F i r s t World War. Its a f f i n i t y with a state of chaos was appreciated by them as a means of shedding t rad i t i ona l encumb-rances. The difference i s that, besides being freed from the past, they were very intent on establ i sh ing a new order. I t seems that the f i f t y years since the F i r s t World War have been the aberrant playing out of th i s l a s t w i l l to order - - the formal ist pursuits of h istory have died with the machine meta-phor. Should this be true the machine metaphor must take a much more auspi-42. cious place in history than i t has been heretofore awarded. We might re-frame the ent ire evolution of formal rules since the f i r s t natural s i gn i f -icat ions of p re-h i s tor ic man to be the pursuit of the machine. The machine symbolizes at once the a b i l i t y of man to object i f y his creations and the de-object i f i ca t ion of man through the t ransferra l of dynamic powers to i n -er t matter. The machine embodies the transcendental myths of mankind. The avant-garde, in i t s mantic capacity, i s l e f t (leaves mankind) with no meaning, only sensation. The art industry has t r i ed to recover meaning, since that i s what is disseminated. But with many " i n s t a l l a t i o n s " today any ex-perience of sensation requires a s i t e v i s i t . Consequently art today i s con-fused by art c r i t i c i s m , which provides the public with art as a discourse consumable via the media. The a r t i s t himself cannot create th i s d i a c r i t i c a l event, he can only create the "unique sense experience". (5) Malevich de-f ined Suprematism in 1915 as "the primacy of pure sensation" (6) which sug-gests that art as pure sensation i s an operative schema for the ent i re Mod-ern Movement, and not the ef fect of contemporary trends in making the a r t i s t a transcendental ist. In th i s l i g h t attempts since 1915 to search for meaning in form have been i l l spent other than as the search for decoration. Form is not an end, i t i s a means to pure experience. This may explain the i n t e r -est in pure forms, and in the pu r i f i ca t i on e f fect of simple geometry, min-imalism, and starkness. The recent wi l l ingness in design to return to the "impure" can thus be explained.as the cu l tura l r ea l i za t i on that the evolution of form is at an end, and the archaeology of form can epistemological ly be permitted. The end to progress in the sciences, the a r t s , or bourgeois consumerism would 43. cause tremendous changes to design. For the sake of th i s discussion the e f fec t of any or a l l of these trends i s summarized as the end to the evo l -ution of form as a pertinent design concern. This paradox of progress i s a coro l la ry to the "paradox of the environment" discussed elsewhere in th is paper in that the conclusion is s im i la r - - form cannot maintain i t s h i s to r -i c a l focus for design - - f o r m only has prominence in re lat ion to a ret ro -spective and discursive discourse of c r i t i c i s m . 44. FOOTNOTES 1. Gunther Stent, Paradoxes of Progress, (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1978).. 2. S i r Peter Medawar, quoted in F.H. Knelman, "Review Essay," Futures Canada, Vol. 3, no. 2, 1979, p.17. 3. Stent, 1978, p.39. 4. Ib id . , pp.44-45. 5. Ib id . , p.43. 6. Kurt Rowland, A History of the Modern Movement, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973), p.186. 45. CHAPTER FOUR THE PARADOX OF METAPHORS OF ORDER The c r i t e r i on avai lable for diagnosing or prescribing the amount of order or disorder, the homogeneity or heterogeneity, the stimulus or banality within an environment are not avai lable to the designer. According to John Wade: "The design l i t e r a tu re concerned with order appears to be founded on a basic f a l l acy - - the notion that there is a level of order that can be applied uniformly in order to achieve successful design. Much of the l i t e r a t u r e , instead of speaking of d i f fe rent levels of order, speaks, instead, of order in opposition to disorder (or chaos). This d i f f i -culty ex i s t s , in part, because we have not had measurements that could dist inguish d i f fe rent degrees of order." (1) It may be fortunate that these behaviorists have not yet.developed the i r measurements for degrees of order, fo r we might never have developed what l i t e r a t u r e there is which speaks about disorder. Order and disorder are a c l a s s i c a l l y structured opposit ion, which seems to require the man of p r i n c i -ple to compensate one with the other. Even the l i be r a l minded who may permit some disorder to ex i s t over "there" w i l l even things out by ordering things very well over "here". The point i s , Wade's psychological measures of con-fusion by way of Gestalt figure-ground relat ionships w i l l never provide suf-f i c i e n t levels of measurement of order. A l l John Wade and his colleagues ex-pect to accomplish by the i r own admission is to show cause for " d i f f e ren t kinds of precincts " (2) displaying d i f fe rent degrees of order in our environ-ment. But compensatory planning of th is type is ju s t th is very do-good l i b -eral ism that pervades society. The control led opposition tolerated"by.the ed-ucated, the l imited pe rmi s s ib i l i t y of other l i f e s t y l e s to e x i s t , the acknow-ledgement that differences contribute to richness of existence, is in fact a 46. cu l tura l s t ra ight - jacket. The tolerance of difference only goes as far as the media require, (as the media create..). The existence of other l i f e s t y l e s i s permitted as long as they adopt a l l the metaphors of l i b e r a l society (mon-ogamy, a t h i r t y - f i v e hour week, soc ia l i zed agr icu l ture, e t c . ) . The differences that produce richness are t a c i t and consumed as new boutique paraphernalia or, s l i g h t l y more d i r e c t l y , on holiday. The disorder that i s permitted i s only one-dimensional. We should by now be very suspect of planned urban topography, and not because the s p i r i t of the planners has been wrongly placed. The Modern Movement was ostensibly a s p i r i t u a l movement. The sentiments of the great i n i t i a t o r s of Modernism • were deeply moral concerns for the fate of humanism. Walter Gropius in the Deutscher Werkbund's year book of 1914, enunciated the philosophy which was to become the manifesto of the Bauhaus f i ve years l a t e r , "Only when the happiness of a new fa i t h descends on men w i l l art achieve i t s highest aims.... " (3) And the old f a i t h from which he speci f ies a movement away is materialism based only on functionalism and materials. That the " s p i r i t u a l ideal of universal meaning" (4) for which he worked became not only misun-derstood but grossly abused is not the f au l t of the goals, which were very much ends of form, but of the fundamental metaphors which underlay design in the Twentieth Century. I f Gropius was reacting to an overly ma te r i a l i s t i c s i t ua t i on , and yet we see him as one of the primary i n i t i a t o r s of the Modern Movement which stands accused of serving materialism far too w e l l , what went wrong? We may f ind some clues in the preponderance of certain metaphors of process and of design. It i s to be appreciated that a powerful metaphor of form in 47. fact becomes the heur i s t i c of the design process of that form. Especia l ly prominent in the roots of modern design i s the metaphor of the machine. Early in the Century Mar inet t i ' s Fu tu r i s t i c manifesto dealt with the machine as a cataclysmic metaphor - - the faster i t could move the better. The de S t i j l movement in Holland preferred the machine's mechanical strength. Van Doesburg, prime theor i s t for de S t i j l , claimed "The machine i s , par e x c e l l -ence, a phenomenon of s p i r i t u a l d i s c i p l i n e . " (5). He even claimed that R ietveld ' s Red-Blue chair had " . . . the s i lent eloquence of a machine ...".(6) Mondrian's "neo-plasticisme" was based on his " a . b . s . t . r . a . c . t . l i f e " notion, which saw modern l i f e as the machine made counterpart to nature. Rayonism as a combination of Futurism and Cubism found machines to be f i l l e d with "enchantment". (7) The Russians overal l saw the machine, as did the i r Dutch counter-parts, as a means of humanizing the world. Krutchonich commented on a Suprematist opera performance designed by Malevich: "The actors reminded one of moving machines." (8). Exactly the same could have been said of a play by the Futur ist Prampolini, or of an opera by Oskar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus. The art i st -engineer had the fundamental role in the Construct iv i s t a c t i v i t i e s in Russia. Gropius himself would not have tolerated subservience of man to machine, but did see machine forms serving "the needs, psychic as well as mater ia l , of human beings." (9) Psychic needs sa t i s fac t ion was very much behind Leger and Le Corbusier 's founding of Purism on pr inc ip les of mechan-i ca l pur i ty. And of course there are the addit ional functional connotations of Le Corbusier's idea of dwelling place as a "machine d 1 hab i t " . Dada i t s e l f exto l led the virtues of automatic machine-like art production methods, not to mention the virtues of actual machines as a r t . The examples of the role of the machine metaphor are endless. 48. It would seem then that movement towards a universal language of form, rather than towards merely; a s t y l e , which was infused with technological genius of the machine, held the promise of the dawn of a new moral era. The practice within the f u l l y matured, i f not over-ripe era is to i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e every type of design and planning, so as to impose the "universal meaning", the "un i f i ed form", the "harmonious congruence" of which Gropius spoke. (10) The swing in form has been rea l ized - - the pendulum i s in fact on a return swing into the nether reaches on the other side of center. As for the new morals, i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to tackle the topic of comparative morals. It may be adequate to say that morals are rea l l y a means, and not an end. The point is to obtain a set of appropriate ones in order to add persistence to the task at hand. The moral tone at the beginning of the task is the search for commitment to the appropriate moral stance. After taking th i s emotional dive, the task of staying above water i s rather techn ica l . I don't think that the moral stance has changed thafr.much, i t i s s t i l l ma te r i a l i s t i c . Gropius f e l t that a strong cu l tura l armature around which could develop his "un i f ied form" was the best way to counter a s i tuat ion where "a material view of l i f e i s s t i l l in the ascendency." (11) So Gropius. did think that negative aspects of materialism could be countered but that radical methods were ca l led f o r - - - a revolutionary educational i n s t i t u t i on to tackle the root of the pro-blem. The point was that the goal of the Bauhaus was not to produce objects, or to produce students as objects, but to produce s e n s i t i v i t i e s . (12) So we might now.say that s e n s i t i v i t i e s inspired by the machine metaphor were seen to be a harbinger of the new age by the Modernists ( forg iv ing the eagerness of the I ta l i an Futur i s t s , who l i v i n g in a non- industr ia l ized peasant society by 49. and large, thought consummation occured once a dr iver started his sports car). The dependent variable throughout a l l th is i s the machine metaphor. The pa r t i cu l a r character of a metaphor i s that i t i s an abstract ion, but one which changes with the times. The s ign i f icance of th i s i s simply that, set-t ing aside other evidence, we cannot understand what the machine metaphor meant s i x ty years ago. because the concept of a machine has r ad i ca l l y changed since then. It i s d i f f i c u l t to appreciate precisely what s e n s i t i v i t i e s are provoked by World War One era machinery. Werner Graf wrote a statement in a reformist magazine which gives a mantic notion of where the metaphor might lead: "The new, more splendid technology of tensions, of i n v i s i b l e movements, of remote control and speeds such as cannot be imagined in 1922 w i l l come into being, uninfluenced by the methods of mechanistic technology." (13) In short, the predicted cybernetic technology, which i s not mechanistic, i s antic ipated to serve even better the goals of "elemental c r e a t i v i t y , " which were a fundamental part of the Bauhaus " s e n s i t i v i t y . " (14) The contemporary content contributed to the a t t ract ion of the machine metaphor. The newness of self-powered vehicles proved to be pa r t i cu l a r l y suggestive, and the associated images came to dominate design un t i l World War Two. But of more importance here i s the v is ion of a new fundamental order, of a new organizing pr inc ip le in the re lat ionship of man and productive society. The cacophany of Nineteenth Century styles and forms was a very repressive force to a European. No other world experience could compare to th i s s i tuat ion where decades of technological and indust r ia l developement had not yet pro-duced a coherent image of object. The tremendously concentrated and conver-50. gent urge in the f i r s t decades of the century to produce a physical env i r -onment which was consistent with the emergent engineering and production methods was complimented by a number of soc ia l events. Most important of these was the Russian Revolution, which by 1920 came to be associated with a wholehearted acceptance of Modernist Form, as well as with an excel lent opportunity for rea l i z i ng the unity of art and l i f e . It was only l a te r in the decade that reactionary consolidation of p o l i t i c a l posit ions forced the repudiation of prime modernist tenents, such as that "elemental c r ea t i v i t y " could be put into the hands of any. i f not every, c i t i z e n . The development of modern social ism was to produce a twist to the meaning of the machine metaphor. The "state as machine" represented t o t a l l y unpre-cedented scale for the appl icat ion of mechanistic p r inc ip le s . Dicken's "dark satanic m i l l s " might have enslaved people to machines in a l i t e r a l sense, but physical entrapment was att r ibuted to materialism, and not exten-dable per se to e i ther the machine metaphor or s o c i a l i s t i c theories. Note that the front isp iece of the Bauhaus manifesto was a rendering of a church, en t i t l ed "The Cathedral of Social ism", which was obl iquely referred to by Gropius in the text as "a crystal symbol of a new coming f a i t h . " (15) Design was to play the very important role of providing soc ia l equi l ibr ium to the ideological t rans i t ions required by the nature of modern production. It i s . s i g n i f i c an t that th is stance i s not the same as utopianism, but rather i s the proclamation of a new formation which would be a complement to certa in social ideologies. D isc ip l ines such as economics and agr iculture also a t t -empted to s h i f t to s c i e n t i f i c modes of operation early in the century, and were equally avai lable as tools to any socia l ideology. The more re l ig ious 51. language of design reformists can be attr ibuted to the innate emotional . character of the arts . After a l l , i f design was "revolut ionary" i t s e l f i t would have played a much more n i h i l i s t i c role in h istory. The radical step away from a symbolic role in the t rad i t i ona l sense and towards a scientism of sensation was paradoxical to the extent that many modernists actual ly believed scientism rendered the i r work devoid of symbolism, even while the machine metaphor was the operative parole. Mechanistic design was r e a l i z -a b l e and not U t o p i a n as a product. What was U t o p i a n , or at least what has proven to be a confounding myth to the Modern Movement, i s th is imbedded notion that the product could, by rel iance on natural law and elemental cre-a t i v i t y , be a symbol of nothing but i t s e l f . That i s , no other fantasy would be perceivable other than this fantasy with mechanistic functions. I t seemed fantast ic at the time to think that the b u i l t environment might ever be able to display such unity and coherence, such e f f i c i ency , such economy of mater-i a l s , and such mechanistic grace. Once sa l i en t parts of that rea l izeable fantasy neared f u l f i l lmen t i t became a l l to obvious that the nature of fan-tasy i s contradicted by f u l f i l l i n g i t , such that i t becomes oppressive fact rather than generative f i c t i o n . We might ask whether or not the early products of Modernism were jus t exper- iments using the new " s e n s i t i v i t i e s " , which are dominated by the machine heu-r i s t i c , which can be said to resu l t in a methodology of scientism. Should they be experiments in formaliz ing the universal they cannot be assumed to s ign i fy the intended cu l tura l goal. They may better be said to symbolize the decayed soc ia l order from which they were intended to s i gn i f y release. The revolutionary expectations may have wrongly applied the symbolic a b i l i t y of 52. new form to the future rather than to the past. The machine metaphor is i n -voked in ant ic ipat ion of i t s great future, even while the evident truth of i t s oppressive history is very much a part of the culture' from which release i s sought. A good example might be Mies van der Rohe's l i f e - l o n g search for "universal space." No one would question that Miesien space can be adapted to the widest var iety of uses, the architecture remaining strangely indepen-dent of the function housed. Was this f l e x i b i l i t y of function the new "org-anic" design that Gropius talked about, or was i t a warning that the organic could be los t completely: was i t a new freedom for soc ia l discourse, or was i t the f i na l deprivation of an i nd i v i dua l ' s autonomy; was i t an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the design methodology of elemental c r e a t i v i t y , or was i t an ind icat ion of how the machine heur i s t i c could n u l l i f y continued inventiveness? I t would seem that in fact Miesien space was experimental, was not a rat ional long-term solut ion because i t contradicted the w i l l to change, was not a sym-bol of an emergent human condition but of a present al ienated one, and was the formalization par excellence of the tension created by the machine meta-phore. This excess provides us with access to a truth about the machine met-aphor,, now a machine aesthetic - - "He who does not know how to vary our p lea-sure w i l l never give us pleasure." (16) This pleasure which is lacking i s the pleasure that discourse derives from contributing structure to the physi-cal sett ing which lacks perfect order. I t was also a regressive Utopian be l i e f that the designer should play the role of i d e a l i s t for society. For the designer to be a Utopian, an i d e a l i s t , or a reformist himself was to present the most i l l u s o r y hope of substantive change - - the same old soap dressed in new packages. It i s noteable that 53. Gropius never exto l led this role for the designer; i t became applied with greater persistence as the role of the Modernist became the role of i deal -ogue --. r h e t o r i c a l l y p e o p l e actual ly believed that moving slum dwellers i n -to behaviorist engineered projects would solve the problems of slums! The confusion over the role of design i s c lear ing today because of the con-tinued d i sc ip l i na ry break down. It i s becoming a l l too obvious that the role of design has changed, has in fact been forced (rather than been w i l l -ing) to change. From John Ruskin, Will iam Morris, Arthur Mackmurdo, Hermann Muthesius, to Walter Gropius we f ind a pa r t i cu la r appreciation of medieval s ty le social ism which saw the art of the indiv idual wed to the production of the co l l e c t i v e . Design came to be associated with ideological reform, in th is case towards an ideal social i sm. However, the nature of the machine metaphor is such that i t serves any master equally .well. The Bauhaus was considered to be dangerously subversive by both the Soviet and the Nazi . states. Francis Mauriac suggested: " I t i s not what separates the United States from the Soviet Union that should fr ighten us, but what they have in common these two technocracies that think themselves antagonists, are dragging humanity in the same d i rect ion of de-humanization... man is treated as a means and no longer as an end - - th i s i s the indispensable condition of the two cultures that face each other." (17) Gropius' concern for the emergent materialism was auspicious, but we cannot, in the l i g h t of h i s tory, claim that he successful ly countered the threat through developing new s e n s i t i v i t i e s . It seems that he too merely symbolized i t s dominion by developing a superior methodology to compliment the already ubiquitous machine metaphor. America may have adopted the Bauhaus t r ad i t i on 54. of elemental c r e a t i v i t y , but i t only brought the query to the Englishman, V.S. P r i t cher t : "Why they should not be o r i g i n a l l y creat ive i s puzzl ing. I t i s possible that the lack of the organic sense, the convic-t ion that man i s a machine - - turns them into technicians and cuts them o f f from the chaos, the accidents and i n t u -i t ions of the creative process?" (18) The machine metaphor had a value in destroying the past, but i t s value for creating the future has proved l i m i t i n g . The reason for th i s i s that the machine metaphor does not handle the question of the balance of opposites: s p e c i f i c a l l y * i t does not address, but rather denies the struggle "between the demand for order and the w i l l to formlessness." (19) Or as Arnheim has sa id , "An engine does not contain centers of i n i t i a t i v e independent of those given i t by the planner." (20) Paradoxical ly, our greatest metaphor of order, the machine, has actual ly inh ib i ted us from creating real s tructural order. Contemporary metaphors for our ordering of the world are moving into b io log-i ca l and ecological areas, as t yp i f i ed by the metaphors given popular cur-rency by the works of C H . Waddington or Gregory Bateson. In the b io log ica l realm notions of function and centers of i n i t i a t i v e are considerably d i f f e r -ent than in the mechanistic frame of reference. "Moreover," says Bateson, " i t i s rather unusual to f ind that any feature of a b io log ica l system i s at a l l d i r e c t l y determined by the need which i t f u l f i l l s . Eating i s governed by appetite, habit , and soc ia l convention rather than by hunger,..." (21) Once the apple cart of functional ism i s upset i t becomes strangely easy to perceive that the function of the apple cart may be both to lead and to fol low the horse, in that the nature of a cart i s to lead by fol lowing. It would be a very poor ecological unit i f the horse had to be depended on alone to provide d i rec t ion . The strategic value of the machine metaphor i s i t s emphasis on function. The 55. perversity of the machine metaphor is i t s support of a closed systems view of things, of the planning eth ic . B io log ica l examples are timely in the i r a b i l i t y to show that functional demands in ecological realms are not cause/ e f fec t models. Not only is function more ind i rect and indeterminant than we have come to think, but i t has become one of the worst fetishes in the . c l a s s i ca l d i a l e c t i c of order. These old dichotomies of sense/non-sense, function/non-function, u t i l i t y / n o n - u t i l i t y established theory as pr inc ip les which you are e i ther for or against. While new paradigms such as s t ructur -alism have displaced the po lar i zat ions , we must go further and enquire why so few c r i t i c s w i l l admit today to being a S t r u c t u r a l i s t . Presumably the rea l i z a t i on has sunk in that we must suspect any value being put on new i n -variance and determinacy. Design methodologies caricature the design e f f o r t through the i r h i s t o r i ca l a l l i ance with systems and structural i sm. The rel iance f i r s t on theory to establ i sh an orderly Modern Movement, and then on methods to salvage control of the increasingly disordered modern en-vironment i s a paradox which unresolved keeps man dreaming about control mechanisms. The resolution to the paradox i s to wake up to the fact that the l i m i t to the determinant world i_s_, period (not to say the l i m i t to re -lat ions is f i n i t e ) . It i s man who creates the disorder as well as the order. Sh i f t ing the emphasis to the creation of disorder should be a very natural undertaking for designers, for i t i s the a r t i s t i c mind which has a l l the ex-perience comprehending disorder, and i t i s the creative mind that has t rad-i t i o n a l l y handled chaos. The mistake i s to use a metaphor such as "machine", for the fau l t with the machine as a model for thinking about anything soc i -e t a l , environmental, or methodological, i s that i t alone i s a closed system. 56. The machine cuts out s p e c i f i c a l l y the input from i t s environment with which i t w i l l deal. Order and structure are required, but not at the expense of clos ing our open, l i v i n g systems. The respons ib i l i t y of the a r t i s t i c to help us out of th is Post-Modern muddle i s fundamental and absolute. Technology has not provided the succor the ma-t e r i a l i s t i c age dreamed of. The " s e n s i b i l i t i e s " that were Gropius' goal, when t ied to technology, spawned apparitions at he l l i s h scales, but the f au l t i s not with the s e n s i b i l i t i e s . The fact that the universal value of these s e n s i b i l i t i e s i s so much greater than the un iversa l i ty of purposes and ends to which they were applied is suggested in the very fact of the i r hermetic or ig ins . What i s produced i s only the shadow of the values and s e n s i b i l i t i e s of the society at that time. Hence the irony of c a l l i n g the most d i rect and r e a l i s t i c re f lect ions of contemporary values "abstract art'. 1. I t i s of course abstract only in re lat ion to that other discourse, the history of a r t . That art labels are derived from an h i s t o r i c a l frame of reference rather than an exper ient ia l one i s part of the problem. The point i s s i gn i f i can t because of the importance inward preparation plays in defining outward experiences. We are progressively gaining more of the perceptual and diachronic s t ructura l orders necessary to countervail the t rad i t i ona l h i s t o r i c a l re lat ions which dominate our categorizations. This has been one of the valuable roles of structural c r i t i c i s m , a tool that remains useful as long as i t i s used as a means and not an end. 57. FOOTNOTES 1. John Wade, "A Measure of Order," Man-Environment Systems, vo l .6, n o . l , 1976, p.20. 2. Ib id . , p.21. 3. Kurt Rowland, A History of the Modern Movement, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973), p.207. 4. Ib id. 5. Ib id . , p.169. 6. Ib id. 7. Ib id . , p.182. 8. I b id . , p.185. 9. Ib id . , p.207. 10. Ib id. 11. Ibid. 12. Ib id . , p.231. 13. Werner Graf, in Programmes and Manifestoes on Twentieth Century Architecture, Ulr ich Conrads, ed. (London: Lund Humphries, 1964), p.71. 14. Ib id. 15. Rowland, 1973, p.208 16. F. M i l i z i a , in Manfredo Ta fu r i , Architecture and Utopia, (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1976), p.20. 17. Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), p.4. 18. Ibid. 19. Ta fu r i , 1976, p.161 20. Rudolph Arnheim, The Dynamics of Architectural Form, (Berkeley: Univers ity of Ca l i f o rn ia Press, 1977), p.199. ' 21. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, (New York: Ballantyne Books, 1972), p.500. 58. CHAPTER FIVE THE PARADOX OF DISORDER Viewing the Nineteenth Century in design as a rage for disorder, the early Modernists i n t u i t i v e l y appreciated the most e f f i c i e n t means of bringing or-der to the Twentieth Century: eliminate a l l conventional meaning in design such that there i s no discernable re la t ion between men and matter except the functional ones. I t was understood that modern man was becoming more and more a highly mobile ind iv idual whose minimal requirements for coordin-ation in the b u i l t environment were complimented by a new and emerging i n -formation environment. This " p l a s t i c " existence as Mondrian ca l l ed i t cou-ld l i v e with the order implied in the machine metaphor. The wonderful po-ten t i a l of the funct iona l i s t theories i s not that the world would operate l i k e clock-work, but that confusing perceptual relat ionships would be e l im-inated. The world would be united through the dominance of the "good f i t " between form and purpose, the universal appreciation of the racing car. The genius in th i s approach i s the rea l i za t i on that uncomfortable forms of disorder are the resu l t of design, and not the resu l t of accident. That i s , discomfort arises from the relat ionship of two or more juxtaposed elements, and not merely from the i r existence outside of human intervention. We do not ascribe disorder, but merely indeterminance, to the randomness of nature. Any two buildings which are not dealt with as a re lat ionship create disorder. Our c i t i e s are a testament to the self ishness of architecture which maintains the ego of the indiv idual bui lding at the expense of the orderl iness of the whole. The idea behind universals of functional ism was to gain pos i t ive re-lat ionships between a l l buildings without resort ing to s ty l i sm, to any struc-59. tured pr inc ip les of re lat ion or order. The tragedy in th is approach is the rather late rea l i za t i on that ecological socia l systems do not operate well without redundant and exaggerated r e l a t -ionship pr inc ip les which can account for changing relat ionships over time. As a re f l ec t i on on the psyche or the society consistent and perpetual order i s coercive. Rules of conduct are only rules of thumb when dealing with people. Ordered relat ions between people can be maintained because other spontaneous relat ionships are possible. S im i l a r l y , perception of physical order of an International Style bui lding is made more to lerable by the d i s -order which results among them in the c i t y . Without th i s c lash, as in a uni f ied International Style urban scheme of considerable sca le, a l ienat ion i s gross. High design has h i s t o r i c a l l y resorted to the pur ity and s imp l i c i t y of p r i -mary geometric forms, espec ia l ly in Architecture. (1) Harmony, balance, and symmetry have provided a strong means of contrast and tension between the , man-made and the natural world, in the s p i r i t of the v e r t i c a l , masculine, dominant statement of a Greek temple protruding from a h i l l t o p . There need not be any c on f l i c t between these two systems, the natural and the man-made, the stark contrast enhanced by intimate knowledge of the order i n -herent to both systems. In f a c t , should the knowledge of e i ther system be lacking in some way, or should the resolution of the man-madessystem be d i s -sonant, incomplete, or tawdry, or should the designer not have provided a whole, a complete semblance of order, the re lat ionsh ip sha l l become disord-e r l y . The disorder i s a condition then, of a w i l l to order. The discomfort that we might feel with disorder i s also the resu l t of the w i l l to order. 60. I f the mishandled order did not imply r e s o l v a b i l i t y , did not bring to mind expectations of better coordinated and more compatible elements, we would feel no discomfort. The paradox of disorder i s found in th i s need for order  to represent disorder. (2) "Only a control led descr ipt ion, be i t in a h i s -t o r i c a l report or a painting or a musical composition, can define the nat-ure, locat ion, and or ientat ion of the contending forces and thereby show the i r lack of i n t e r r e l a t i o n . " (3) Disorder is not subject to empirical proof independent of the value system describing i t , despite the e f fo r t s of Information Theorists. Should a de-sc r ip t ion of phenomena be congruent with organizational pr inc ip les one holds, i t might be concluded that the phenomena are ordered. Should relat ions be-tween parts appear which do not adhere to prescribed notions of order to such a degree .that the balance i s upset, disorder creeps in - - i t i s not de f i n i t e . Ambiguity, i n f l e c t i o n , and redundancy can be to lerated, espec ia l ly i f the primary structure i s strong. (4) The designer must rea l i ze that a disorderly arrangement i s an arrangement none-the-less. Taken to an extreme, this re-a l i z a t i on i s that, as the old truism says, "there i s no such thing as chaos, there i s only undiscovered order." This suggests that chaos and disorder are not synonymous. Chaos is a state^of raw potential order, while for Arnheim, disorder i s "a clash of uncoordinated orders." (5) Despite voicing an interest in disorder (6) we can assume commentators on design are rea l l y mistaken in the i r choice of words, and should have express-ed an interest in e i ther chaos or complexity. This conclusion is regrett -able since a case can be made for disorder, but not in physical design. Dis-order can serve as a very useful learning t o o l ; the best commentary on th i s 61. being Richard Sennett's book, "The Uses of Disorder". The regret arises be-cause i t suggests designers have emphasized the physical at the expense of cu l tu ra l maturation, which, Sennett bel ieves: " . . . i s the true task of planning modern c i t i e s . The i l l s of the c i t y are not mechanical ones of better transport, better f inancing, and the l i k e ; they are the human ones of providing a place where men can grow into adults, and where adults can continue to engage in t ru l y soc ia l existence." (7) Designers are understandably short on answers for the metastructure because of the demands put on them to deal with the in f rast ructure. But there i s a more pa r t i cu la r reason why a designer hyping disorder i s suspect: there i s no, p o s s i b i l i t y of a designer refer r ing to disorder through physical form, for that is a discursive function and not a symbolic one. Although Arnheim claims "A bui ld ing cannot afford to be disorderly'.' (8), that i s very much the s p i r i t of some of Ventur i ' s rhetor ic . I t would simply be more accurate to say "An arch i tect can ' t afford to be d i so rder ly " , otherwise his se l f -con-scious role would be l o s t . "A disorderly object can act as a symptom of disorder but not as a symbol or interpretat ion of i t . If a bui ld ing i s disorderly in i t s e l f , i t makes no statement about the ex i s t ing disorder, but merely compounds i t . " (9) Even the work of a group such as S i te Inc. which seems to make the most i d -iomatic statements about urban disorder by means of the i r asphalt covered buildings and cars positioned in Best Products' parking lots are, perhaps more powerfully than others, making relat ionships ( i . e . order). The above quotation can also be seen to relate to the Paradox of Metaphors of Order dealt with elsewhere in th i s paper. In that case we saw that we cannot  create order through symbolizing i t , while in th is case we f ind we cannot  symbolize disorder by creating an analogue of i t . 62. FOOTNOTES 1. Rudolf Arnheim, The Dynamics of Architectura l Form, (Berkeley: Univers-i t y of Ca l i f o rn ia Press, 1977), p.169. 2. I b id . , p.177. 3. Ib id. 4. I b id . , p.180. 5. Ib id . , p.171. 6. see Robert Venturi et a l , Learning from Las Vegas, (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1972). 7. Richard Sennett, The Uses of Disorder, (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), p.130. 8. Arnheim, 1977, p.178. 9. Ib id. 63. CHAPTER SIX THE PARADOX OF CHAOS The designer must deal with a future state of a f f a i r s ; he must take an ob-jec t pred ict ive ly into account. The object must f i r s t become conscious to the designer. Consciousness must by nature be consciousness of some object, for i t i s object ive. The world and normal consciousness tends to r e s i s t the making of space for new objects and new consciousness. Consequently i t would seem to be very natural to turn to an ethereal , imaginative state where the f i r s t stages of creation can occur unhampered by common i n e r t i a found in con-struct ions in time, space, and culture. However, the creation must eventually be made common i f i t i s going to be communicated. What i s communicated is information, and information i s anything that makes a d i f ference. Difference i s the resu l t of novelty in a chain of events. Once novelty or difference i s subjected to structural assessment i t becomes a d i a l e c t i c a l evaluation because of the po lar i z ing nature of our language. The prism that i s our language i s the l im i t i n g of our thought to oppositions and symbols. Paired opposites and re la t i ve symbol systems espec ia l ly give r i se to paradoxical th ink ing, for the focus of ordinary thought sh i f t s to the termini of dimensions of l i f e rather than to the dimension i t s e l f . This would not be such a problem but for the fact that (a) science has t r i ed to state absolutes, and (b) id iosyn-c r a t i c humans tend to spend a great deal of time attempting to transcend the l imi tat ions of the i r communicational capab i l i t i e s ( i . e . t he i r verbal processes). Science, because i t deals with absolutes, does not have much relevance to de-sign process except as a heur i s t i c . S c i e n t i f i c success seems to be leading to human disaster. The complexity of ecological problems i s of a d i f fe rent order 64. from the complexity of s c i e n t i f i c problems. "Objective s c i e n t i f i c methods confront soluble problems - - problems insoluble in experimental terms are simply rejected as unreal. " On the contrary, designers attack insoluble problems - - the design process cannot be repl icated because learning cannot be reversed, and the nature of the problem and consumption of the solut ion change with time. This i s reason alone to stop c a l l i n g design a problem-solving a c t i v i t y . Man, because he attempts to transcend the f i n i t e , severely l im i t s the e f f e c t -iveness of codes, systems, and organizations through his very adoption of them. Design would be a much simpler, though du l le r task i f man did not lose his ob jec t i v i t y by taking up the object. This t r a i t i s discussed by Harley Shands in his book The War with Words, where he says: "The nature of the re la t ion of human being and abstract system i s such that the human being generally feels most complete when he can give himself u t te r l y to the be l i e f formulated in the symbolic system. He only gains his l i f e by los ing i t , as the Bible t e l l s us in many d i f fe rent ways. The ultimate des-t iny of the human being in search of meaning i s thus paradox-i c a l l y the tota l i den t i f i c a t i on of the s e l f with the once-al ien, the loss of the s e l f in a merging with a system together with others involved in the same los s . " (2) Transcendent, orgast ic, or ec s ta t i c in tens i ty i s a state that cannot be read-i l y communicated, l e t alone be completely retrospect ive ly described. The reason for th is i s the contradictory experiences of time and space that re-su l t from not being aware of differences in these dream-like states. Yet paradoxically we feel that communication is i t s most complete at these mo-ments of communion, assShands ca l l s them. (3) And moments they are, even though a sense of timelessness t y p i c a l l y preva i l s . This helpless, b l i s s f u l state i s achieved through ignorance, or at least 65. through a suspension of be l i e f in the ra t i ona l l y held. This state of com-munion can be methodically developed through the control led appl icat ion of apparatus that helps one lose cont ro l , as evidenced in much Eastern trans-cendentalism. Such attempts to lose a grasp on the world through d i s c i p l i ne contradicts the greatest developments in Western thought, which have empha-s ized the development of new methodologies to integrate the objective world. It i s understandable that a person who invests heavily in mastering the ob-jec t i ve world for the long run w i l l not adjust eas i l y to the suspension of his mastery for the sake of a very short period of communion. The act of creating pursues a void which i s ostensibly chaotic. Certainly i t i s chaotic by conventional standards. I t would seem to be discomforting to c a l l the creative void a chaotic s tate, for th is would have to disturb any typ ica l Western human being (who i s threatened even by the loss of his gr ip on the world suggested in the innocence of chi ld-type ' p l a y ' ) , a man who has to go to Synectics classes to re-acquire what the school system drum med out of him. But the mistake i s more fundamental than t a c t i c a l , for i t suggests the l im i ta t ions of our a b i l i t y to l a b e l . We label something "chaos as i f i t were a knowable objective s tate, knowledge of which we gained throu normal objective d i f f e r e n t i a l s . This i s not possible. We can only create order and disorder, that i s , things that we know; we cannot r a t i ona l l y deal with nothing. However we can experience nothing through communion, a state in which we cannot measure novelty or d i f ference, space or time - - dimension less chaos meets i t s match. I t i s paradoxical that we should t ry to communi  cate chaos. I t i s easy to see why chaos i s confused with disorder, which is a man-made state. 66. Since there i s a long t rad i t i on behindigathering everything that i s unknown under a s ingle rubr i c , God, i t would seem appropriate that we stop try ing to be objective about chaos and give i t back to him. In th is way c r ea t i v i t y could once again become a state of grace, and designers could become high pr iests of transcendence, where they belong, and form could have re l ig ious s i gn i f i cance, as S c h i l l e r would have i t . (4) Where the highest goal of human e f f o r t i s to be creative i t can be appreciated that created form is a talisman of the sacred act, creat ion. In ancient c u l -tures where s t a b i l i t y was based on continuity and denial of change, the r e l -a t i ve l y rare acknowledgement of novelty or creation also required, for oppo-s i t e reasons, the highest level of re l ig ious sanction. We can only imagine the trauma of internat ional trade to a society based on coherence and s t a b i l -i t y : American Indian cultures, B a l i , pre-1856 Japan, and The Republic of China are examples that spring to mind. Once the stable society sanctions the novelty implied in f ree-trade, cu l tura l i n s t i tu t i on s must learn to absorb a secular form of creation - - that form which can be shipped to your door pre-c i se l y as you ordered i t from the catalogue, and not as you invoked i t from God (unless your God i s Mammon). 67. FOOTNOTES 1. Harley C. Shands, The War With Words, (The Hague: Mouton, 1971), p.14. 2. Ib id . , p.23. 3. Ib id . , p.140. 4. Torn' F. Fratto, "Undefining A r t " , D ia lec t i ca l Anthropology, vo l .3, no.2, 1978, p.129. 68. CHAPTER SEVEN THE PARADOX OF LANGUAGE The emergence of an International Style in design was t r u l y a propit ious, event in history. It was a very opt imis t ic event because anything that can purport to change a mode of operation at an internat ional scale i s exception-al - - that i s , i t i s exceptional outside of the f i e l d of the sciences. The sciences have the i r own par t i cu la r claim to un iversa l i ty and to common lang-uage, otherwise, i t i s unusual to f ind a language of meaning that i s cross-cu l tura l . A famous arch i tectura l landmark, the Tower of Babel, symbolizes the d i spar i ty ( i f not actual ly causing i t ) among languages. Languages, while being mankind's most dist inguishing feature and i t s greatest communications t o o l , are reputed to have confounded th i s early a b i l i t y to inter-communicate ever since that late great bui ld ing enterprise which l i t e r a l l y was planned to ach-ieve apotheosi's through technological v i r t uo s i t y . We might, for that reason, c a l l the Tower the f i r s t bui ld ing in the International Sty le. Whatever the success of the Tower, a lesson for design underlies the various levels of impl ication in the discussion of tongues. The Paradox of Language arises when we consider that man's primary communic- ations tool i s one of the most deyisive forces between groups. Although speech is un iversa l , language i s parochial. Further, language i s a unifying force within a group, while segregating and d iv id ing d i f fe rent groups. (1) The importance of a par t i cu la r language to the i den t i f i c a t i on and coherence of a given group cannot be underestimated. And at the level of aggregated groups no more d i v i s i ve force comes into play than a difference in language. 69. Where speech is to design as language i s to s t y l e , the Modern Movement s tar t -l i n g l y occasioned universal acceptance of a s ingle design language. Osten-s i b l y the reason this could come about i s that the International Style was act i ve ly aligned with science, and to deny science was to deny i t s universal appeal. The universal appeal of science has to do with our making " sc ien -t i f i c advancement" synonymous with "progress", so i t i s n ' t science per se ( reduction!'sm and rational ism ) that i s universal ly appealing, but rather "progress". That i s , I assume mankind prefers "progress" to mere s c i e n t i f i c evolution as i t s espoused destiny. The Modern Movement became an International S ty le , then, because i t symbolized progress through i t s association with technology and science. And in re la t ion to the Paradox of Language, design broke i t s conformity to the p a r a l l e l , be-cause th i s s ingle s ty le broke i t s parochial chains and claimed un iver sa l i t y , claimed to actual ly be innate to the art (or in th i s case, the science) of design. Promises of economic prosperity, technological soph i s t i cat ion, better standards of l i v i n g , and aesthetic actua l i zat ion were concomitent to the un i -versal promise of the International Sty le. Great promise would also accompany a universal s ty le of speech. Esperanto i s one language that has been proferred, but ser iously entertained by only a few. Given the unifying power of language within a group, i t i s understandable that the Esperantists might claim a universal language would be the f i r s t s i g -n i f i c an t step to preventing war and assorted other i n te r - soc ie ta l i l l s . I t i s possible to lament the lack of a universal language today because of the scale of the global problems we are preoccupied with. Local d i a l ec t i c s have h i s t o r i c a l l y proved to be extremely important to the consolidation and preser-70. vation of the group. The fact that a local language idiom has cu l tura l and emotional t ies beyond the i n t e l l e c tua l suggests that groups are not about to give up th i s source of i dent i t y . Or, more importantly, they are not about to give i t up at a rate required to ameliorate large scale problems. In hindsight i t seems surpr is ing that local and vernacular design should not have maintained the hegemony that language has. Design has strong emotive, symbolic, s p i r i t u a l and psychic components which would seem to contribute to equivalent ident i ty maintenance needs as would language. At the scale of arch i tecture, in f ac t , fundamentally s t a t i c and phys ica l ly anchoring forces abide space and form with pa r t i cu la r place and time. It has not yet been shown through pract ice that, whatever the dynamism of soc ia l exchange, a rch i -tecture i s not the proverbial immutable monument. Contemporary claims that architecture should be spontaneous responses to changing economic conditions (2) compete with a growing retrenchment that i s indeed the creation of symbolic physical ed i f i c e . (3) Should the International Style turn out to be, given the ful lness of time, a f i f t y year aberration in the history of form, we could view i t as an experiment in universal language. After a l l , sens i t ive as they are, designers have seemingly always been enchanted by a polyglot of s t y le s , forms and materials. Local " c o l o r " , prov inc ia l capr ice, indigenous d e t a i l , and c l imat ic or cu l tura l responsiveness have always drawn the designer, cam-era or sketchbook in hand. Yet much of th is was given up for the sake of a very narrow notion of functional ism, for the look of a s pec i f i c sort of impor-ted function. And the look of funct ion, of a few selected functions, was man-i f e s t l y abstracted in keeping with the character of s c i e n t i f i c tendencies, since the log ica l form of rat ional ism i s abstract ion. 71. The generally discussed lack of success of the Modern Movement, th is exper i -ment in a universal s t y l e , suggests that perhaps a universal verbal language would not achieve the anticipated results of greater global harmony, under-standing, and achievement. This conclusion I use as a b r i e f and anecdotal pos it ion that could be greatly amplif ied by addit ional evidence outside the f i e l d of design, which suggests that there i s a c r i t i c a l impasse immediately ahead b u i l t into the structure of human discourse. On the one hand there i s a mental disorder leading to pathological inconsistencies in human behavior, the Paradox of Language being only one symptom of i t ; several others have been elaborated by Arthur Koestler. (4) This pathology peaks at the point where rat ional progress reaches an apogee, i f for no other reason than that i t s disproportionate growth causes problems of scale to which other domains other than i n t e l l e c t cannot re l a te ; or more pa the t i ca l l y , where rat ional pro-gress attains inherently contradictory scales, under which, for example, nu-c lear weapons are considered progress over bows and arrows. The conclusion to be drawn in the f i e l d of design from the Paradox of Lang-uage i s that heterogeneity seems to be a fundamental survival strategy for regional mental health. What i s not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y explained i s the lemming l i k e att i tude which permits fashion to be disseminated by a small coter ie of persons who have highly abstracted the general issues. While the fashion to wear pants may be a reasonable option for a l l people despite the climate in which they l i v e , an overcoat does not have the same universal appl icat ion. Yet socia l forces could induce e i ther garment to be worn in any s ingle place. The id iosyncrat ic and the conformist forces may in fact have to unite to cause a dweller of the tropics to wear an overcoat. Such an act would create an 72. i dent i ty puzzle, the coat wearer would be strange but not a stranger. The conformity would be non-conformity, for i t i s en t i r e l y a matter of shared categorical frameworks. What seems to be conformity at one level i s seen to be non-conformity at the local l e v e l . I t i s th is ambiguous condition between the universal and the parochial with which the.designer concerns himself. Obviously the ambiguity would disappear i f universal values became too dominant, and the designer would not f ind the degree of v a r i a b i l i t y and uncertainty required to create new s ign i f icance. The paradox of language i s resolved by abstracting to the point of f inding the universals in a l l languages, and from there interact ing with the indigenous elements of each l o ca l e , i t s parole. An understanding of the deep structures of a l l languages i s required i f the s t a b i l i t y of any one local language i s put in question. Consequently i t i s more important for the designer to under-stand re s i l i ency : "a measure of the persistence of systems and of the i r a b i l i t y to absorb change and disturbance and s t i l l maintain the same relat ionship between populations of state var iab les . " (5) than i t i s to maintain s t a b i l i t y : "the a b i l i t y of a system to return to an equi l ibr ium state a f ter a temporary disturbance; the more rapidly i t returns, and the less i t f luctuates, the more stable i t would be." (6) Highly unstable systems may be extremely r e s i l i e n t . The best example of th i s i s to compare many insect populations to something l i k e the North American Bison. The homogeneous environment in space and time ensured low f luctuat ions and therefore low res i l i ency for the Bison. Insect populations on the other hand are capable of high f luctuat ions to take advantage of temporal and spat-i a l heterogeneity, and are also the least human influenced eco-systems. 73. The search for equi l ibr ium, balance, steady-state, and s t a b i l i t y in ecolog-i c a l systems may be highly misleading as models for socia l management. The equi l ibr ium brought about by a s ingle language would be counter to the non-homogeneous domains of nature. Greater p r ed i c t ab i l i t y is obtained through an equi l ibr ium model: of management for only a very short period, since the boundaries of open systems cannot be completely contro l led. Paradoxically the pursuit of an equi l ibr ium model w i l l l i k e l y increase the chances of ex-t i nc t i on according to ecological experience. (7) The tool which in the end surmounts the problems of s t a t i c systems i s the meta-statement. Pankow makes the d i s t i nc t i on between a "natura l " language and a "formal" language, the formal languages being log ica l constructs i n -capable of representing themselves, while the natural languages can represent not only objects, but also themselves. (8) This self-transcendence of nat-ural languages i s e s sent ia l l y the theory of the levels of language outl ined by Watzlowick, by way of Russel l , Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Tarski. (9) I t i s the theory of log ica l types (whatever involves a l l of a group must not be one of the group) (10) outl ined by Russel l . Extended to the domain of lang-uages we see each statement in a natural language to be in e f fect only i n t e r -pretation of what is being sa id. This i s a valuable analogy for the designer, for i t points out that the s e l f -conscious statement has an aspect of content and an aspect of r e l a t i on ; there i s no boundary between the information and the i n s t ruc t i on , between the mat-e r i a l and the programme, for i t i s a unity. Form alone i s equivalent to a l o g i c a l l y i so lated system, and when a person designs only through form, as in s t r i c t adherence to a s t y l e , form is derived through analogy. A design process 74. analagous to natural language would design not through analogy but through homology, through the re la t i ve connotations of pos i t ion , structure, value, or proportion. This i s possible because the natural system uses gesta l -ten integrated functional un its , no two of which are a l i k e , having h o l i s t i c properties not derivable from the summation of i t s parts. The designer who thinks in gestalten rather than form compliments the open-ness of natural systems. This openness cannot be disposed of in an unambig-uous fashion, which suggests that misunderstanding w i l l always be a poss ib i -l i t y in design. The gap in misunderstanding i s the same gap from which new opportunity springs, an opportunity which i s not predictable. Consequently the future i s not predictable. If i t were the gap would be closed and the future, extrapolated from the past, would be foreclosed. The designer i s posed not only with the task of designing an environment, but also with the task of establ ishing who he i s , and through him, who the user i s . For th is he must be s t ruc tu ra l l y open - - the de f i n i t i on of new function requires i t . But the designer must also have a pre-existent language, for th i s prescr ip-t i ve social construct f u l f i l l s the task of se l f - representat ion, i t compli-ments structure with form. Creation and indiv iduat ion could not come about i f the prescr ipt ion is manipulative or s t i f l i n g , hence the importance of the open structure. We should appreciate the universal as the open structure of opportunity, and not as the closed structure of form as i t occurred in Modernism. Technolog-i ca l products are form, they must f a l l out of time because they are not con-t i nua l l y recreating and they become an imposition over time. Form i t s e l f i s free of self-purpose, which suggests why art is not an imposit ion, is not a 75. constraint on the i nd i v idua l ' s freedom to access structure. Such art form may only have a sensate value, and be both universal in i t s appeal and i n -d i v idua l . Once form i s imbued with purpose freedom i s constrained, the de-sign becomes a guidance system representing pa r t i cu la r ends. This need not be r e s t r i c t i v e , the designed can operate as a tool as long as i t s purpose has value. Without the purpose the designed form may become merely an art form. In th i s sense a l l designed form i s technology, i s not universa l , and must be recreated ( i . e . i t s purpose must be recreated). Even "a r t for a r t ' s sake" i s a technological construct, for the purpose of such art must be con-t i nua l l y recreated. 76. FOOTNOTES 1. Arthur Koestler, Janus, (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), p.17. 2. Manfredo Ta fu r i , Architecture and Utopia, (Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press, 1976). 3. Denise Scott Brown, "On Architectural Formation and Social Concern", Oppositions, No. 5, (1976), pp.99-112. 4. Koestler, 1979, pp.23-98. 5. S.C. Ho l l ing , "Res i l ience and S t a b i l i t y of Ecosystmes", Evolution and Consciousness, E. Jantsch and C H . Waddington, eds. (Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1976), p.81. 6. Ib id. 7. Ib id . , p.82. 8. Walter Pankow, "Openness as Self-Transcendence", Evolution and Conscious-ness , E. Jantsch and C H . Waddington, eds. (Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1976), p.18. 9. Paul Watzlowick et a l . , Pragmatics of Human Communication, (Mew York: W.W. Norton, 1957), p.143. 10. A l f red N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russel l , P r i nc ip i a Mathematica, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913). 11. Pankow, 1976, p.18. 77. CHAPTER EIGHT THE PARADOX OF INFORMATION A system may become the environment for a sub-system in one context, while being i t s e l f a sub-system to a larger system in another context. Systems communicate with the i r environment in an e f f o r t to f u l f i l l purpose. Any communication that is e f f e c t i v e , that i s any exchange which measurably a l t -ers the re lat ionsh ip, is a passage of information. Information i s novelty. Information exchange i s enhanced i f the system speaks the same language as I i t s environment. Should too much information pass, a threshold of tolerance i s reached beyond which stimulus becomes trauma, or a l te rnate ly , i s ignored. Such a threshold is ca l led a system's channel capacity. The variat ions between input/output and system/environment re lat ions model a great many socia l and psychological events. For example, an output corres-ponding to an input which i s observed by a person i s said to be a conscious act. However, i f the person has output which i s not observed, the output i s an unconscious act as viewed from the environment.(1) The design process as the semi o t i c of inter-communicating systems has to do with the adaptation to change of complex, system/environment re lat ionsh ips. Adaptation i s of two kinds according to Piaget: ass imi lat ion i s the action of a system on i t s environment, while accommodation i s the action of the en-vironment on the system. In l i v i n g systems the channel capacity is not f i xed , because learning, deutero-learning (2) ([learning how to learn ) , and adaptation is not only poss ible, but mandatory. A common lament among de-signers i s that the system becomes educated to the d i rect ion and value of design only upon completion of the design exercise. The moral must be that 78. the design process must not be turned of f and on. I f we acknowledge the complimentarity of in-house designing (ass imilat ion) and planning which accounts for changes beyond the system (accommodation!) we w i l l notice that design and learning dissolve together. Charles Rusch c a l l s Transformational Design that design which t r i e s to give special attention to accommodation (learning) in addition to the t rad i t i ona l ass imi lat ion (planning): "When you say that the true intention of design is the trans-formation of the people involved, you s h i f t the intention away from the product and onto the process of design. That does not mean bui lding or chairs are any less important, i t jus t means they are now playing a d i f fe rent role in design... I think we are a l l motivated by transformation. Another way of saying that i s that we are most enthus iast ic , most insp i red, most self-transcendent when we are growing, learning, discover-ing, going beyond old patterns, concepts, ways of working."(3) This approach i s counter to the system as machine metaphor, the human engin-eering school of behaviorism or the planning as a b lue-pr int for change or ientat ion. Business management, for example, i s normally dedicated to planning for as s imi lat ion, to optimizing standard system/environment exchanges, and to avoiding any need to plan for accomodation, for absorbing changing resources or markets. The nature of the evolution of technology has been, of course, that the products of industry provide"anti-environments"faster (see the Paradox of the Anti-Environment elsewhere in th i s paper) a l l the time. In f ac t , i t i s the influence of the nature of technology ( i t i s an act of accommodation) which has forced us today to learn to adapt more e f f e c t -i ve ly . An adaptive open system can avoid the trauma of information overload by d i s -tor t ing the input to some degree. Semiotics has to do with the abstracting and re-packaging of information, a process of d i s to r t ing e f f e c t i v e l y , through 79. the use of signs and symbols so as to a f fect greater channel capacity. One type of input can be substituted in code for another as long as structural order i s s a t i s f a c t o r i l y maintained so as to permit de-coding. The semi o t i c as communicated is more complex then, than the notion of i n f o r -mation exchange suggests, hence the l im i ta t i on of information theoretic models. The i den t i f i c a t i on of information as a measure of difference that is achieved between systems does not take into account behavior. A s ign-vehicle may carry a small amount of information, but i t may have a v io lent impact on the behav-i o r of a system - - not because the channel capacity i s exceeded, but because the adaptive capacity i s exceeded. A small amount of information may possess tremendous latent implications for the structural makeup of a system. Conse-quently we may say that information which challenges the order of an ent i re system has an implicate order (4), i t has implications for other orders. Paradoxical ly, a very small amount of information may make a very big d i f f e r -ence. The accommodation function is espec ia l ly impaired when the system has no procedures and categories of response to handle novel implicate order. Ass imilat ion functions w i l l suffer as well because i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t to trans late such input into control led output, into consciously control led be-havior. The problem arises that an internal order may be developed that w i l l to lerate a l l implicate order. Hardened procedures and categories w i l l interpret a l l stimulus in prescribed patterns and a l l output w i l l be predictably rote. This i s precise ly the problem with older people who are unable to experience novelty: the learning process, directed at increasing adaptab i l i t y , i s terminated. In-formation with implicate order ( i t s s ign-vehicles) are read through only one 80. abstracting apparatus, one s t a t i c s t ructure, such that implicate order e f f -ec t i ve l y disappears since a l l stimulus i s treated habitual ly as 1imi ted d i f f -erence. We can compose th i s dilemma as a double bind (''double bind theory is concerned with the exper ient ia l component in the genesis of tangles in the rules or premises of habit . " ) (5): 1. Information i s a difference that has been communicated. 2. Paradoxical ly, a very small amount of information may lead to a pathological d i f ference. 3. To become tolerant of a l l differences is to lose an a b i l i t y to d i f f e r en t i a t e , that i s , to receive f u l l value information. The double bind is a "Catch 22" s i tuat ion where the obvious resolution to the paradox seems to lead to further contradict ion. The solution to the double bind seems to be to e i ther accept contradict ion or to be w i l l i n g to question your habits. The second solut ion i s by far prefer-able, for the f i r s t solut ion only helps the function of accommodation. It i s useful to be able to to lerate ambiguity and contradiction in the environment for there i s , i f we choose to admit i t , a great deal of disorder. This d i s -order i s of the greatest interest to the creative act. However, tolerance of disorder does not i t s e l f help with a s s imi la t ion , for th is i s a generative function which i n i t i a t e s action into the environment. It i s important for chi ldren to accommodate contradict ion, since the young expend greater energy in accommodating the environment than in purposefully changing i t . Levi-Strauss has noted that pr imit ive people accepted contradiction.(6) This c h i l d - l i k e t r a i t seems to l i m i t a pr imit ive person's effectiveness in Western society 81. where ass imi lat ion i s so important, where the environment on the most sen-s i t i v e levels i s abused. Old people as well seem c h i l d - l i k e when they t o l -erate the contradictions of the i r dated habits in a modern environment. The effectiveness of the ch i l d in surmounting dilemmas l i k e the double bind i s that he not only tolerates contradict ion but has a vast capacity for learning - -very l imi ted investment has been made in habits and he i s always w i l l i n g to examine the context of the i r formation. When the ch i l d asks "why?" the adult may become impatient with the lack of appreciation exhibited for the u l t i -mate economy avai lable through forming good habits. But the designer w i l l appreciate in the ch i l d not only a wi l l ingness to learn, but a wi l l ingness to combine contradiction with examination of context. The importance of adding contradict ion to examination of context i s apprec-iated only by the more mature person v/ho i s f u l l y conscious, egocentric, and able to discriminate a map from the t e r r i t o r y . This "secondary process" thinking compares to "primary process" or unconscious thinking. According to Bateson, the paradox of play occurs because play requires that primary and secondary processes be equated and disciminated at the same time.(7) To enter into fantasy or play one must be able to discriminate the i r bound-ary, be context conscious, but at the same time must give up the concept of the "untrue", must become unconscious of contradict ion. This log ica l anom-aly of play is t r an s i t i v e , has periodic value, and i s a valuable tool to the designer for the access to dream states i t affords. During "blue sky" sess-ions the designer must suspend normal sanctions in order to reap the benefit of the apparent disorder in contradictory concepts. 82. FOOTNOTES 1. Harley C. Shands, The War With Words (The Hague: Mouton, 1971), p.182. 2. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Kind, (New York: Bal lant ine Books, 1972), p.169. 3. Charles W. Rusch, "Transformational Design", Journal of Architectural Education, vol.31, no.4, 1977, pp.24,25. 4. David Bohm, "Quantum Theory as an Indication of a New Order in Physics", Foundations of Physics, vo l .3 , no.2, 1973, pp.139-168. 5. Bateson, 1972, p.276. 6. Claude Levi-Strauss, see "Psychoanalysis and Semiotics", by Eugene S. Bar, Semiotica, vol.16, no.4, 1976. 7. Bateson, 1972, p.184. 83. CHAPTER NINE THE PARADOX OF THE SECOND LAW OF THERMO-DYNAMICS The inevitable progression of the universe towards a state of homogenization i s described as an increase in entropy, that i s , as increasingly less order and structure. However there are a great many natural and cu l tura l phenomena which would seem to suggest that negentropy i s on the increase. The evolu-t ion of some very complex systems is continuing. Technology as a form of organization i s becoming more and more elaborate. Assuming that th i s progres-sion does not necessari ly lead to se l f -des t ruc t ion , an apparently applicable law of physics does not apply in the natural and human realm, the realm of open systems. The bui lding up of complex social structures has not been well explained; the d is integrat ion of highly developed socia l structures i s apparently easier to s c ru t in i ze . For example, anthropology has become a reputable science do-ing just that — Levi-Strauss suggests entropology would be a better t i t l e than anthropology for the study of disappearing cultures. (1) The term "en-tropy" i s in fact a l i t e r a l t rans lat ion of "evolut ion" into Greek. While the Second Law of Thermodynamics may be synonymous with the Pr inc ip le of Entropy in the hard sciences, other applications require scrutiny of the der ivat ive conclusion that homogenization as evolution i s increasing. Evolution is based on death and new b i r th and not jus t death and reb i r th . Thus the de f i n i t i on of entropy as "the p r inc ip le that the universe i s passing from certain less pro-bable to certain more probable states" i s open to some re - in terpretat ion . Namely, that certain forms of order are more probable than certa in counter-valent forces which would see them eroded away. 84. The contradict ion perceived in the p r inc ip le of entropy i s resolved by ack-nowledging a " p r i nc ip le of s im i l i t ude " , in which i t i s observed that forces on a system vary in power, and as the systems vary in s i ze , the forces vary themselves, i f not in a f fect then at least in e f f ec t . Gravity acts on a l l par t i c les in a body, .While radiant energy does not. Mechanical pr inc ip les apply in the gross physical world, while c a p i l l a r i t y , osmosis, and absorp-t ion act at minute organic leve l s . E l e c t r i c charges and inter-molecular forces are active in s t i l l lesser worlds. I t cannot be determined that the outcome at a mechanical level i s completely re f lex ive with the action at a molecular l e v e l , and vice versa. Both the systematic s c i en t i s t and the sys-tematic designer have mistakenly presumed that an abstraction at one level w i l l adequately describe interact ion at a l l l eve l s . This i s espec ia l ly over-s imp l i f i ed when we consider the variety of human and physical forces relevent to something l i k e architecture. When a range of forces are brought to bear on one element, i t becomes more than the sum of i t s parts. Western man has t r a d i t i o n a l l y sought universals and s i m i l a r i t i e s , considering the notion of atomization invaluable, for i t explained how matter, however d i f fe rent on the surface, was the same underneath. Divers ity and differences have been considered almost as aberrations in c l a s s i c a l sciences ever since the Platonic Solids were used to explain the orderly geometrical underpinnings of the universe. I t has only been in the l a s t twenty years that more organic paradigms have ascended, placing b io log ica l richness and heterogeneity wi th-in our rat ional constructs. The "mutual causal re la t i ons " of the newly d i f fe rent ia ted systems thinking was formulated twenty years ago through the work of eastern Europeans such as the 85. mathemetician Stanislaw Ulam who showed:: "that complex patterns can be generated by simple rules of in te ract ion , and that i t takes more information to describe the f inished patterns than to describe the generating ru les , and that i t i s often impossible to i n fe r the generating rules from the f in ished patterns." (2) This astonishing new formulation was pa r t i cu l a r l y useful in establ i sh ing l og -i c a l constructs that explained increasing complexity. Previously, information theory had been invoked to suggest that complex organisms occurred because s u f f i c i en t information could be garnered from other systems, and hence mother could pass on information to c h i l d , while o v e r a l l , the information assemblies were decaying because random events were breaking down the complex structures which were growing up. That i s , information theory perpetuated the Darwinian idea that evolution as death and reb i r th eventually led to the survival of only one form, the strongest. More symbiotic mathematical models have provided the constructs which help us to see that the l i f e which occurs a f ter death can be much more var ied, complex and heterogeneous than i t s predecessor, which in the end i s the measure of survival - - and i t i s , a f te r a l l , a matter of the survival of the f i t t e s t , and not of the strongest. At socia l levels of interact ion the evolution of symbiotic and heterogeneous structures would seem to be essential in order to keep pace with rapid change, despite counter-vai l ing pressures which force homogenization through spec i a l -i zat ion and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n . The cacophany of the information r i ch "Communications Era" i s not moving, i t i s generally conceded, towards McLuhan's Global V i l l a ge , but towards a new balkanization of communities of in terest . This d i ve r s i t y and richness i s a transcendent emotional experience because i t i s a.technological ly based revolution which i s gaining what has never been 86. achieved through social structur ing ( i . e . through p o l i t i c s ) , and not because of lack of e f f o r t among socia l reformers. According to Richard Sennett, "To change the leaders of a society without changing the amount of disorder that the society w i l l bear i s ult imately to have no revolution at a l l . Marx in his manuscripts of 1844, understood t h i s ; to be free in a post-revolutionary world was, he wrote, to transcend the need for order." (3) To rea l i ze that Marx advocated movement towards Anarchy (and we must apprec-iate that Anarchy as a p o l i t i c a l pos it ion i s based on indiv idual responsi-b i l i t y , and not on lawlessness) i s d i f f i c u l t in the l i gh t of the history of communism in the Twentieth Century! We have, in th is discussion, come f u l l c i r c l e as the resu l t of the looseness of the words we have used. The importance of doing so i s to i l l u s t r a t e once again the astonishing self-deception that pervades the topic. We began by saying that c l a s s i c a l l y the Second Law of Thermodynamics stated that entropy (disorder) was increasing. However, very complex organizations seem to be evolving, most obviously in socia l realms, where change has far outstripped the pre-societal b io log ica l progression of evolut ion. Man can now inter fere at w i l l with many b io log ica l systems. And yet socia l progress has been def-ined as a tolerance and s h i f t towards disorder, not only by the l i kes of Herbert Marcuse, but also by the l i kes of Karl Marx. Add i t iona l l y , we have discussed that recent advances in rat ional theatres of discourse, such as mathematics, have i l l u s t r a t e d the i n a p p l i c a b i l i t y of the entropy p r inc ip le to a var iety of levels of in teract ion. What applies in physics may not be a va l id metaphor for what applies in biology or in society. The par t i cu la r paradox which we f ind in communism, where Marx's goal of great-er tolerance of disorder seems to have led to structure on a tremendous sca le, 87. can be explained through a discussion of a number of contradictions in soc-i a l i s t pract ices. Noteworthy here is Sennett 's resolution to the irony in the appl icat ion of organization on a large socia l scale in the mistaken be-l i e f that free'dom from routine order can then be achieved at the scale of the i nd i v idua l . Sennett claims that i t i s the repression of adolescent passions which causes us to seek voluntary slavery. I f we could play out our immature drives successful ly we could face adulthood without fearing freedom. (4) It i s th i s adolescent fear of disorder which seems to ar ise when indiv iduals are given respons ib i l i t y for freedom - - which has led us to the stat ing of a double bind, namely that, a f ter a l l , soc ia l discourse should i dea l l y observe the Second Law of Thermodynamics and move towards Anarchy. To summarize, i f the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds, then the p r inc ip le of entropy appl ies, and disorder increases. But man dominated evolution seems to move in the other d i rec t i on , with both soc ia l organization and tech-nological organization increasing - - negentropy increases. However, respect-ing socia l organization, leading advocates believe that personal freedom should  be maximized at the expense of socia l order, suggesting that soc ia l evolution  paradoxically observes the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i . e . socia l order should decrease. While anthropology might better be ca l led entropology because i t deals with cu l tura l organization in an archaeological manner, i t has no d i rect re la t ion to the problem of designing or planning (new cu l tura l discourse). That i s , the t r ad i t i ona l d i s t i nc t i on stands between the ana lyt ica l sciences and the synthetic e f fo r t s of design; the s k i l l of designing does not a p r i o r i require an analyt ica l component, rather, i t i s the desire to achieve relevance and 88. meaning in the result of a design e f f o r t which requires the ana lyt ica l com-ponent. Consider that the arts are not e s sent ia l l y concerned with communi-c a b i l i t y , or even communication. The a r t i s t i s more concerned with giving expression to that which cannot be formulated verbal ly and the a c c e s s i b i l i -ty of the artwork may be very remote or even mysterious. Communicability is not, then, a prerequis ite of a r t , although i t may be the goal of much design. Considerable confusion has arisen between our increasing a b i l i t y to discover organization and our a b i l i t y and need to communicate i t . The value of ambiguity and disorder may be much greater than admitted in our Modernist drive towards communicability. It i s the tremendous tolerance of ambiguity in ordinary language (the redundancy in language is variously d i s -cussed as reaching up to 80%) which makes i t such a creative communications medium. To continue Levi-Strauss ' metaphor, where entropology i s the pursuit of structure with which to inext r icab ly l i nk culture together, negentropol-ogy would be the pursuit of development, mutation and transformation. Negentropology would seem to c losely pa ra l l e l Post-Modernist design. Post-Modernist design i s not as concerned with using art as a source of d i scont in -uity as i t i s with using history as a source of ambiguity. This i s a mistake even in the short run. Radical d i scont inu i t ies of the t ru l y revolutionary kind detach themselves from the i r immediate past by revealing that past as a sh i f t i ng ideology, much in the Marxian view of achieving greater freedom af-ter each revolut ion. As noted, the communist problem has been that the f ree -dom of the revolution ended once the large scale order was put into place, because indiv idual freedom i s not nurtured under exter io r cont ro l , but rather under corresponding i n t e r i o r contro l . While Post-Modernism does escape the 89. threat of achieving even less freedom through large scale s t r i c t u re s , i t does not r i se above confusing h i s t o r i ca l concerns (not to mention h i s to r i c i sm, i . e . revivalism) such as inf luences, consistency, and t rad i t i on with the more con-temporary s t r uc tu ra l i s t interests such as axioms, compat ib i l i t i e s , juxtapos i -t ions and invariance. Post-Modernism is not concerned precisely with the s e n s i b i l i t y of past s t y le s , schools, or designers, nor with the interplay and methodology of a designer in an environment. Yet the unity of i n d i v i d -ual examples of Post-Modernism, never mind the unity of the movement, has not escaped mere ec lec t i c i sm. . Even within the non-revolutionary d isplace-ments and transformations of the movement there i s the promise of more. Certainly the humanities over the la s t twenty years have achieved more using the notions of re-action and substructure which Post-Modernism is now adop-t i ng . For example, i t would seem that the pa r t i cu la r character of an object or of a bui lding could be created using these s t r u c t u r a l i s t too l s . Notions of re-sumption and deep structure, of internal coherence and rupture, of langue and parole, of remenence (residuals) and add i t i v i t y are extremely worthwhile for the synchronic programming of a funct ion, an i n s t i t u t i o n , a need, or a c l i e n t personal ity. But there has been very l i t t l e ind icat ion so far that the nature of par t i cu la r types, the nature of pa r t i cu la r patterns and how they are formed and preserved, i s going to become c l a r i f i e d . We continue to labour under l imi tat ions of Modernism which s t i f l e the essential opportun-i t i e s for change. For example, indiv idual bui lding s t i l l takes precedence over i t s existence as a type of bu i ld ing. Serge Chermayoff l e f t the American Inst i tute of Architects as a personal statement condemning the profession 's continued wil l ingness to perform for a marketplace that asked for indiv idual 90. buildings to dominate the i r urban context. While th is egocentrism of arch-i tec tu ra l design is only part of the story, behind our ignominious urban de-s ign, i t i s a part within the powers of the design professions to a l t e r . And presently, the very organizational achievements of contemporary thought are not applied to the end of imbedding each bui ld ing into a synchronous con-tex t , but are used to applique der ivat ive ornamentation in the be l i e f that communicability or meaning is enhanced. The models on which the methodology of Post-Modernism i s based are not nec-es sa r i l y in error , i t i s the appl icat ion at a diachronic and super f i c i a l level that i s in error. There i s no more than a statement about decoration to be made in transferr ing past motif into present discourse. The methodology would better be applied to transforming present modes of discourse into h i s t o r i c a l motif. Even within the tenets of non-revolutionary Post-Modernism there ex ists the opportunity to l e t social and psychological acts define the design, instead of l e t t i n g the design freeze a soc ia l and psychological at t i tude. The obvious conclusion i s that there are no absolute forms, and yet we cont in-ue to react to form as i f r t were the environment. We continue to think l i k e Le Corbusier and his early Purism movement, which wanted to use only pure objects in order to derive a short-cut to absolute form. Absolute form may apply to a steamship, but extending the metaphor to the environmental scale only further separates people and things. We should be far more suspicious of the fact that Le Corbusier grew to d i s l i k e portions of his early work os-tens ibly because i t seemed to suggest a f i rm causal l i nk between form and be-havior. But form i s created in order to allow people to create and respond to an environment. The form is not the goal, i t i s the objective or the means 91. with which thedesigner mediates the environment. The existence of forms i n -dexing the history of a culture necessari ly enrich the possible creations of environment in a given set t ing . I t i s questionable whether Post-Modern-ism's referencing of ant iquity in middle American is any contr ibution to th i s t ru th . The Robert Venturi synchronic!'ty of approach in referencing the ugly and ordinary is more to the p o i n t , i t ' s jus t too bad that he has made such references when people wanted elements that would help them pretty the place up. (5) The methodology of Venturi i s proving to be the most f r u i t f u l d i r -ection in Post-Modernism in terms of form because he established pr inc ip les of choice beyond functional ism, contructiv ism, and scientism, as well as be-yond h i s tor ic i sm. These pr inc ip les were a breath of fresh a i r because they freed us from the lineage of r a t i o na l i t y in the teleology of Modernism. The problem with Venturi as well as a l l Post-Modernism i s that anthropology i s s t i l l the sovereign method of design. Anthropology as entropology i s the search for d i scont inu i t ies of organization, tending to turn culture i t s e l f , a f ter co r re la t ion , s t ructur ing, analys i s , de l im i ta t i on , decipherment, and postu lat ion, into an object. These instruments of the science of anthropo-logy become the product. The actual l i v i n g throbbing culture which the de-signer would l i k e to get to know i s not caught in the anthropological net. Design as negentropology i s concerned with a developing cu l ture, but receives documentation of culture as highly abstracted mater ia l i t y . The methodological revolution must surely be in the d i rect ion of freeing the act of design from the tyranny of the t r ad i t i ona l organization of h istory. This means more than freedom from the revival of s ty le or motif, i t means the freedom of s ty le and motif. Modernism pursued freedom from revival i sm, 92. but did not accomplish freedom of s ty le as i t offered a new homogeneous cor-pora of motif. The intended freedom of s ty le in Modernism merely evolved into new tenets of good taste. Note that freedom from sty le is not the i s -sue, and i t certa in ly i s not the issue in designing. Style as "an index of form" w i l l necessari ly appear vf history i s to tabulate d iachronica l ly hu-man act ion. The methodological problem that presents i t s e l f i s to create a "general h istory" of architecture as opposed tosa " t o t a l h i s to ry " , to use an opposition verbalized by Michel Foucault. (6) At the heart of th is d i s t i nc t i on has been the Modernist 's intention that there be unitary control over the b u i l t environment. This i s the abstract and i n -genuous solution to the problem lamented by Serge Chermayeff. It i s not Modern but r a t i ona l , rooted in the c l a s s i ca l superimposition of exter ior or-der which i s the European ideology. Despite many attempts to revive Marx as a humanist, his cha rac te r i s t i c a l l y European approach has resulted in l a r -ge scale order being his nemises. As examples of large scale Modernist ra t i on -al i sm, Le Corbusier 's V i l l e Radieuse proposals are as eloquent but starker than c lass ic i sm. New York c i t y represents the reverse; an extremely p l a s t i c infrastructure i s the least functional imposition upon the freedom of the i n -dividual bu i ld ing. Endlessly changeable, the plan permits maximum productive i n i t i a t i v e . The genius of the Declaration of Independence i s embodied in the lack of design at the urban scale of th i s c i t y . Manfredo Tafuri has suggested that i t i s bad conscience which prompted Thomas Jefferson and his designer L 'Enfant, to turn the plan of the capita l of the New World Utopia into a de-r i va t i ve of European rat ional i sm. (7) We continue to struggle with the l i n g -ering suspicion that the grand plan w i l l provide cu l tura l i f not metaphysical 93. depth, that comprehensive planning w i l l provide e f fect i ve production i f not machine e f f i c i ency . The success of New York as the modern cosmopolis vouch-es for something less than grand and comprehensive instrumentation as the means for urban discourse. We must acknowledge that ideological approaches to design applied at a large scale resu l t in formal proposals, and once the form i s in place the end (as fa r as physical design is concerned) has arr ived. The end becomes the means. Clearly replacing poor plans with good plans w i l l not help, which does not suggest that there are not a great many technical solutions to urban scale problems, but which does suggest that designers promoting ideologies of technology w i l l meet with no success. The need for ideologies of design i s a phenomenon of the " t o t a l h i s tory " theme. To s l i c e the environment along th i s dimension i s to be concerned with the overal l form of discourse, the pr inc ip les which give i t cohesion, the s p i r i t u a l laws, and the s ign i f icance of i t s material production, in order to circumscribe the ent i re society within the plan - - i t i s i nc lus i ve . The theme of a "general h i s tory " approach to design would require the large scale plan to be a dispersion of points of reference. Each i n s t i t u t i o n , each facet of the economy, each exchange not only has i t s own h i s tory, but has a type of form and meaning which i t expresses through i t s own choice of analogies. (8) The chaos of the big c i t y i s i t s c l a s s i c metaphor, where the push and pul l within the relat ionships of the parts is a.much stronger basis for order . than imposed zoning by-laws. i It i s of the nature of ideology that i t does not deal eas i l y with negentropy. Ideology requires concerted or reduced general models of act ion, and a society in f lux offers no harbour for tying up the ship of reformist p r inc ip le s . Mod-94. ernism has existed within such a soc iety, even sought to mirror such a soc-i e t y , but i r o n i c a l l y the Modern designer viewed the challenge as a Utopian one in the h i s t o r i ca l mould. The fact that Post-Modernism i s based on po l -icy rather than ideology scores points for increased indiv idual freedom. However we cannot att r ibute th i s correct ion of the design process to increas-ed sophist icat ion in the philosophy of design methods as much as we can a t t -r ibute i t to the domination of market forces. On the one hand the i n i t i a -t i ve of c ap i t a l i s t s as both the reason and object of design subsumes ph i l o -sophical ref lex ion^ On the other hand the var iety and scope of technological control over material production questions the continuing role of design, as i t does the role of the p l a s t i c arts . From th is conclusion we gain support for the posit ion that the design function i s very much to react to soc ia l change rather than to generate i t , to be ad-aptive and to provide comfort and convenience, to be expressive and to i n te -grate the sacred and the profane. Social evolution i s progressing towards greater negentropy, but not through negentropic i n s t i t u t i on s . That i s , soc-i a l discourse i s not more ordered today because of the technology of organ-i z a t i on , management, and bureaucracy, the world community i s not more ordered because of world government; on the contrary large scale organizations are the problem. I t i s only the frame-of-mind which casts our predicament as a material problem, as i f i twere s t i l l man against the ineluctable jungle, ra -ther than man against his own constructions. Ecology, po l l u t i on , food, and energy issues are the resu l t of organizational constructs. The designer has always been in a posit ion to appreciate th i s fact because he has been closer to the material world than those who would merely exp lo i t i t . The Modernists, 95. however, expressed and adopted precisely these notions of large scale s t ruc-tura l issues through the i r maxims of universal design, resu l t ing in equiv-alent types of ecological breakdowns in urban design, automobile design, housing, or what-have-you. On th i s inheritance Post-Modernism has made some new investments in ec lect ic i sm, but being responsive rather than generative i t must wait for the uncertain socia l developments to consolidate f i r s t . For socia l evolution to maintain the progressive course towards greater negen-tropy, towards greater order, i t cannot re ly on large-scale technology which we have seen leads, paradoxical ly, to severe disorder, but must re ly on the f e l t re spons ib i l i t y of the autonomous and free i nd i v i dua l , an indiv idual whose freedom must be maintained despite the residue of l imited problem s o l -ving modes of design. It remains to be seen how Western society w i l l free the indiv idual from that other a l ienat ing coro l la ry of technology, the su r fe i t of consumer goods. We can c i t e no example where h i s t o r i c a l highs in social organization have not accorded unredeeming he l l to s i gn i f i can t minor i t ies . Mid-Century Fascism was fond of reca l l i ng the glory of Rome, but not i t s oppression. The fact that Napoleon chose an h i s t o r i c a l example l i k e Rome while S ta l i n did not does not ind icate, however, which caused the greater oppression. The problem l i e s with any v is ion of social greatness through structure. Imperial i st Utopians and ega l i ta r ian revo lut ion i s t s share a desire to r i d society of op-pression, only to f ind the paradox that "great i n ju s t i ce seems to ar ise when a certain pain and disorder in socia l l i f e i s consciously avoided."(10) The only means avai lable for maintaining ju s t i ce i s to mete out some pain. Because pain cannot be experienced by an organization, the further a structure i s 96. from indiv idual human touch the greater the i n ju s t i ce that w i l l p reva i l . There are even indiv iduals who f ind i t d i f f i c u l t to experience pain; unfor-tunately such people become i n s t i t u t i ona l i z ed and removed from the main-stream, for they see.pain only as an "operating cost" much as an organization would. The presence of pain, one ind icat ion of disorder in the system, can be seen to be essential in the learning process and in the a b i l i t y for one party to empathize with another. For such a reason the indiv idual must be r e l i ed upon as the basic organizing p r inc ip le of soc iety, for he alone can deal with i t s benefits in the l i gh t of the fact that disorder w i l l necessari ly be pre-sent. Design has waited for soc ia l recognition of the place of the i n d i v i d -ual in soc iety, which has been bui lding since the turmoil of the 1960's. It i s a minor aberration that the 1970's should interpret the trend as "the 'me' decade" and exp lo i t i t s s ybar i t i c potent ia l . But having to contend with commercialization remains the most dominant large-scale st ructura l im-pediment to further socia l progress. For example, Broadbent states matter-o f - f a c t l y : "An arch i tect w i l l use a curtain wall for an o f f i ce bui lding because glass and steel feel co ld , impersonal, precise and ordered - - the overtones of methodical business, rat ional planning and commercial transact ions. " (10) This r e a l i t y w i l l continue to be a very important component in the p l u r a l -i s t i c future - - but i t w i l l be applied most s p e c i f i c a l l y as a symbol of a compartmentalized tolerance of commerce, and not as a universal measure of Modernism a f te r Mies van der Rohe. Where Mies could apply his universal space to housing, the place of the ind i v -97. idual in society can no longer to lerate domestic design univalence - - the indiv idual i s no longer at one with soc iety, rather society i s at spec i f i c s with ind iv idua l s . The house in arch i tecture, the analogue of the i n d i v i d -ual in society, i s r ea l i z i ng a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n to judge from the comments of the jury for the 27th annual Progressive Architecture Awards: " A l l of the large projects lack a certain qua l i ty . Certain of the bui ld ing types were r ea l l y disappointing, uninterest ing, and mechanical, with none of the inventiveness of the housing, of a l l kinds, that we saw. The sad thing i s that the qua l i ty of excellence in the public and commercial sectors is ju s t not up to that of some of the other work, mostly the housing. Precisely the way to view a l l of the houses i s as very pers-onal, pr ivate, a r t i s t i c statements. To look for universal q u a l i t i e s , as we might tend to do because of our professional backgrounds, i s inappropriate." (11) And i t i s not to be assumed that the house always breeds a celebration of the l i f e qua l i t i e s found lacking in the commercial work. For at the height of American Modernism in 1954 the f i r s t version of th i s jury remarked, in r e l a -t ion to a l l submissions, that "what seemed to be missing was imagination and along with i t gaiety excitement, and fancy." (12) The d i f f e ren t i a t i on at the scale of the indiv idual i s tolerated conceptually as order, and there-fore, the perceptual order fol lows. In the commercial realm the perceptually s t e r i l e bui lding does not symbolize order, simply because there i s so l i t t l e conceptual order in these organizations to refer to , but rather a large a-mount of highly concentrated distress on the ecology as the resu l t of such a concentration of spec ia l ized resources. I t would be better to c a l l the s te r -i l e commercial bui lding a symbol for absent order. To quote another juror : "The important question for me,.then, i s why i s th i s the case. I imagine i t ' s because the larger projects usually ju s t don't allow one to come up with the same c l a r i t y of an idea and carry i t through." (13) 98. FOOTNOTES 1. Claude Levi-Strauss, interview on "Ideas", C.B.C. Radio, Geraldine Sherman, Executive Producer, 1978. 2. Magoroh Maruyama, "A New Logical Model for Futures Research", Futures, October 1973, p.436. 3. Richard Sennett, The Uses of Disorder (New York: Vintage, 1970), p.xiv. 4. Ib id. 5. Linda Groat and David Canter, "Does Post-Modernism Communicate?" Progressive Architecture, December 1978, pp.84-87. 6. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), p.72. 7. Manfredo Ta fu r i , Architecture and Utopia (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1976), Chapter One. 8. Foucault, 1972, pp.70-75. 9. Sennett, 1970, p.110. 10. Geoffrey Broadbent, "The Language of Post-Modern Architecture: A Summary," Architectural Design, vol.47, no.4, 1977, p.266. 11. "The 27th P/A Awards", Progressive Architecture, January 1980, p.87. 12. Ibid. 13. Ibid. 99. CHAPTER TEN THE PARADOX OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE Rudolf Arnheim invokes the Pr inc ip le of the Excluded Middle to refute the defence of disorder in Robert Ventur i ' s wr i t ings , who i s , he claims, mis-taken "out of ignorance or oversight or for a misguided purpose ... One i s in error i f one asserts that something exists and does not ex i s t at the same time." (1) Obviously, the behaviorist Arnheim has never been a de-signer. Further, he has taken the c la s s i ca l d i a l ec t i c s of l abe l l i n g too far . However, Arnheim's concern i s well placed when he finds Ventur i ' s l o -gic lack ing, for Venturi along with most theoret ical architects are notor-ious for f a i l i n g to dist inguish between the psychic ef fects of form and the form i t s e l f . That i s , they confuse the sign and what i t s i g n i f i e s . Arnheim, who i s e s sent ia l l y interested in matter as a visual stimulus, i s not concer-ned with the fact that the psychic balance of a perception may require the synerg ist ic congruence of seemingly contradictory tendencies. We must be very c lear in ident i fy ing these two c l a s s i ca l pos i t ions, the denotative and the connotative. While we can reconci le the argument, we cannot hope to re-conci le the two types of mind which have developed in divergent ways. Arnheim would claim that man cannot be both angel and devi l at the same time, because something cannot be both black and white under the same conditions. (2) Ven-tu r i would maintain that we are ambiguous, both a b i t of the devi l and a b i t of the angel at the same time, and should divide things in two so that hal f can be white and hal f can be black. The paradox arises when these two p r i n -c ip led positions are forced into a confrontation which occurs because man turns into a devi l when he t r i e s to act the angel. (3) I t i s a generally appreciated notion that Utopia becomes dystopia the closer 100. one approaches rea l i za t ion of the antic ipated end. Ja rv ie , in an essay en-t i t l e d "Utopian Thinking and the A rch i tec t " , mentions four c r i t i c a l arguments directed against Utopian thinking: f i r s t l y , the future i s unknowable, secondly, Utopia i s f anc i fu l and inconsiderate of real l im i t a t i on s , t h i r d l y , because U t o p i a i s so, we become morally and imaginatively trapped in the unrea l i z -able, and l a s t l y , Utopias are se lect ive and exclus ive. (4) Its true that we have very poor tools for thinking about undivided wholes but can i so late l i s t s such as the above which seem to enumerate s t rateg ic errors in the d i a -l e c t i c a l manners we do have. But better, ident i f y ing the problem should permit us to develop tools which view mutually exclusive oppositions as dialogues. The Modernists, once they became associated with the ideal and the universa l , became entrapped in the above snares to a dramatic degree. It i s misleading.to think of the "excluded middle" as any less spec i f i c than the poles of an opposition. In an analogue of the denotative-connotative opposit ion, namely fact-theory, we might try to define a middle ground. In th i s opposition the contradict ion i s pr imar i ly f e l t in terms of the hardness of fact and the softness of theory. What i s factual i s nominally what i s immovable,, while the theoret ica l i s highly p l a s t i c . However the Latin root of fact i s facere, meaning "what has been made", and i t i s pointed out by David Bohm that facts are not found, but are made, do not ex i s t independently, but are the resu l t of theoret ical structure. (5) Theory for i t s part must, a f te r the language of Piaget, accommodate fact to be usefu l , and should even assimilate facts with which i t c o n f l i c t s ; that i s , i t must be w i l l i n g to ad-ju s t . (6) Ass imi lat ion i s rec iproca l . The presence of a c on f l i c t i n g element could be dealt with by e i ther pole, given that i t i s w i l l i n g to adjust to 101. cause the ass imi lat ion. Apparently the d i a l e c t i c a l mode of Western Ration-alism does not complement the notion of perpetually adjusting dialogues be-tween components of wholes. We are more f am i l i a r with c o n f l i c t which gives evidence of opposition rather than evidence of unity. The paradox of the  excluded middle is the denial of the order which un i f i e s , in th i s case, fact with theory. In par t i cu la r the i l l u s i o n of the independence of fact can be att r ibuted to inductive th ink ing, as suggested by Bateson: "I believe that i t i s simply not true that the fundamentals of science begin in induction from experience . . . " (7) The reason for our confusion is that we are: " t ra ined to think and argue induct ively from data to hypoth-eses, but never to test hypotheses against knowledge derived from deduction from the fundamentals of science or ph i los -ophy." (8) The dichotomous and independent l i f e of facts i s a good example of a part being awarded the structural value of a whole. In th i s mode the wholes are not r ea l . Le Corbusier, in the manner of a l l great a rch i tec t s , i s a master of sentiment to a degree even greater than his mastery of form (and th i s i s not c yn i ca l , or paradoxical, but e s sent ia l ) . Of teaching students he sa id: "Facts are f l u i d and changeable, espec ia l ly nowadays, so I would teach them to d i s t rus t formulae and would impress on them that everything i s r e l a t i v e . " (9) Mies van der Rohe was not far behind when he stated that " t ruth i s the s i g -nif icance of f a c t s " , where truth i s " . . . a re la t ion which touches the essence of the time . . . " (10) Both architects acknowledged the diachronic adjusta-b i l i t y of f ac t s , so the contradiction must.l ie in the i r celebrated pursuit of universals in terms of design theory. To wit Le Corbusier contradicted th i s 102. progressive de f in i t i on of fact and reverted to the immutable image when he claimed that "the universal fact i s revealed to a l l , i s within the reach of a l l " in reference to Modernist design theory. (11) It i s by v i rtue of the differences in the environment that we order i t , but the changing differences which a l t e r the order must be applied to a whole, and not only to i t s parts. I t i s not very progressive to say, as Le Corbusier does, that in the modern world facts have now become soft and p l i a b l e , while i t i s theory which has become cast in s i t u . One of the greatest concrete engineers of the Modern period, Ove Arup, commen-ted on the general tendencies of Modernists ( a l l designers are as gu i l ty ) to i n s i s t on the i r own version of funct ion, s t ructure, or construction instead of f i r s t l y learning about bu i ld ing, and secondly expressing the actual nature of that domain: " I t i s as i f there i s a streak of dishonesty running through the arch i tectura l profession. They do not face f ac t s , they fake fac t s . " (12) The honesty of design i s surely in question when the Modernists, those who proclaimed the immutable fact of bui lding mater ia ls, construction techniques, and geometric s imp l i c i t y are ca l led fakers. But what does i t matter? To say that a designer does not have the i n teg r i t y of the engineer is r ea l l y only to say that the engineer does not include the excluded middle. Both theory and fact are soft i f they pertain to any human domain, and where they meet in the middle says nothing about the i r qua l i ty (or else Le Corbusier would not be quotable). The pr inc ip le of the excluded middle i s extremely important to the understand-ing of paradox i t s e l f because i t i s so character i s t i c of conventional thought. It has been the del ight of metaphysicians down through the ages to confound 103. th i s d i a l e c t i c a l property of language and perception by claiming that truth i s in fact strung out between two poles, operating as a dual i ty whose char-acter is one of degree, not d i f f e r en t i a t i on . According to the Kybalion: "Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has i t s pair of opposites; l i k e and unlike are the same; opp-osites are ident ica l in nature, but d i f fe rent in degree; extremes meet; a l l truths are but ha l f - t ru th s ; a l l para-doxes may be reconci led. " (13) The designer must occupy himself with the degree of h a l f - t r u t h , while our language and reasoning systems o f fe r us tools that are not nearly that f l e x -i b l e - - which i s why hermeticists. continue to l i v e l i k e hermits. Conventional thought in the Platonic mould i s very capable of dealing with quant i f i ab le , m a t e r i a l i s t i c , and.persistent phenomena. In th is world of delimited matter a category, a word, a l a b e l , i s invar iant , i t always has the same meaning. Should one sign be replaced by another s ign, the referent, the phenomenon being referred to, w i l l remain the same because the signs are considered to be subst i tutable. But consider the inverse of t h i s , where the s i tuat ion is subst itutable and the word remains the same: th i s occurs in common usage most often when the word refers to a diachronic condition such as "changing". Normally the dynamic "process of change" is treated from a par t i cu la r synchr-onic viewpoint that makes description possible - - the continuous sequence is halted to compare a previous with a present s tate, such that the change i s a measure, a category of increment. But th i s d i a l e c t i c treatment i s less and less adequate to convey the f u l l importance of the changing s i tuat ions of to-day, where the rate of change is rap id, is continuous, and i s becoming the expected and comfortable state. The single easiest example of the condition of the excluded middle i s this very contemporary fee l ing of a perpetually moving, f l u i d universe where energy and matter seem to be meeting in da i ly 104. l i f e . There have always been a great many experiences of the mind which cannot ad-equately be translated into the semiotic, attempts usually resu l t ing in con-fus ion, not to say contradict ion. Such a word as " r e l i g i ou s " i s not a suc-cessful label in the conventional sense in that i t i den t i f i e s no-thing - -something that cannot be otherwise spec i f ied. Of course i t may be an extreme-ly s i gn i f i can t personal experience which i s ca l led r e l i g i ou s , but i t i s in the soc ia l realm that we use the term - - i t i s very l i k e l y that the indiv idual would f ind s p i r i t u a l , metaphysical, profound or any number of s imi la r adjec-t ives more su i tab le. Our culture uses the re l ig ious in th i s case to refer to the f a i t h or be l i e f of the indiv idual in something s i gn i f i can t beyond f a i t h . So i t i s that re l ig ions themselves are constructions which channel and specify the types of personal experiences poss ible, occasional ly to the point where r i t ua l i s used pervasively to control even the most mundane ac-t i v i t i e s , thereby l im i t i n g any opportunity for personal exploration of change. The prospect that experiences presently "beyond words" w i l l ever be commun-icable may appear to be a f r u i t l e s s and even undesirable contradict ion to pursue, but the work of theoret ical and experimental physics and psychology increasingly deal with metaphysical phenomena. Nothing could be more l o g i -cal i f science i s interested in t ru th , for the truth i s forever becoming, a moving re lat ionship between doing and describing. We are absolutely on the wrong track i f we are thinking that science i s dealing with the metaphysical because i t i s such a master today of physical t ru th . " . . . the scepticism against precise s c i e n t i f i c concepts does not mean that there should be a de f in i te l im i ta t i on for the 105. appl icat ion of rat ional thinking. But the ex i s t ing s c i -e n t i f i c concepts cover always only a very l im i ted part of r e a l i t y , and the other part that has not yet been un-derstood is i n f i n i t e . " (14) This quote of Heisenberg's I take as an ind icat ion that i t i s not paradoxi-cal but s i l l y to perpetually pursue physical truth alone, for there w i l l a l -ways be an i n f i n i t e unknown part. No amount of e f f o r t w i l l make a dent in th i s i n f i n i t y , surely the payoff w i l l be rea l ized in seeking to understand that r e a l i t y which complements the impressive physical world which we already know. S imi la r l y any measure of success in design seems to be stat ing today that systematizing, r a t i ona l i z i n g , or empir ic iz ing any more of the physical design issues is at best a very marginal return. It would be preferable for designers to render the environment incons i s tent ly , for seemingly inconsis-tent statements rea l l y are the most consistent. Our s t r i v i ng for exactness of statement destroys fundamental variance and destroys the indeterminate character of future statements. This has not changed because of Modernism. The planning statements of Modernism were mechanistic i l l u s t r a t i o n s of the def ic ienc ies of the s i tuat ion at that time, and are not able to expose the qua l i t i e s of the future in the implemented plan. Two recent streams in the development of applied thinking have permitted us to escape the hermetic and f igurat ive language character i s t i c of h i s t o r i c a l discussions of the excluded middle: one stream has been epistemological and pragmatical, directed at transcending the categor ica l , the other has been technological and s yn tac t i ca l , directed at transcending elementals. The former movement was surmounted by the succession of Hegel by Marx which de-ployed the d i a l e c t i c a l into social discourse. The importance of th i s d i a -l e c t i c to c r i t i c a l understanding is immeasurable, for without i t recent 106. .social evolution would not have been seen as a process of revolving i n te r -nal tensions, but as a succession of contradictory juxtapos i t ions. The l a t e r movement has grown out of deductive t rad i t ions in science, spurred on by the control implications of adaptive,goal-seeking machinery. This sys-temic deals with the area of greatest ontological concern, namely the oppo-s i t i o n binding the subject of transcendent semiotics, which i s parts-wholes. These two streams, d i a l ec t i c s and systemics, provide the context within which paradox can be discussed, for they provide a communicational viewpoint beyond the boundaries of objective categorizat ion. The par t i cu la r relevance of d i -a l ec t i c s i s that the paradox of the excluded middle occurs not in spite of i t but because of i t . The importance of systemics i s that i t provides know-ledge of a meta-level from which the paradox of the excluded middle can be resolved. This type of paradox i s the resu l t of emphasis on the d i f f e ren t -i a l of the d i a l e c t i c , rather than on the constant f l ux within i t s categor i -cal framework. A d i a l e c t i c is r ea l l y appositional and not oppos i t ional , an understanding which is meta to the d i a l e c t i c , for as Wi1 den says "No communi-cation can be properly defined or examined at the level at which the communi-cation occurs." (15) Conventional systematic log ic is paradoxical because i t s consistency makes i t inconsistent. D ia lec t i ca l thought is paradoxical because i t s incons i s t -ency makes i t consistent. (16) 107. FOOTNOTES 1. Rudolf Arnheim, The Dynamics of Architectural Form, (Berkeley: Univers-i t y of Ca l i fo rn ia Press, 1977), p.163. 2. Ibid. 3. Arthur Koestler, Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), p.78. 4. I.C. Ja rv ie , "Utopian Thinking and the Arch i tect , " in Planning for Di-vers i ty and Choice, Ed. S. Anderson, (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1968), p.11. 5. David Bohm, Foundations of Physics, vo l .3 , no.2, 1973, p.141. 6. Ib id. p.140. 7. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (New York: Ballantyne, 1972), p.72. 8. I b id . , p.23. 9. Le Corbusier, " I f I had to Teach You Arch i tecture, " in The Rat iona l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The Architectural Press, 1978), p.80. 10. Mies van der Rohe, in "Mies van der Rohe," by Peter Carter, in The Ration-al i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The Architectura l Press, 1978), P.71. 11. Le Corbusier, "Twentieth Century L iv ing and Twentieth Century Bu i ld ing, " in The Rat iona l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The Architectural Press, 1978), p.76 (emphasis added). 12. Ove Arup, in,The Architectural Review, no.993, November 1979, p.62. 13. The Kybalion (Chicago: Yogi Publ icat ion Society, The Masonic Temple, 1936), p.149. 14. Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy (New York: Harper, 1958), pp.201-202. 15. Anthony Wilden, System and Structure (London: Tavistock, 1972), p.113. 16. Gunnar Olsson, Birds in Egg (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Geograph-i c a l Publ icat ion No. 15, 1975), p.164. 108. CHAPTER ELEVEN THE PARADOX OF AESTHETIC CONTRADICTION S i s te r Mary Francis S lattery in a book en t i t l ed Hazard, Form and Value (1) develops an analogue to the discussion of contrad ict ion, although she never uses that term. Her thesis i s most interest ing for i t reveals the cont in-ued ineffable role contradict ion plays in the a r t i s t i c realm even i f i t As not tolerated in the s c i e n t i f i c one. It i s not the cognition of a r e l a t i on -ship that we f ind exc i t i ng , even of a novel one, but rather the divergence, the span, the hazard: " Fami l i a r i t y reduces hazard to cognit ion. " (2) Hazard she defines as the difference that spans between two e n t i t i e s , and the haz-ard i s the more " a f f e c t i ve " the greater the gap: vastness, immenseness, great differences in time (very old people, th ings), great odds, large differences in excel lence, authority or status, or the radical combinations of terms in a metaphor a l l excite the imagination. (3) Some negentropic types of s t ruc-ture also excite hazard, such as complex or intense order whose perfection in the face of great odds i s exc i t i ng . There are entropic types of order on the other hand which tend to homogeneity and pose no tension, becoming boring and banal. This can be accounted for inopart by a lack of pattern or d i f f e r -ent ia l s t ructure, wherein one re lat ionship leads to expectancy of another, as awareness grows in in tens i ty . Even in quite deviant and complex structure the juxtaposit ion of elements can achieve an interrelatedness such that con-trasts and contradictions can be made, leading the imagination. Disorder cannot promote the level of awareness required to bui ld up an a f fect i ve haz-ard. Gombrich described th i s hazard as w e l l , in his terms great art occurs when the t r ad i t i ona l pattern or decorum is breached. (4) There i s also order and structure whose pr inc ip le of organization is only con-109. notative - - th i s i s an aesthetic construction. For S lattery aesthetic re-lat ionships provide in themselves the only norms that are relevant " f o r the apprehension of i t s form and the judgement of i t s value." (5) Paradoxical ly, the mind is excited by aesthetic order because of the i n f i n i t e potential for  difference as well as by the potential for other reasons why the r e l a t i on -ships might ex i s t . Aesthetic form gains meaning through the hazardous con-d i t i on of i t s order, which act i ve ly threatens less tense states. This de-sc r ip t i on helps us to understand the profound aesthetic experiences f e l t by mathematicians, who value the tenseness of precise theoret ic constructions. We can also f ind in th i s descr ipt ion of aesthetics an addit ional reason for s tat ing that design deals in paradox. The inherent contradict ion to order of an aesthetic object i s very close to the apparent contradict ion to order of a paradox. The designed object compounds the aesthetic by drawing atten-t ion to i t s e l f , and by putting i t s e l f in opposition to what otherwise would be. Once a designed object at t racts notice i t s purely functional existence i s threatened. That i s , paradoxical ly, once you draw attention to one object in a group, or one element of a whole, i t s functional role i s enhanced. For example, placing or shaping a window on aesthetic considerations i s to give greater emphasis to the fenestration than posit ioning i t as a standard func-t ional unit among many. Or consider the f i r s t attempts by Modernists to s impl i fy domestic bui ld ings, which t r a d i t i o n a l l y possessed wings, porches and out-bui ldings. To design a house as a f l a t - roo fed block was to adhere to certain pr inc ip les of functional ism, but to bu i ld such a house in a t rad-i t i ona l neighbourhood was to ca l l attention to i t as an aesthetic object. 110. History has born out that the ef fect ive s ign i f icance of the house was aes-the t i c and not funct iona l , for we do not consider such a house functional today, nor would Socrates who established few demands "...The most pleas-urable and the most beautiful house i s that in which the owner can f ind pleasant retreat in a l l seasons (of the year) and can also protect his poss-ess ions.. . " (6) Engineers and peasants had been i den t i f i ed in 1909 by Adolf Loos as the greatest of functional formgivers.:(s7) Within a dozen years, despite the ag-ony of t he i r batt le for Modernism, technical form and pr imit ive form were being used as sources for a r t i s t i c handicraft - - functional k i tsch had set i n . Al though ..Loos accepted cred i t for i t in 1930, "I have freed, mankind from superfluous ornament", the crime of ornament i s not banished. In fact according to the above paradox i t i s impossible to banish i t , for ornament i s the resolution to the paradox of aesthetic contradict ion: ornament helps to keep diverse things together, or conversely, helps to keep l i k e things apart. According to S la t tery : "The greater the sum of a l l that is not common to terms that have something in common, and hence the greater the obstacle or hazard to the i r union, the more exc i t ing or e f fect i ve the apprehension of the i r union; or, the more unrelatedness there i s , the more exc i t ing the discovered relatedness i s . " (8) To the i n i t i a t e d i t may not prove that d i f f i c u l t to conceive a resolution to the paradox without recourse to decoration. This i s a tempting prospect, but at the larger scale of socia l meaning the p o s s i b i l i t y breaks down. The func-t ional object w i l l inev i tab ly become a decorative object with time (see The Paradox of Environment). For the sake of resolving th i s proposition of para-dox we do not have to resort to another, however. The example from the fam-111. ous designer George Nelson w i l l i l l u s t r a t e . Nelson claims in his book How  to See that survival tools are the best designs possible. (9) He uses the example of a clean well sculpted face mask fo r a hockey goal ie. I t i s true that the i n i t i a t e d indiv idual may appreciate th i s object undecorated, but at what point would i t become decoration? The universal value of the wine bot t le as pure form fo r Purism i s the same universal value which decorates inumerable window s i l l s . In l i k e manner any further reading of Nelson's book may cause school chi ldren to demand goalie masks to match the i r other surv ival gear, t he i r backpacks and hiking boots. The point i s that th i s phenomenon of functional purpose transmuting into aesthetic appreciation is the greatest boon to good design imaginable, for the rapid dissemination of new and improved design would be almost impossible without i t . While h i s t o r i c a l examples can be made of Modernism as functional ism, func-t ional ism i t s e l f i s a red herring and i t s persistence ideo log ica l l y amazing. Modernism as rational ism fares no better since carrying i t to any sort of conclusion becomes highly i r r a t i o n a l . The assumptions that are required to make such reduct iv i s t doctrines as functionalism or rat ional ism work contra-d i c t t he i r very motivation. Some objects of very l imi ted purpose (and thus l imi ted assumptions) such as survival gear, may at ta in something other than a provisional state. But i t i s not the form which is t imeless, un iversa l , proper, purposeful, or funct iona l , i t i s the purpose of man which i s consis-tent in any object considered to be determinant. David Pye claimed th i s pa-radox in his amazing but unpresumptuous l i t t l e book The Nature of Design: "The purposes of things are the purposes of men . . . " (10) David Pye also pointed out that the term " funct iona l " i s usually applied when 112. the term "economical" i s meant. (11) Function as opinion, s ty le or moral stance refers to the job done. Only in describing the resu l t of the design in action can form be separated from function - - otherwise observation and practice do not separate form from function. I f an object provides no re-su l t in action then i t i s only form without function (otherrthan aesthet ic ) , and becomes an appendage to the environment based so le ly on function - - i . e . i t becomes decoration in the sense discussed above. The Modernists sought an environment that was so economical (of mass, mater ia l , shape, ornament, e f fo r t ) that nothing would be extra] would be decorative of the absolute minimum condit ion. This i s an attempt to contradict the nature of aesthet-i c s , and inev i tab ly f a i l s . Human e f f o r t i t s e l f mitigates the economical. The automobile started out as a functional machine, but every e f f o r t expen-ded on improving i t s function has made i t more of a formal aesthetic. The most u t i l i t a r i a n objects, surfaces, and shapes have great e f f o r t expended on them. Indeed the problem today is to judge when high cost (which includes high aesthetic) items are j u s t i f i a b l e economically to counter the costs of d i s rupt ion, discomfort, wear, and break-down, for du rab i l i t y i s u t i l i t a r i a n . One further comment on the complexity that i s added to economical objects by t ry ing to make them more funct iona l : however economical the shape, there seems to be a required correspondence between the deep structure, for Arnheim the " inner order", and the external form, or "o rder l iness " . (12) Now the internal order of an object would seem to re late to th i s very human purpose which a l -ways provides a form with a function. And because external form is merely a re f l ec t i on of th i s internal order, whatever our desire for structure or order, we can f ind i t where ever we wish. Interest ingly Louis H. Sul l ivan in 113. Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings used " funct ion" to mean something quite mystical about the perfect expression of an internal order, s t r i ved for but never attained. (13) Function has served valuably for the Modernists in that i t was seen as a l im i ta t i on at a l l l e ve l s ; l im i ta t ions are of the essence, for they produce the maximum e f fec t with the minimum of means, or for Jean Labatat "Knowledge of l imi tat ions i s the only way to acquire freedom of or-ganization and expression." (14) To award further eth ica l properties to function i s to create the doctrine of functional ism and to lose the power of the paradox - - there is no freedom without l im i t a t i on --;.by getting bogged down in the purpose of functional ism, as opposed to the purpose of function. But, as we have stated, expending uneconomic e f f o r t on functional designs, does not, paradoxical ly, make them less funct ional i s t . "The more reasons for each architectonic form, the better the composition, those reasons being of tangible and intangible nature." (15) I.A. Richards has commented that the lack of human qua l i t i e s in the products of the engineer i s important to his success - - he can ignore so much, for his mandate i s l im i ted . (16) In summ-ary, the designer must not confuse his purpose - - funct ion, de l im i ta t ion , economy - - with his form, for he w i l l come to believe that his form is his ideology. Accordingly those who would presume to engineer the environment w i l l const r ic t l i f e by a most pernicious confusion of ideologies of economy with aesthetics. 114. FOOTNOTES 1. S i s te r Mary Francis S l a t te ry , Hazard, Form and Value (Detroit: Wayne State Univers ity, 1971), 2. Ib id . , p.21. 3. Ib id . , p.13. 4. E.H. Gombrich, "On Physiognomic Perception", in Meditation on a Hobby Horse (London: Phaidon Press, 1963), p.58. 5. S la t te ry , 1971, p.31. 6. Socrates, quoted in "The Rational and the Funct ional " , Geoffrey Broadbent, in The Rat iona l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, Ed. (London: Architectural Press, 1978), p. 145. 7. Reyner Banham, "Adolf Loos: Ornament and Crime", in The Rat iona l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: Architectura l Press, 1978), p.33. 8.SSlattery, 1971, pp.11,12. 9. George Nelson, How to See (New York: L i t t l e , 1979). 10. David Pye, The Nature of Design (London: Studio V i s ta , 1964), p.12. 11. Ib id . , pp.10-13. 12. Rudolph Arnheim, quoted in "On Rudolph Arnheim's Entropy and A r t " , by Frank McCarthy, Journal of Aesthetics and Art C r i t i c i sm , vol.32, no.2, 1973, p.270. 13. Louis H. Su l l i van , Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn, 194771 14. Jean Labatut, "An Approach to Architectural Composition", Modulus (University of V i r g i n i a , School of Arch i tecture) , vo l .9, p.62. 15. I.A. Richards, "Structure in Communication", in Structures in Art and Science, Gyorgy Kepes (New York: George B r a z i l l e r , 1965), pp.128-136. 115. CHAPTER TWELVE THE PARADOX OF ICONIC MODELS Nominal models are symbolic devices which represent through arb i t rary con-ventions which have been learned. Special learning i s required in order to compose or interpret nominal models because the i r orderl iness i s dependent on a structure that i s meta to the class of models, that provides rules and codes of composition. Human beings are pa r t i cu l a r l y adept at the generation of nominal models through language. Basic knowledge of language is so ub i -quitous i t led Chomsky to suggest that there ex ists a genetic order, a deep structure within the human equipment which enhances language capab i l i t i e s . (1 ) Further abstraction into logico-mathematical languages are more hypothetical and require more learning, but the verbal or ientat ion of such nominal models permits wide generation and consumption by i n i t i a t e d persons. Iconic models are non-verbal and while being pr imar i ly v i s ua l , could be kines-thet ic or haptic. These models re ly on the physical resemblance of form, space, or motion for representation. Our society i s highly oriented to nominal comm-unication, as in the printed word, to a degree that visual l i t e r acy related to iconic modeling i s considered more pr imit ive in some fashion. A concomitant fact is that the consumer of iconic models i s not as l i k e l y to be a producer, while everyone is expected to produce in the language.(2) The or ientat ion of the creator of discurs ive verbal or written models i s very much the same as the l i s tener or the reader. That i s , i t i s not adequate merely to know the formal language system (langue), i t i s necessary to know the indiv idual or pa r t i cu la r use of that language (parole). This i s a level of f l e x i b i l i t y in language, espec ia l ly during diachronic communication. The 116. or ig inator can adapt, modify, and change during the creation of a dialogue to better complement the nature of the reception of his message. A reciprocal synergy i s established in real-t ime dialogues as both parties create the s ingle communications act. By contrast the or ientat ion of the creator of presentational graphic or three-dimensional models is not the same as that of the audience. Our society has by and large attr ibuted the role of iconic model making to s pec i a l i s t s , for the indiv idual does not ass imilate as much as merely accommodate the visual pro-ductions through consumption. Craft and amateur art a c t i v i t i e s , not to men-t ion gardening, generate form and are highly therapeutic a c t i v i t i e s aimed at ameliorating th i s s i tua t ion . Recent technological developments are i n vo l -ving more people in the generation of graphic images. However, such techno-logy as photography may reinforce the mechanical rep l i ca t ion of icons, of standards of consumption, as much as permit the creation of new visual form. Once the ch i l d has created his physical world to a point which para l le l s his expert mastery of oral and written language he jus t might never generate another or ig ina l iconic model in his l i f e . Other than the mundane day-to-day arranging of the physical environment the indiv idual i s divested of the role of iconic model generator in that the aesthetic is separated from the func-t i o n a l . The functional world i s not considered aesthet ica l l y or subject ive-ly as much as i t i s abstract ly and economically. The aesthetic and subject-ive become somewhat suspect, and because of the i r a f f i n i t y with iconic mod-els in pa r t i cu l a r , a special category of " a r t i s t i c " a c t i v i t i e s i s i den t i f i ed which subsumes th i s poorly understood "black box" a c t i v i t y of iconic model making. 117. Even though the perception and d i f f e ren t i a t i on of models in space is much low-er in the evolutionary scale than the development of abstracted f ine-gra in language systems (3) the emergence of icon ic structural i sm (or we could use' the term "language" here as well) has lagged. Pr imit ive cultures which op-erate in a much more who l i s t i c symbolic world do have iconic languages with which each member can create representation.(4) Our contradictory t rea t -ment of the iconic as id iosyncrat ic imagery i s well documented by Arnheim.(5) Paradoxical ly the sophist icat ion of discurs ive nominal models i s equally open  to both generation and reception,however a base-l ine a b i l i t y to consume icon ic  models i s not matched by an equal a b i l i t y to create physical form in the West. Note that both types of models are synthetic by d e f i n i t i o n ; a model is a system in a synthetic mode. Therefore the difference between a nominal mo-del and an iconic model i s not the difference of analysis /synthesis. Con-sequently th is paradox i s not an equation in which analysis contradicts syn-thes i s , but in which practice contradicts capab i l i t y . I f we were to spend twelve years in public school to learn the syntax of iconic form i t i s l i k e l y we would approach a general f a c i l i t y in icon ic modeling at least equal to our a b i l i t i e s in the three r ' s : reading, wr i t ing and ar ithmetic. I t i s very l i k e l y that the syntax of language and of visual form would actua l ly merge, that l i n g u i s t i c and physical symbols would merge, much as the p r im i t i ves ' environment is created so that a s p i r i t can l i v e in every tree. In our comm-unications age the equivalent resultant is suggested when every object is clothed in information rather than in form, when the environment i s f i l l e d with slogans, or when every thing i s merely an economical version of an o r g i -inal which i s never known. The nominal dissolves the i con ic . 118. The e f f i c iency of l i n gu i s t i c s as a communicational model i s envied by design-ers who would wish to structure iconic modeling as a communication event. A communication as an experience i s more highly abstracted than a perception, and i s valued over perception for the currency i t gives semi o t i c exchanges in addition to exchanges of stimulus. The interest of the public in funct ion-al and operational considerations i s a good s tar t ing point for introducing a semiotic of form because the u t i l i t y of structured relat ionships which are c l ea r l y label led is readi ly apparent. To move semiotics further into sub-jec t i ve areas of design where value, emotion, or aesthetic responses may be prompted i s appreciated to be d i f f i c u l t , but not impossible.(6) The systemic sciences are making inroads into the development of syntax that rules the arrangement of parts and wholes in the iconic realm, using the model of comm-unications as the essential paradigm to create the so-cal led languages of form. The id iosyncrat ic perceptual problems of creating physical form have t r a d i t -iona l l y preoccupied designers once functional considerations have been handled. While perception w i l l always be highly i nd i v i dua l , the designer i s interested in packaging perception and in contro l l ing i t . Science i s ass i s t ing by resear-ching the physiological aspects of perception, even of aesthetic perception at one end of the scale, and by structur ing behavioral implications (pragmatics), even at cu ltura l l eve l s , at the other. While the gap remains between science and design, design for i t s part has used the strength of ex i s t ing nominal modeling capab i l i t i e s found in l i n gu i s t i c s to formalize the area in design ca l led programming. Because this area i s discurs ive and ana lyt ica l i t lends i t s e l f to semiotic development, i t i s communicable. That i s , many people 119. can be involved in creating the meaning found there in, when done properly the context i s well structured, and the actual text or form to be concretized i s described to the l im i t s of discurs ive abstract ion. This development has paradoxical ly bifurcated the act of designing rather than enhanced the comm-unication between the design stages. An a p p l i c a b i l i t y gap has appeared be-tween those who would spec ia l i ze in the de f i n i t i on of design issues and those who would spec ia l ize in the concret izat ion of those issues in physical de f in -i t i o n . The proverbial problem which i s ha l f solved when well defined becomes a problem that is so well defined i t w i l l never be solved. Many of the rea-sons for th i s goes beyond our lack of an eas i l y communicated semiotic of phy-s i ca l form, and some of these are discussed throughout th i s paper. 120. FOOTNOTES 1. Noam Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press-, 1965). 2. W.H. Huggins and D.R. Entwisle, Iconic Communication: An Annotated Bibliography (Baltimore: John Hopkins Univers ity Press, 1974). 3. E.J. Gibson, "The Development of Perception as an Adaptive Process", American S c i en t i s t , vol.58, 1970, pp.98-107. 4. Mary Douglas, Pur ity and Danger(New York: Praeger, 1966), pp.140-159. 5. Rudolph Arnheim, Visual Thinking (Berkeley: University of Ca l i f o rn ia Press, 1969). 6. D.E. Berlyne, Structure and Direction in Thinking (New York: John Wiley, 1965), pp.22-25. 121. CHAPTER THIRTEEN THE PARADOX OF PROGRAMMING The secular izat ion process must come to an end once the consumption of mat-e r i a l creation i s complete. Material creation i s : (a) that extant store-house of form indigenous to local h istory; i t i s the variety which the earth provides through i t s a b i l i t y to o f fer d i f fe rent environments, cl imates, topography, e t c . , and (b) i t i s the actual material var iety avai lable in nature or through human intervent ion. The modernists rapidly accelerated the consumption of material creat ion. From the ostensible contr ibution of Afr ican sculpture to the Cubist movement, to the Dadaist re-framing of a common u r i n a l , every e f f o r t was applied to bring within the secular art ex-perience a l l extant material creat ion. This process was an essential com-plement to the contiguous e f fo r t s to promote universals in Modernism, most often through that ubiquitous metaphor of a "machine age". An interest ing compounding of the two streams occurred in Purism, which attempted to promote " t y p i c a l " objects such as wine bottles and v i o l i n s as universals of form, upon which improvement was impossible. From the time that Nineteenth Century photographers f i r s t set out for the four corners of the world to s a t i s f y an insat iab le appetite for novelty at home, to the instantaneous media coverage of selected events today, potential novelty in form without substance has also been shrinking. This process evinced McLuhan's aphorism that the medium became ' the content. Or to put i t another way, the form which we consume in a medium is not form as found in the photograph, i t i s the form of the medium i t s e l f . This eventual ity marks the terminus of the process of the consumption of material creat ion, and i t i s concluded l o g i c a l l y in that a medium, espec-i a l l y a highly technological one, i s a material creat ion, and therefore, must 122. f a l l into the consumption cycle. The subsequent levels of evolution are characterized by demater ia l izat ion. The dematerial ization takes place through the further abstraction of the end in form which becomes a means of exchange. That i s , the ends become means in a Communications Age, an understanding which has been emerging s c i e n t i f i c a l l y since at least the work of Saussure (1916).(1) Although Saussure's "semiologie" dealt •••only ..with the world of intent ional and a r t i -f i c i a l s igns, a more comprehensive formulation of phenomenon as semiotics was established by Peirce in 1931: "By semiosis I mean an act ion, an inf luence, which i s , or involves, a cooperation of three subjects, such as a s ign, i t s object and i t s interpretant, th i s t r i - r e l a t i v e i n f l u -ence not being in any way resolvable into actions between pa i r s . " (2) With the work of Peirce, semiotics became less anthropomorphic, less t i ed to the l i n g u i s t i c analogy, and generally applicable to any system of s i g n i - f i c a t i o n , to the point where a modern theor i s t such as Eco would claim that " . . . semiot ics studies a l l cu l tura l processes as processes of communication."(3) And by "process of communication" he means an information theoret ic one, such that the socia l sciences and the hard sciences have merged in the i r interpre-tat ion of phenomena in a doctrine of communications. In the f i e l d of psychiatry as ear ly as 1951 Ruesch and Bateson claimed: "As of today, we believe that communication i s the only s c i e n t i f i c model which enables us to explain phys ica l , intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cu l tura l aspects of events within one system." (4) The post-war developments in science in general included information theory, cybernetics, systems theory, automation, b io log ica l behavioralism, game theory 123. as well as communications theory. The socia l transformation preceded "the. theoret ical formulation judging from modernist art and from such facts as the coining of the term "mass media" in 1921. (5) By 1975 in an a r t i c l e en-t i t l e d "Information as Environment" i t was reported that a Swedish P a r l i a -mentary Committee on mass media was considering subjects including street theatre, demonstrations, and l i b r a r i e s . (6) When cu l tura l i n s t i t u t i on s which are stationary patterns,such as 1 ibrar ies,are considered media along with ad-hoc and t rad i t i ona l events such as..pol i t ica l demonstrations, happenings, • or p u b l i c - p e r f o r m a n c e , i t i s obvious we have incorporated quite d i f fe rent forms of organization within the s ingle rubr ic of communication. The value of the communication metaphor is that i t permits us to deal with: "perpetual ly transforming patterns which depend on people's w i l l and choice. It i s a t rans i t i on between types of t ran-s i t i on s . This can be ca l led a metatransit ion." (7) Maruyama goes on to i so la te a pa r t i cu la r danger in th i s communications c u l -ture, which must: " . . . prevent the indiv idual from del iver ing himself to pure fantasy. It must encourage the indiv idual to dev-elop new methods for new types of r e a l i t y tes t ing. It must stimulate r ea l i t y -d i r ec ted inventiveness in the i nd i v i dua l . " (8) We can think of no better goal for design, for th i s i s the context in which design must work. But i t i s doubly d i f f i c u l t today to bring about new object-ive consciousness when the indiv idual tends to de l i ver himself up to pure fantasy. The comments of Ruesch and Bateson on perception have never been t ruer: "In as much as i t i s impossible to f i x at any one moment our pos it ion as observers, we are never quite sure of that which we purport to observe."(9) What sureness ex ists comes from the construction of theories, of working hy-124. potheses which compensate for human l im i ta t ions of perception. (10) These are helped by the nature of the brain which i s characterized by "connect-i v i t y " (11), essential in the ordering of the differences perception detects, which i s translated into information according to the level of novelty. in the dif ference. In short the architecture of the mind, a structur ing of i n -formation b i t s , i s analogous to the exter io r world of shape, form, and sub-stance, with the difference that physical r e a l i t y i s always in formation. The inner world i s not always in formation, but requires consciousness. Once we lose consciousness, as in going to sleep, the structure of the inner world i s not apparent. This inner symbolic world i s further ordered by language as a behavioral and storage modifier. Paradoxical ly, the greater the adher- ence to the structure of language, the, greater the freedom gained to manipu- la te concepts. The other paradox here i s one mentioned by Piaget, namely that concepts have a "correct ing r e l a t i v i t y " while perception has a. " d i s t o r t -ing r e l a t i v i t y " . (12) Thus the contemporary interest in language in th i s age of communications, for i t not only helps to structure the way we conceive, but i t controls the awarding of s ign i f icance to perceptions (which i s the concern of semiotics). The interna l i zed structure of the world i s a road map, t r a v e l -led by language, which we often prefer to the real t e r r i t o r y ; While the best known aphorism of General Semantics, voiced by i t s founder Korzybski, i s that "The map i s not the t e r r i t o r y " , (13) i t i s understandable that the inner map i s more f am i l i a r , comfortable and gives the impression of greater r e l i a b i l i t y than the outward t e r r a i n . But further, the paradox of programming i s that the mature . person feels free having submitted himself to severe internal pro- gramming. Man endlessly explores and re-establ ishes the landmarks of th i s inner map, much as an animal enjoys s n i f f i n g , touching, ta s t ing , and watching 125. i t s physical environment. A useful pa ra l l e l can be drawn with the notion of programming as used in de-sign. A very t i ght and comprehensive programme i s not a l i m i t a t i o n , but a degree of freedom during'subsequent synthetic stages. The programme in th i s sense is much more than s t a t i s t i c a l abstract ions, but the complete structural base for decision making in design. What i s required of course, i s fluency in a language that w i l l encode and decode the programme. Just what th i s lang-uage i s going to be is the problem of designing. As discussed elsewhere in th i s paper there i s no such thing as a problem solut ion through design. Up to this point the language used in programming for design has been conform-ing to ascendant paradigms of scientism. To be in vogue has implied that one must formalize one pa r t i cu la r type of explanatory behavior for abstracting the inner symbolic world map, namely some type of empirical pos i t iv i sm. This type of explanatory behavior appears in design through soc ia l science domin-ated e f f o r t s , such as the Environmental Design Research Association (Washing-ton, D .C ) , which holds conferences with t i t l e s l i k e "Bridging the Gap" (Vancouver, Ap r i l 1976). The gap appears once the designer can no longer s n i f f , touch, taste, or see what the programme i s based on. The stable, s t a t i c , and conceptually smug programme must move i_n the d i rect ion .of less, abstraction rather than greater abstraction through continued rat iona l i zed methods. To s imp l i f y , we can picture the programme as one l i nk in a chain of events - -a design methodology. I t ' s an odd sort of chain in that the l inks keep chang-ing. In f a c t , the one pre-ordinate qua l i f i c a t i on for being a l i nk in th i s organic chain i s that stas is must never be permitted to set in — for the 126. chain w i l l f a l l apart. No organic chain is benign and balanced, nor can any of i t s sub-sets become s t a t i c . The myth of the balanced ecological systems i s presumably^ a hold-over from mechanistic thinking. But i t served a very valuable service in enhancing environmental awareness during the l a s t two decades - - perhaps the paradox of worn out paradigms i s that the mind can be "mislead" towards a better d i rec t i on . The information theoretic explanation i s s t ra ight forward: an organic system i s not bounded, i t i s an open system, and therefore a system of negentropy. Ana log ica l ly , each stage in a design methodology cannot be entropic, cannot give up responsiveness. As a member of a dynamic system i t must change with i t s indeterminate sub-ordinates, co-ordinates, and super-ordinates. Add-ing the indiv idual interpreter of th i s information to th i s discussion i s to enter the f i e l d semiot ica l l y , at which point we must note that information i s not a concrete or even subjective occurence in communications theory; i t i s codeable novelty which may give r i se to another type of actual occurence, words, which when put, into discourse adopt expressive functions. At th i s level of interpretat ion we move from denotative sign-functions to what the semiotic theor i s t Hjelmslev ca l led .Connotative Semiotics. (14) Issues of Pragmatics, such as whether or not a person grasps various conno-tat ions , or codeable r e a l i t i e s , are long standing concerns of designers. Now, a word l i k e " r e a l i t y " i s already ambiguous - - does one mean what actua l ly i s , what i s seen to be true, or what one thinks i s fact? Connotative semiotics acknowledges perceptual ambiguity, a pa r t i cu la r sign may mean, may even denote a " f l ower " , but i t also connotes "springtime". Eco even goes so far as to c a l l semiotics "the d i s c i p l i ne studying everything which can be used in order 127. to l i e . I f something cannot be used to t e l l a l i e , conversely i t cannot be used to t e l l the t r u t h : " . (15) Each interpretat ion of each thing seems, acc-ording to th i s "theory of the l i e " , to be s i gn i f i c an t l y subst i tut ing for something e l se. As Korzybski said,"Whatever you say something i s , i t i s n ' t " , and as McLuhan phrased i t , "To label i s to l i b e l . " (16) I t i s easy to see why the issue of design as problem solving i s an inaccurate character izat ion of the task at hand. The best that can occur i s that we a l l agree to disagree, but for d i f fe rent reasons: some people w i l l disagree with the so-ca l led problem d e f i n i t i o n , some with the problem so lut ion. In the past we have t r i ed to replace the so-cal led problem with a quant itat ive model. I t would be c loser to the truth to say that we t r i e d to replace the design process with a quantitat ive system, and a quant itat ive ent i ty i s only a per-spect ive, at best a model, of the issue and by no means a so lut ion. On the contrary, to replace a so-cal led problem with a quant itat ive model i s to turn a so-ca l led problem into an actual problem. This point can be c l a r i f i e d further by viewing the programming process, i n -deed the ent i re design methodology * as heu r i s t i c . The descr ipt ion above, re-l a t i ng the paradoxical process of structur ing a symbolic inner world in order to obtain a degree of conceptual freedom, i s a precise rendering of the working of a heu r i s t i c . T rad i t i ona l l y designers use such heur i s t ics as: modularity, diagrammatics, scenario-framing, symbolism, vocabulary or pattern language, s i tuat iona l uniqueness, h i s t o r i c a l so lut ions, systematics, growth systems, e t c . . These heur i s t ics are e f f ec t i ve l y metaphors of method, they infuse the design process with an abstract v i s ion of a re la t iona l type. Note that systematics, refer r ing to quantitat ive and algorithmic models i s only one of many re la t iona l 128. modes that can be used. The insidious nature of the quant itat ive mode i s that, while appearing to be highly ordered, i t does not have anywhere near the amount of structure required, semiot ica l ly speaking, by a "squishy prob-lem" l i k e design. Note that d i s sa t i s fac t ion with problem-defining practices has prompted a burgeoning l i t e r a t u r e which i s eager to speak on how much bet-ter we are served by adding "squishy" to the shop-worn but seemingly endemic "problem". (17) The rea l i za t i on that quant i f i cat ion could not provide the desired order for organic processes or open systems occurred to planners in the grossest forms: fascinat ion during the 60"s with computer simulation prompted huge inductive quantitat ive modelling attempts, such as J.W. Forresters Detroit study or the B.C. Lower Mainland Computer Simulation Model. In both these examples the incremental s t ructur ing from small data increments up to the h o l i s t i c model collapsed. Computer capacity was not the problem, i t was impossible to programme the computer to determine structure on the basis of quant i t ies . Ordering pr inc ip les are required to establ i sh progressively ab-stracted categories. Mathematicians appreciate that i t i s f a i t h which keeps t he i r tautolog ica l system together, to wit Bertrand Russell sa id: "In former days i t was supposed (and philosophers are s t i l l apt to suppose) that quantity was the fundamental notion of mathematics. But nowadays, quantity i s banished a l tog -ether, except for one l i t t l e corner of Geometry, while order reigns more and more supreme." (18) As noted throughout th i s paper, order (as well as disorder) i s a fundamentally human creat ion. The prominence of systematic heur i s t ics in Modernist methodology i s a resu l t of the ontological point of view: what we know i s a function of what ex i s t s . The emergence since World War Two of communications as our prime metaphor of 129. methodology (as well as our e f fect i ve experience of modern technology) est-ablishes a more epistemological point of view: what we know i s a function of how we know. For the Modernist, the machine metaphor expressed the i n -tu i ted structure of sense and fee l i ng , which they attempted to render in absolutes. For the Post-Modernist the experience of the communications age renders knowledge of structured sense and fee l i ng , which endures process a l te r ing events. Paradoxical ly, th i s i s possible only because c l a s s i ca l scientism was able to "pu l l i t s e l f up by i t s bootstraps" (which i t s e l f i s paradoxical). Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, Heisenberg's Uncertainty P r i n c i p l e , and E ins te in ' s Theory of Re l a t i v i t y contradict the t rad i t i on of absolutism from which they emerged. Not only are facts not absolutes, but as Godel showed, log ic i s not absolute, for i t cannot prove a l l true s tate-ments to be so. E a r l i e r in the century, A l f red North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell attr ibuted the lack of proof for true statements to inadequacies of language, not of l og ic . According to Wittgenstein in his summation of Tractatus: "The r ight method of philosophy would be th i s . To say nothing except what can be sa id , i . e . the propositions of natural science, i . e . something that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no mean-ing to certain signs in his proposit ions. This method would be unsatisfying to the other - - he would not have the fee l ing that we were teaching him philosophy — but i t would be the only s t r i c t l y correct method. My propositions are e luc idat ing in th is way: he who understands me f i n a l l y recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, a f te r he has climbed up on i t . ) He must surmount the proposit ions; then he sees the world r i g h t l y . Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be s i l e n t . " (19) 130. Besides contradict ing his own argument,these words would seem to contradict the v a l i d i t y of any subjective human communication. However, such thinking i s fa r too c l a s s i c a l l y d ia lect ica l^and abso lu t i s t , for i t over-s impl i f ies the nature of human communication which i s both objective and subjective. And the function of language i s to quantify qua l i ty (to ob ject i f y subject-i v i t y ) . On th i s basis we can accept Wittgenstein more ea s i l y ; the ladder of propositions can be discarded once language permits us to de-programme them. It i s the ordering that results in our symbolic inner world which i s t he i r real purpose. Wittgenstein was rea l l y grappling with th i s other pro-blem, that part of the programmed inner world which cannot be communicated through language, that which i s myst ica l , "Whereof one cannot speak". Per-haps Wittgenstein asked us to discard his words because "The major purpose of language i s to create the i l l u s i o n of certa inty in an uncertain universe",(20) for he was most de f i n i t e l y interested in certa inty to suggest that the p h i l -osopher should forego metaphysics and concentrate on natural science in or-der not to mislead his fe l lows. This could not be a very serious proposal because the very purpose of philosophy has h i s t o r i c a l l y been to order th i s inner map of the world. However, i t i s a r e a l i s t i c acknowledgement of the fact that science has gone into the outer world and taken the lead from p h i l -osophy as the prime map-maker. The idea of the inner map i s analogous to schema, "pers i s tent , deep-rooted and well organized c l a s s i f i c a t i on s of ways of perceiving, thinking and be-having", (21) and is a very important tool to Piaget in his descr ipt ion of i n t e l l e c t ua l development. Such mind maps are funct iona l , modif iable, a l i v e , h i e r a r ch i ca l , and diverse, (22) in short, the map changes fas ter than the 131. t e r r i t o r y . The map, schema or programme of the mind is an important concept for the designer, for i t suggests something about cu l t i va t i ng and communica-t ing design programmes. In the example of musical composition used by Parry in The Psychology of  Human Communication a musical theme must "contain s u f f i c i en t material to vary; i t must possess at least one s t r i k i n g feature; and i t must be simple."(23) This suggests that the design programme in the mind must possess unity, focus, and capacity. The point i s that the opportunity ex ists to s p e c i f i c a l l y create th i s internal programme for a pa r t i cu la r design task. If i t i s not created, preconceived schema w i l l be used. This i s the inherent danger in concentra-t ing on exter ior objective models of the design divorced from internal sym-bo l i c constructs. The arch i tectura l programme as a systematic quant itat ive model does not automatically convey, develop, or enfold a schema - - in fact i t r e l i e s on a set of older schema, directed at the model and not the design issue. We see in th i s the danger of systematic heur i s t i c s . The heur i s t i c must be s u f f i c i e n t l y involving of the a f fect i ve mind to influence the devel-opment of an inner schema (a way of viewing rather than a view). The a r ch i -tectural programme i s not schematic without th i s creation for the mind. Di f -ferent people have various established schema, but th i s i s not s u f f i c i e n t , since "Their descriptions of the same data w i l l at times vary to the point of being unrecognizable." (24) For Le Corbusier: "Architecture i s a conception of the mind. It must be conceived in your head, with your eyes shut. Only then can you rea l l y v i sua l i ze your design. Paper is only the means for sett ing down the idea . . . " (25) He i s not suggesting that design i s metaphysical, "Whereof one cannot speak", 132. for i t must be communicated, and he i s not saying that design i s created out of a vo id, accessed and rea l ized by:shutting one's eyes. That design i s de-pendent on a programme was fundamental to Le Corbusier 's rat ional approach. His s e n s i t i v i t y to design was to award the synthesis to the schema, prepared by the conscious searching of objects and events for organizational pr inc ip les which could be adopted by the mind. He also said "Architecture i s organiza-t i o n . " (26) . Le Corbusier embodies the paradox of the programme, which re -quires that the designer be s t r i c t in his de f in i t ions of the issues in order  to gain freedom through the structure of the schema. It i s not typ ica l today that the design student should be taught when to shut his eyes and what to do when they are closed, for developing a.visual language i s the preoccupation. I t was a part of Le Corbusier 's romantic methodology that he claimed "Arch i tecture, an exalted a r t , i s a function of the nob i l i t y of the i nd i v i dua l . " (27) By and large the Modernists were viewing architecture as a communal art form: Mies van der Rohe, much in the manner of Gropius, said "I believe that architecture belongs to the epoch, not to the i nd i v i dua l . " (28) This eventual ity reinforces the importance of the role of the heur i s t i c . The heur i s t i c i s a communications device between the schema and the design, and because i t comprises structure that can be shared i t brings the path into focus for each part ic ipant. For Mies van der Rohe, "s ince a bui ld ing i s a work and not a notion, a method of work, a.way.of doing should be the essence of arch i tectura l education." (29) Whatever method of work i s devised i t cannot ignore the role of the schema in providing the freedom to actua l ly make a de-sign decis ion. The arch i tectura l programme cannot of i t s e l f provide the de-signer with the freedom to make choices. While th i s was appreciated by both 133. the great Modernists quoted above, t he i r own poetic s e n s i b i l i t i e s in working did not infuse the generation they educated: t he i r rat ional process was abused by viewing i t s parts as ends, so that poetic s e n s i b i l i t i e s were appreciated in the product only. To be rat ional does not mean to give up internal freedom, that i s to be mechanical. The machine metaphor relates to the product of de-sign envisaged by the Modernists, not to the i r method of work. 134. FOOTNOTES 1. Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, trans. W. Baskin (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966). 2. C.S. Pe i rce, quoted in Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics- (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), p.15. 3. Eco, 1976, p.9. 4. Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson, Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry (New York: Norton., 1951). 5. John W i l l e t t , Art and P o l i t i c s in the Weimar Period , (Toronto: Random House, 1978), see Appendix. 6. Edward Ploman, "Information as Environment", Journal of Communication, vo l . 25, no. 2, Spring 1975, pp.93-97. 7. Magoroh Maruyama, "Human Futur i s t ies and Urban Planning", AIP Journal , September 1975, p.346. 8. Ibid. 9. Ruesch and Bateson, 1951, p.7. 10. Ib id . , p.25. 11. I b id . , p.56. 12. Jean Piaget, quoted by Harley C. Shands in The War With Words,. (The Hague:. Mouton, 1971), p.66. 13. A l f red Korzybski, Science and Sanity.-, ( Lakev i l l e , Conn: Inst i tute of Gen-eral Semantics, 4th Ed i t i on , 1958). 14. Eco, 1976, p.55. 15. I b id . , p.7.< 16. A l f red Korzybski and Marshal McLuhan, quoted by Terence P. Moran, in "The Limits of My Media", ETC., vo l . 31, no. 1, March 1974, p.31. 17. Ralph E. Strauch, " 'Squishy ' Problems and Quantitative Methods", Pol icy Sciences, vo l . 6, no. 2, 1975, pp.175-184. 18. Bertrand Russe l l , "Mathematics and Metaphysics", in The World of Mathe-matics , J.R. Newman, ed. (New York: Wiley, 1956), p.1576. 135. 19. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico - Philosophicus.', (New York: Humanities Press, 1951). " 20. Charles Weingartner, in Terence P. Moran, "The Limits of My Media", ETC., vo l . 31, no. 1. 21. M.D. Vernon, in John Parry, The Psychology of Human Communication x (New York: E l sev ier , 1968), p.98. 22. Ib id. .23. Parry, 1968, p.101. 24. I b id . , p.103. 25. Le Corbusier, " I f I had to Teach You Arch i tecture " , in Dennis Sharp, ed. The Rationalists., (London: The Architectural Press, 1978), p.83. 26. Ibid. 27. Le Corbusier, "Twentieth Century L iv ing and Twentieth Century Bu i l d i ng " , in Dennis Sharp, ed. , The Rat iona l i s t s , (London: The Architectura l Press, 1978), p.77. 28. Mies van der Rohe, quoted by Peter Carter, "Mies van der Rohe", in Dennis Sharp, ed. , The Rat ional i s ts ^ (London: The Architectura l Press, 1978), p.71. 29. Ib id . , p.62. 136. CHAPTER FOURTEEN THE PARADOX OF THE ENVIRONMENT The importance of the machine meta-form metaphor to the Modernists i s r e l a -t i v e l y easy to explain when couched in the h i s t o r i c a l frame. Mies van der Rohe put his f inger on i t precisely when he sa id: "Architecture i s an h i s t o r i c a l process, i t has l i t t l e or nothing to do with invention of interest ing forms or with personal whims." (1) This i s most true of architecture but has broader impl icat ions. The Romantic Movement was the resu!t of the emergent indus t r ia l environment, and funct-ioned to change the old natural environment into art form. The Modernist Movement was the resu l t of the emergent communications environment, and-func-t i o n e d to change the old machine environment into an art form. As McLuhan explains it,"When an environment i s new, we perceive the old one for the f i r s t t ime." (2) The confusion prevalent today results from our attempts to  f ind the threshold of our l a tes t environment by turning the communications  environment into an art form, for that is the means we use to deal with the  actual operative environment. Consciousness i s a rear-view mirror. We w i l l not come to grips with the emergent meta-communications environment unt i l the antecedent communications environment becomes a mature art movement at a cu l tura l scale. The cu l tura l schemas, ju s t l i k e any i nd i v i dua l ' s mind con-s t ruct s , are the resu l t of past experience, such that the urgency of the task today results from the instantaneity of communications media. The present goal of the a r t i s t i c must necessari ly be the transformation of propoganda and information from content into form. Only then w i l l we be able to perceive where we are now. In his i d en t i f i c a t i on of th is paradox McLuhan claims: 137. " that basic aspect of the human condition by which we are rendered incapable of perceiving the environment i s one to which psychologists have not even referred. " (3) A great deal of confused posturing on the roles of the arts and the media could be dispensed with i f th i s issue was squarely faced. But i t has been obl iquely referred to by the l i kes of Rene Dubos who claimed that man has a great "propensity to symbolize everything that happens to him and then react to the symbols as i f they were the actual environmental s t i m u l i . " (4) The Paradox of the Environment, is tOibe^stated 'as jthe (result of jDubpS' observation, namely that we react ' to the physical world "as content, as a , : mind map, rather than as an actual physical t e r r a i n , as form. The environment i s technological ly circumscribed. Each new t o o l , i n s t i t u t i o n , organization, or s k i l l contributes to the emergent environment, even a n t i c i -pates i t through the optimism inherent in people t ry ing to f i l l a need. Each new environment uses the old environment for content, as in the example of TV using f i l m and movies. Society consumed the f i l m - l i k e content of TV wi th-out not ic ing the e f fect of TV, the actual environment, impinging on sense and s e n s i b i l i t y . Paradoxical ly, for McLuhan ten percent of our attention i s given to the actual environment because of our preoccupation with i t s content, the past. While ninety percent of our socia l problems are the resu l t of the distress caused when coming to grips with the environment. The resolution to th is paradox i s the construction of an anti-environment, whose job i t i s to or ient and t ra in perception and awareness of the emergent environment. Such an anti-environment would not be needed in p r e - s c i e n t i f i c cu l tures, where the whole environment operated as an anti-environment, that i s , as a construct oriented to ass imi lat ion. Our schools are meant to be a n t i -138. environments but are today e s sent ia l l y preoccupied with f o l k l o re . Where they once offered t ra in ing in the emergent environment of p r in t they now o f fe r i t s h istory in an environment of communications media. Mo new i n s t -i t u t i on has been b u i l t as an anti-environment to e lectron ic media, ensuring that society has needless d i f f i c u l t y in adopting i t . Inevitably ar t has taken on a major role in transforming the media from a technology into a perception. Art has t r a d i t i o n a l l y played the most prom-inent role in the western world in increasing the de f i n i t i on and intens i ty of the environment. Ostensibly myth, r e l i g i o n , and r i t u a l made up the a n t i -environment before art was established as we know i t . The art world in aggregate can be seen to have a very h i s t o r i c a l component, i t provides a record not only of h i s t o r i c a l objects but h i s t o r i c a l techniques. This l i v -ing history of ancient s k i l l s such as stone sculpt ing or pot throwing dom-inates our art education, to the detriment of another component, the art att i tude which seeks to transform present technology into current perception. Modern art of th i s l a t e r type is not "taught" in our school system, for i n -s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n i s fundamentally a conservative organism. That i s , i t i s not possible for i n s t i tu t i on s to operate in a culture of rapid change as the anti-environment, as the emergent praxis , because they are too caught up in t he i r own preservation. This s i tuat ion makes i t very d i f f i c u l t for design which i s commissioned by ... the publ ic or by i n s t i tu t i on s to part ic ipate in the creation of the a n t i -environment. The s t a t i c qua l i t i e s of environmental design are inherent to i t s sca le, but add i t i ona l l y , as C. Northcote Parkinson commented: " I t i s now known that a perfection of planned layout is achieved 139. only by i n s t i t u t i on s on the point of collapse During the period of exc i t ing discovery or progress there i s no time to plan the perfect headquarters, the time f o r that comes l a t e r , when a l l the important work has been done. Perfect ion, we know, is f i n a l i t y ; and f i n a l i t y i s death." (5) From.this point of view design can be seen to be more concerned with express-ing the past than the future. This i s not as bad as i t sounds when you con-s ider that the future cannot be defined anyway, for the future cannot be f u l f i l l e d , only i t s expectations can be rea l i zed. There i s , however, also a c y c l i c a l aspect to the future: "the farther backward you can look, the f a r -ther forward you are l i k e l y . t o see," i s the way Winston Churchi l l phrased i t . (6) The era of instant information means the era of instant h istory as well - - perhaps that i s whywe l i v e so much for the future today, we have never seen the past so c l ea r l y . This paradox of the future prompted V ictor Ferkiss to claim that: " A l l of th i s poses the danger that when the future arr ives no one w i l l recognize i t . Or, more ser ious ly , that, although things w i l l happen and time w i l l pass, the future may in fact be prevented from ever coming into being." (7) A future or ientat ion does not necessari ly help bring the anti-environment into sharper focus. I t ' s true that the fu tu r i s t s tend to d ivert attention away from the day-to-day problems, of the old and waining environment, but the danger is that an or ientat ion to what i s to come may resu l t in the cre-ation of the"myth of the over ant ic ipated"rather than any r e a l i t y . That i s , the anti-environment i s very r e a l , only under-appreciated and poorly adjusted to - - we feel more comfortable with the old environment, and a future o r ien -tat ion may simply leap-frog th i s c r i t i c a l adaptive process. E f f e c t i v e l y , we are at the point already where the future has arr ived and we don't rec-ognize i t , we are too busy peering into the distance. The prime example of 140. this i s the plethora of technological tools avai lable to us for which we have so l i t t l e purpose. "Technology i s changing so fast we can ' t invent enough things to do with i t , " acknowledges Art S i n c l a i r of the Matsushita company, "We don't so much need engineers anymore, as dreamers." (8) And the reference, paradoxical ly, i s not to dreamers about the future, but to dreamers about the actual, dreamers about how we can make people-actually , award-significance to newly ex i s t ing phenomena not yet appreciated. The designer as packager of culture i s a user father than an or ig inator -= of technological innovation. The t rad i t i ona l design methods as well as more recent process developments prepare the designer well fo r the role of dream-er of purpose. The abundance of means in our society suggests that new so-c i a l status w i l l be awarded to those who can ident i f y ends. The designer, rather than f inding a form appropriate for any purpose i d e n t i f i e d , may now turn his attention to f inding purposes for any form i d e n t i f i e d . Form today i s simply a marketable commodity, i t does not imply authent ic i ty or s incer-ety in a society that consumes d i f fe rent forms at every repast, but rather i t implies unconscious hypocrisy or even e l i t i s m when adhered to. consisten-t l y . (9) The m u l t i p l i c i t y of th i s age cannot any longer be countered by a simpleness of form, since form i s the resu l t of purpose and the purpose i s often undefined, or p l u r a l i s t i c at best. The act of designing takes on new importance by of fer ing a l ink between form and purpose - - the designer must simply be more conscious of creating purpose rather than form. Interest ingly th i s discussion of-how design might respond to the Paradox of the Environment correlates with the method for Modern Philosophy established by Charles Peirce as ear ly as 1878. Pe i rce ' s Pragmatism i s e f f e c t i ve l y a 141. concern for the precise communication of issues rather than for the struc-ture of great t ru th , and i t has come to form one of the essent ial foundat-ions of modern semiotics as the science for c l a r i f y i n g communications. He says: "Consider what e f fec t s , that might conceivably have pract i ca l bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these effects i s the whole of our con-ception of the objects. " (10) The emphasis on the purpose of form or structure i s precise ly to have in mind the i r e f fec t s . The depletion of form does not proceed before or a f te r , but hand-in-hand with the communications environment, which deals with pur-pose and e f fec t in any form you please. Just as information is only a means to achieve meaning, so form is only one of the means used by the de-signer to gain e f fec t . As ear ly as 1927 Hilberseimer was suggesting, accor-ding to Ta fu r i , that: " . . .The-arch i tect as producer of objects had indeed become an inadequate f igure. I t was now no longer a question of giv ing form to single elements of the c i t y , nor even to simple proto-types. The real unity of the production cycle having been i den t i f i ed in the c i t y , the only suitable role for the a rch i -tect was as organizer of that cyc le . " (11) 142. FOOTNOTES 1. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "Mies van der Rohe," by Peter Carter, in The Rat iona l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: Architectura l Press, 1978), pp.70,71. 2. Marshal McLuhan, "The Relation of Environment to Anti-Environment", in Innovations, Bernard Bergonzi, ed. (London: MacMillan, 1968). 3. Ib id . , pp.132, 133. 4. Rene Dubos, Man Adapting, (Yale University Press, 1969). 5. C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson's Law and Other Studies in Administration (Boston: Houghton-Miffl in, 1957). 6. Winston Chu rch i l l , quoted by Jamie Lamb, in "In Search of F a i t h " , The Sun, "Towards 2001" sect ion, February 9, 1980, p.22. 7. V ic tor C. Ferkiss, Technological Man (New York: Mentor Books, 1970), p. 23. 8. Art S i n c l a i r , quoted by Kaspars Dzeguze, in "TV or Not TV?" Vancouver Calendar Magazine, February 1980, p.35. 9. see Charles Jencks, The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (New York: R i zzo l i Internat ional, 1977). 10. Charles Sanders Peirce, Philosophical Writings, Jv Buchler, ed. (New York: Dover, 1955). 11. Manfredo Ta fu r i , Architecture and Utopia (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1976), p.1-7. 14 3 CHAPTER FIFTEEN THE PARADOX OF TRADITIONAL ART; THE PARADOX OF POST-MODERN ART The fascinat ion of the Modernists with funct ion, or r ea l l y with economy, was fue l led by a be l i e f that t rad i t i ona l form was not appl icable to a new age, the pa r t i cu la r beauty of which was i t s precis ion in use. The Modernists be-l ieved that aesthetic content could be t i ed d i r e c t l y to the u t i l i t y of oper-a t ion , to use. But i t i s fundamental that aesthetic meaning i s d i f fe rent from useful meaning. Acts of use can be very aesthet ic, but the useful i t s e l f i s not an analogue of:the aesthet ic, in fact the patently useful has very of -ten been considered below aesthetic consideration. It has also been t r a d i t -ional for art objects not to reveal the acts, the processes, the stages i n - • volved in the production. Whatever was put to use in the production of art was not indicated in the f i na l a r t i f a c t . As Bensman and L i l i e n f e l d noted: "The word ' a r t ' implies a r t i f i c i a l i t y or ar t fu lness , a l l of which suggests that the a r t i f i c e r i s self-conscious in the use of his too l s , methods and procedures, to construct a world that looks as i f i t were a r t le s s . The artlessness of art consists in the fact that the art product can be exper-ienced without recourse to knowledge of methodology, tech-nique, procedures, on the part of the art consumer. Thus a major ingredient in art i s to be at the same time highly conscious of one's technique while concealing from the aud-ience the fact that technique i s used." (1) The paradoxical "artlessness of a r t " marks a d i s t i n c t i on between the creator  of art and the consumer of a r t . The consumer i s lead to experience the a r t - i f a c t as a natural object by the a r t i s t ' s a b i l i t y to hide his technique - - the more the a r t i s t i s able to hide his technique, the greater the experience of art as a natural object. The less the a r t i s t i s able to hide his technique the more academic, uninspired, and ind i rect the a r t i f a c t . The more the a r t i s t 144. i s w i l l i n g to exh ib i t his self-conscious indulgence the more baroque, man-, ne r i s t , or romantic i s the resu l t . The consumer i s obl iv ious to the a r t i s t ' s consummately technical approach because of a d i r ec t , sensate, natural per-ception of the a r t i f i c i a l . The structure of th i s paradox of art would seem to apply today to a middle-of-the-road notion of a r t . The i n i t i a t e d contemporary art consumer is so immersed in a c r i t i c a l att i tude that the natural appreciation of art i s con-sidered somewhat naive. The creation of art i s today inseparable from the c r i t i c i s m of a r t , the dominant experience of art i s academic and not natura l . (2) The role of art c r i t i c i s m con f l i c t s with the role of t r ad i t i ona l art creation in that c r i t i c i s m seeks to oppose the methods, t echn iquesand e f f -ects which the a r t i s t was intent on concealing. The spontaneity and immed-iacy which can be paradoxically b u i l t up through expert technique i s broken down by the analyt ic and s c i e n t i f i c approach. Abstraction became a godsend to Modern a r t i s t s since i t permitted them to be part of the s c i e n t i f i c age; unfortunately for many consumers they were l e f t to experience the art market, the abstract r i t u a l of money. That the only thing a r t i s t and consumer have had in common i s an abstract experience i s t rue, but i t must be seen that for the a r t i s t i t was in the creation of art and for the consumer in the creation of an a r t i s t , or more crass ly , in the creation of monetary value. Much Post-Modern art i s concerned with the boundaries of art as a d i a c r i t i c a l discourse. Action paint ing, Happenings, I n s ta l l a t i ons , Environmental Pieces, and so on are attempts to force the par t i c ipat ion of consumers to a degree which breaks down the old re lat ionsh ips. S i gn i f i can t l y a completely natural experience has not yet been recovered by the avant-garde, they have simply 145. become the i r own best c r i t i c s . But there are a few instances today where an audience seems interested in a spontaneous and d i rect involvement in the a r t i f a c t as natural object, where d i s be l i e f i s suspended to permit the a r t i -f i c e and s k i l l f u l ne s s of an a r t i f i c i a l model to take hold of imagination, where the c r i t i c would not think of dissect ing the image - - an example being a black velvet painting of a nubile nude, the. viewing 1of^which,.is"-a rlargely J symboHc/expertence.as .opposed to an exercise in semiotic analys is. Art forms which manifest the naturalness, the sense of play, of fantasy, of suspended d i sbe l i e f which once characterized painting and sculpture are now in the realm of media. Movie makers hide the i r techniques from the viewer in order to enhance the naturalness of the af fect - - the ultimate a r t i f i c e being to take chances in "special e f fec t s " which give the i l l u s i o n of a l ien encounters of various kinds. The most sophist icated techniques of today do not provide the naturalness, the equivalence of an alternate r e a l i t y , such as occurred from the i n i t i a l introduction of cinema technology. For example, one.. ..architectural educator.; has related the story of one of his f i r s t jobs in an a r ch i t ec t ' s o f f i ce during the era of s i l e n t movies, an example which speaks to the immediacy or naturalness extended to the early moving p ictures. (3) The design task was a s l i gh t renovation to an orchestra pit.which housed the l i v e instrumental i sts , and down to which the f l oo r of the theatre sloped. Apparently a curb was required to provide a gutter for urine, since the patrons were unwil l ing to leave the action on the screen in order to re l ieve themselves. The designer accesses the a r t i f i c i a l on more than the a r t i s t i c l e v e l , since he i s also concerned with functional and structural models. A l l models are contrivance in that they are approximations, but they are not necessari ly de-146. ceptive or f i c t i o n a l . We might reserve the term " a r t i f i c i a l model" for a simulation which i s not genuine i t s e l f , that i s , for something that models a deception rather than something s t ra ight forward. In th i s terminology a r t i s t i c acts are often the production of a r t i f i c i a l models, the experience of which can be very natura l , since the technique of contrivance i s hidden from the viewer, even though i t makes up the bulk of the generative act. Compare this to the s c i e n t i f i c method which ostensibly has no contrived mes-sage in i t , i s ingenuous, and i s directed at presenting a record of the generative act rather than a record that i s an e f fect of the generative act. A model i s a formulation which may be arr ived at r e f i e x i v e l y , induct ive ly , or c reat ive ly . The e f fect of the model may be natura l , s c i e n t i f i c , or a r t -i s t i c , by which we mean predominantly a r t i f i c i a l , academic, or c r i t i c a l . Natural models are to be experienced immediately, s c i e n t i f i c models experien-ced a n a l y t i c a l l y , and a r t i s t i c models experienced transcendentally. The natural model i s no longer the prime type of a r t i s t i c model as in pre-Modern a r t , "but - an a r t i s t i c model is that formulation of the contemporary avant-garde whose purpose i s to question i t s e l f , and not to provide sensate exper-ience. Often however sensation i s the primary means or objective of the con-temporary a r t i f a c t in i t s overal l goal of denying i t s own c r i t i c a l purpose. Architectural models represent a most complex simulation in the i r need to be inc lus ive of natural and s c i e n t i f i c modeling. Large buildings are phys ica l l y , operat ional ly, and econometrically modelled in a s c i e n t i f i c manner, and the b u i l t form may be f u l l y expressive of i t s science, symbolical ly and d i r e c t l y . A bui ld ing may be predominantly expressive of i t s natural modeling - - a typ-i c a l suburban bungalow i s an example of t h i s , for i t i s pragmatic, unselfcon-147. scious, contr ived, and people gain a d i rect response as to i t s c u l t u r a l , u t i l -i t a r i a n , and i n t e l l e c tua l pos i t ion. Buildings which adhere to the a r t i s t i c modeling process are often ca l led experimental for the i r a f f i n i t y to the s e l f -c r i t i c a l art a t t i tude , and for the i r questioning of status quo def in i t ions of architecture. On the whole the b u i l t environment i s natura l ly but poorly modeled form where the a r t i f i c i a l i t y shows through - - the publ ic i s not that c r i t i c a l in i t s matter-of-fact acceptance of K i t sch, poor taste, and cosmetic decorating. Big business distinguishes i t s e l f by displaying a l i t t l e more s c i e n t i f i c v i r t uo s i t y , while publ ic structures make symbolic gestures in any d i rect ion consonant with p o l i t i c a l undercurrents at the time - - a "natura l " thing to do. The value of the above terminology of models i s to d ist inguish a way of work-ing, an essential heur i s t i c in various soc ia l streams which are independent of i n t e l l e c tua l approaches. Natural, s c i e n t i f i c , and a r t i s t i c modeling can be ca lcu lat ing and ana lyt ica l or synthetic and creat ive. In science i t i s t rad-i t i o na l to al ign inductive modes' with analysis and deductive modes with syn-thes i s . Their d ist inguish ing feature i s therefore a t t i t ud ina l rather than i n t e l l e c t u a l . And i t i s the tolerance of a l l these att itudes at once which prompts us to c a l l Post-Modernism ec l e c t i c and p l u r a l i s t i c . But there do seem to be pervasive att itudes cutt ing across a l l modeling methods at the level of paradigm, and one of these i s s e l f - c r i t i c i s m . This general ident i ty cr i ses appears to a f fect contemporary thought because the old categorical techniques - - p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s , manifestoes, service clubs, -isms in the arts and sciences, family t r ad i t i on s , or job descriptions do not have the same permanence in a communications age. 148. The paradox of t rad i t i ona l art does not play the role i t did because art has adopted the new s e l f - c r i t i c a l a t t i tude. Art has always aligned i t s e l f with the progression of i n t e l l e c t ua l development, and s t i l l does by adopting thiis general c r i t i c a l att i tude which means that at th i s time i t does not want to be a part of the entertainment industry. And the paradox of t rad-i t i ona l art i s now found in any f i e l d of art-as-entertainment. The "A r t " avant garde e f f e c t i ve l y dist inguish themselves from entertainment and deco-rat ive arts by the i r s e l f - c r i t i c a l att i tude which views the paradox of t rad-i t i o na l art as somewhat dishonest - - a r t i f i c e i s reaffirmed as a pejorative term, a drip painting must unselfconsciously look l i k e drippedopaint. On the other hand when a te lev i s ion network runs a p i l o t TV show up the f l ag pole to test the a i r waves i t i s looking for people to forget themselves, not for people to reappraise t e l e v i s i on . Paradoxically Post-Modern avant garde ar t is directed at s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , at  challenging the immediately preceeding accepted order. E lectronic technology has bred an emphasis on the act rather than on the a r t i f a c t . C r i t i c a l part-i c ipa t ion in the act of creation has resulted in the act of creating something being far more important than the resultant product. (4) By c r i t i c i s i n g pre-cedent immediately the avant garde a r t i s t i s f a l l i n g into a double bind. He i s i l l u s t r a t i n g the log ica l conclusion of conceptual art in a communications age — the d isso lut ion of art into the media, for art i s not then even the residue of a concept, but merely the act of conception. Examples of th i s phenomenon are becoming f a i r l y prevalent: the story about making a movie makes a good book, makes a good movie, e t c . ; the newsreaders and reporters become media personal i t ies larger than the story they ' re on; or the a r t i s t himself, 149. despite t ry ing to be oriented to creating experience for others, becomes the thing co l l ec ted , being the only reasonable object around. Since concepts precede percepts creation has always been deductive in art and science. The a r t i s t showed us how to view nature, he did not capture nature. The s c i en t i s t imagined a solveable problem, he did not solve the unknown. Therefore, c r ea t i v i t y by nature has an a f f i n i t y with communicative acts beyond i t s t ie s with a r t i f a c t s . Continued technological developments w i l l ostensibly compound further the view of a l l a r t i f a c t as an i n f e r i o r version of conceptual e n t i t i e s . The communications age becomes increasingly cerebral in apparent f u l f i l l m e n t of the etymological congruence of a r t i f i c e and a r t i f a c t (both are from the Latin a r te , by a r t , and facere, to do). (5) A l l object oriented art has already been demoted to decoration or enter ta in -ment, (6) suggesting that contemporary imagery is pr imar i ly c r i t i ca l/concep-tual rather than a r t i s t i c/perceptua l . The designer must heed the implied changes for semiotics of the s h i f t in a t t -itudes towards the c r i t i ca l/conceptua l , for he comes from c ra f t t rad i t ions which are a r t i s t i c/perceptua l . Semiotics i s important to the designer for he i s interested in communicability, while the a r t i s t may not be. When the a r t i s t a s k s — society w i l l often ask the designer to answer. The answers today w i l l obviously have to be in the media as well as in the physical environment. I t ' s not that we have transcended the physical e n t i r e l y , but that the physical no longer dominates r e a l i t y . Real ity ex ists in the mind. (7) I t i s the semio-t i c which negotiates between r e a l i t y and the physical world, as well as bet-ween r e a l i t y and the imaginary. The designer must be conservator of the heritage of the natural environment and 150. i t s sensory richness, challenged by the abstracted structures of the mind. In an environment dominated by communications media, semiotics, the world of signs finds i t r e l a t i v e l y easy to dominate the phys ical . We have to pass s t r i c t by-laws to l i m i t the signage which would otherwise engulf our c i t i e s . We are expected to be informed of global events, and yet everything we learn about them i s d i s torted through the mediation process. Man's semi o t i c cap-ac i ty propels him far and fa s t , but i t does not as s i s t the task of the phys-i c a l designer who requires users responsive to the physical consequences of the i r communicating. The designer i s s t i l l dealing with f i r s t hand s i g n i f -icat ion despite the l i v i n g of the publ ic in a mediated world much of the time. There is a point at which the designer cannot adopt the contemporary c r i t i c a l a t t i tude , the self-deprecating stance of the a r t i s t . According to Panofsky: "To perceive the re lat ion of s i g n i f i c a t i on i s to separate the idea of the concept expressed from the means of ex-pression. And to perceive the re la t ion of construction is to separate the idea of the function to be f u l f i l l e d from the means of f u l f i l l i n g i t . " "Man's signs and structures are records because, or rather in so fa r as, they express ideas separated from, yet rea l i zed by, the process of s i gna l l i ng and bu i ld ing . " (8) 151. FOOTNOTES 1. Joseph Bensman and Robert L i l i e n f e l d , Craft and Consciousness•» (New York: John Wiley, 1973), p.19. 2. Ib id . , pp.18-21. 3. Henry E lder, personal communication, Vancouver, 1973. 4. Bensman and L i l i e n f e l d , 1973, p.24. 5. The L iv ing Webster Encyclopedic D ict ionary- (Ch icago: The English-Language Inst i tute of America, 1971), p.57. 6. Joseph Kosuth, "Art After Philosophy", Studio Internat ional , October 1969. 7. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind^ (New York: Bal lant ine Books, 1972), pp.244-270. 8. Erwin Panofsky, quoted in Ritual and Response in Architecture, Malcolm Quant r i l l - (London: Lund Humphries, 1974) ,frontespiece. 152. CHAPTER SIXTEEN THE PARADOX OF MODELLING THE FUTURE It would be a normal semiotic procedure to refer to anphysical model as an icon ic sign of some end construction. However a physical model of the type an arch i tect would use i s not precisely an icon i f the bui ld ing does not yet ex i s t . That i s an icon cannot be f u l l y an isomorphic symbol for something that i s not yet formed. The model i s severely l imi ted in the number of as-pects that can be congruent with the ultimate construction. Further, the model i t s e l f i s purpose b u i l t . Working models are often only prototypes of models, or are certain ways of modeling, the resultant. The isomorphism in such a case can be so abstract that the value of c a l l i n g the model an icon ic sign i s l o s t , and i t i s better simply to consider i t a composition of e l e -ments which symbolize parts or functions found in the resu l tant, a model of a model. A sign i s only a sign by v i r tue of the fact that i t connects two d i s s im i l a r en t i t i e s - - and unless the sign i s an iconic sign the types of en t i t i e s are themselves d i f fe rent . Models are c loser and c loser approxima-tions of an ultimate en t i t y , but are they r ea l l y signs of the bui lding or are they signs of concepts already worked out, are they models of the future > or models of the past? The concept of modeling can be used in an expanded manner to encompass the idea of both a sign of past action and a plan for the future.(1) A model must then mean more than a physical s i m i l a r i t y , a hypothetical construct, an actual prototype, or a plan for act ion, for i t would incorporate the value, s i gn i f i cance, and purpose of some end in view. The model would be te lo s , a means to that end, and chosen with something else in mind. Rather than be-ing merely a technique, an instrument that ass i sts our imaginative and i n -153. t e l l e c tua l capac i t ies , a model can be viewed to be a mode of doing that establishes d i rect ion and therefore future. Now since action i s only in the present, the model works on the future by being a continuous c a l l to act ion, . e l i c i t i n g : a w i l l to ex i s t which d i rects the leading edge of time in a cat-egorical imperative a l a Kant. We are dealing with the notion of " th inking makes i t so", only in th i s case the model as means presents innumerable pos-s i b i l i t i e s to s i gn i fy the "making i t so", to phys ica l ly indenture the ideas, to "hard programme" a way of thinking so as to af fect one of the most power-fu l chains to l i nk us to the future. Such a model produces tremendous pressure for conformity in the emergent pre-sent. The model i s highly valued because i t represents the resolut ion of choice, or i f you l i k e , i t i s de facto aligned with progress because var iety i s reduced. Out of a l l the possible d i rect ions to be taken any action w i l l appear to be a decis ion. The model i s normative when the d i rect ion taken ac-t i v e l y opposes some ex i s t ing pattern. This i s d i f f i c u l t to avoid, since any physical action i s mater ia l ly res i sted by the environment. The designer v a l -ues a model pos i t i ve l y because i t does not duplicate what e x i s t s , but rather embodies selections that are preferred to what ex i s t s . In th i s l i g h t the designer produces a model as created future, to be d i s t i n -guished from various semantic notions often loosely used, such as "futures models", "futures modeling", or simply "models of the future " . The notion of "model as created future" escapes a paradox found in the other approaches to the model. A model as created future i s a present s i tuat ion as latent with f u t u r a b i l i t y as possible. It i s not merely a projection in the present of past performance, nor i s i t a present tense fabr icat ion of something we 154. could t ry to put into e f fect some time in the future. Rather i t i s so preg-nant with our be l i e f about what ought to be that i t i s in the mode of the  future to a maximum degree - - otherwise i t i s paradoxical to presume the f u -ture can be s i g n i f i ed . To think that the future can be created, or that the future i s knowable in the present i s not paradoxical, but contradictory.' (at least within the bounds of normal sensory perception). We might better say that the teleology of the model i s a future bu i ld ing, while the model i t s e l f as one event in a series i s more than an entelechy, more than merely a periodic rea l i za t i on or a c tua l i t y , but indeed a po ten t i a l -i t y . I t must be that the act of designing over time provides the technology and makes the model more than an entelechy. New modeling a c t i v i t y i s also describable semiot i ca l l y , and i t s s ign i f icance must be the future, while the physical model, plan, map, drawing or formula i t s e l f s i gn i f i e s the modeling that took place. The meaning of the model i t s e l f i s that a process of var-iety reduction has occurred; the meaning of the modeling process i s that a unique solut ion w i l l re su l t . You w i l l notice the profound importance of th i s d i s t i nc t i on to design - - a model constitutes a conjecture while modeling con-s t i tu tes a test . Progressing through successive evaluations the s c i en t i s t t r i e s to be more precise as Popper claims in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of S c i e n t i f i c Knowledge.(2) Design and science would seem to un-dertake the same basic cognitive a c t i v i t y when i t comes to var iety reduction. H i l l i e r and Leaman have stretched the analogue further by claiming that the two stage process of language conforms to the two stage process of conjecture and test common to both science and design.(3) That i s , the langue, the gen-eral so lut ion, the structural system of semantic units ava i l ab le , is the f i r s t 155. step in verba l i zat ion. The parole, the spec i f i c so lu t ion , the actual speech act, i s a second step and constitutes a test of the sayab i l i t y of the f i r s t abstract structur ing of the speech problem. The f i r s t modeling of speech goes from a statement of the problem to a general so lut ion; the secondary ir model goes from the general solut ion to a pa r t i cu la r so lut ion. However th i s analogue contradicts the mapping of the modeling process outl ined above, where i t was claimed that the pa r t i cu la r model was the f inding which was te -sted by the modeling process. For H i l l i e r and Leaman i t would have to be the other way around, the pa r t i cu la r model would be a test of the more general modeling process. These two versions are alternate strategies in the same basic t r i a l and error process, as admitted by H i l l i e r and Leaman, (4) how-ever i t i s important which strategy dominates. In general i t makes l i t t l e difference whether the general theory i s tested by the spec i f i c instance, or the spec i f i c instance i s tested by the general theory. In both cases the tota l abstract infrastructure of the dua l i ty comes into play for proper evaluation. Since the two parts are members of the same system one part cannot be greater than the whole. As long as a theory and a spec i f i c instance are within the same system, one cannot make a meta-statement about the other, each one i s an entelechy which defines the other. For H i l l i e r and Leaman the above descr ipt ion was adequate to explain design " i n local t ime". Over longer time spans they noticed that change occurred des-p ite the choices made during t r i a l and error sequences, but they did not have a suggestion for how to re late " l o c a l " and "evolutionary" periods of de-sign. (5) I believe the notion of modeling outl ined above, where modeling i s t e l e o l o g i c a l , surmounts the l imi tat ions in H i l l i e r and Leamans "Sketch for a 156. Theory".(6) Modeling i s appl icable to a l l sizes of systems, thereby resolv-ing the contradictions inherent in thinking of design-as only aslarge and a small temporal system - - presumably the gradation of time periods relevant to design could be more f i ne l y graded than that, i f i t were required. We have noted that modeling prefers to approach t r i a l and error as the s t r a t -egy of "modeling test ing models" (analogous to theory test ing f ind ing , and not f inding test ing theory). It i s necessary that the act of modeling test the model because the act (modeling) i s meta to the sign of action (the model). The model i s the residue, and i t i s not possible to reconstruct the theory of modeling as a te leo log ica l process from i t s residue, therefore i t won't do for the designer to test his method with his product. That i s , the design methodology cannot be evaluated on the basis of i t s re su l t s , rather the res-u l t s must be evaluated on the basis of the methodology. This pos it ion con-t rad ic t s a good deal of common design pract ice, and i t distinguishes science from socia l organization f i e l d s l i k e design.(unfortunately, i t does not d i s -t inguish science from soc ia l science). The s c i e n t i f i c method according to Popper i s based on negation of the abstrac-ted theory.(7) Thus the deriving of the abstract theory i s not the essence of p o s i t i v i s t science, for i t i s deductive; the refutat ion of the conjecture i s the essence, and i t i s inductive. The emphasis in science has been c lea r -l y on the use of a f inding to negate the (temporary) theory. In t he i r paper "How is Design Possible? A Sketch for a Theory" (8), H i l l i e r and Leaman are reg ret fu l l y much more s c i e n t i f i c than they think when they state " D i f f i c u l t and scarcely s c i e n t i f i c as the theory may be at th is stage," (9) for they personify the s c i e n t i f i c strategy which requires that the f inding negate the 157. theory. They are consistent in thinking s c i e n t i f i c a l l y while pursuing a s c i e n t i f i c goal: "the task now is to f ind a s c i e n t i f i c framework in which such a formulation would become 'nearly obvious ' . " (10) And what is the formulation they wish to:.make obvious? Namely to "(argue) that the design-e r ' s 'prestructures ' were not at a l l an undesirable epiphenomenon, but the very basis of design." (11) Paradoxical ly, the new emphasis on the prestru-ctures requires that the s c i e n t i f i c bias be dropped, yet the desire to be s c i e n t i f i c maintains the s c i e n t i f i c hubris in these authors' work - - the f i na l irony is rea l ized when we note that H i l l i e r and Leaman come from the "RIBA Intel l igence Un i t " , the research group of B r i t i s h arch i tects . This epiphenomenon, the prestructure of the designer, i s analagous to the infrastructure supporting any modeling process, even though H i l l i e r and Lea-man do not again take up the notion that the prestructure of the designer as expressed in his methodology is meta to the pa r t i cu la r model. I a t t r ibute this oversight to the i r eagerness to be s c i e n t i f i c , resu l t ing in "A Sketch for a Theory" which, in conclusion, "...suggests strongly that i f design method i s to be improved, then i t i s more important to study the environment i t s e l f than how designers design," Such a conclusion i s a damning indictment of tenacious pos it iv ism twist ing the a l l too serious predicament result ing, from rat ional materialism. It would be s l i g h t l y less serious i f the conclus-ion to one of the most widely quoted papers of the l a s t decade were ascr ib -able to an extreme concern for the state of the environment rather than to an e f f o r t by architects to appear s c i e n t i f i c . . Contrary to H i l l i e r and Leaman's theory, the environment w i l l not improve de-158. sign methods, which w i l l then improve the environment. The patterns, co lors , sca le, or materials of the environment w i l l do nothing to ameliorate the condition of man beyond the most marginal measure. New theories on how to use the environment as a design product w i l l not benefit mankind, although the odd entrepreneur might improve his condit ion. Alexander Tzonis strong-ly refutes the claim that design as such e i ther creates or overcomes oppress-ion: "Improvements in methodology can therefore be measured only by reference to i t s contr ibution to the el iminat ion of oppression of man by man. The desire ' t o improve the env i r -onment' as such i s a ' h i s t o r i c a l concept ', i t i s an idea which developed only recently and should not be taken for granted." (12) The basic mistake i s to extend causal inference to pract ica l discourse, to confuse pract ica l reasoning with practices of theoret ica l reasoning, to claim that precepts could precede concepts, to deny human action as a te leo log ica l a c t i v i t y and to give i t a mechanistic rendering. According to Marx, "What distinguishes the worst arch i tect from the best of bees i s t h i s , that he raises his structure in imagination before he erects i t in r e a l i t y . At the end of every labour process, we get a resu l t that already existed in the imag-inat ion of the labourer at i t s commencement." (13) Whenever we speak of a human creation we speak not only about physical acts but about mental a c t i v i t y . The teleology in modeling appears because things may subsist in the designer 's mind, even though they do not ex i s t in t he i r body ( in the model). The model i s an approximation of an ideal object in the mind, not of a future construc-t ion whose status as object is non-existent. The model l i ves in the mind and relates to the objective world through act ion. The methodology of the design-er i s the only means by which the creation can be related to the environment, 159. and the environment does not act on the designer in turn - - only the design-e r ' s own semi o t i c can do that. I f an understanding of modeling, or i f you prefer, designing, i s more r e l -evant to our problems today then any further pursuit of the design as know-ledge, one may be prompted to ask what role the history of design can cont in-ue to have. It i s c lear that history i t s e l f must not be suspect, even where i t i s a creation of the present. But a history which c r i t i c i z e s or assigns meaning to indiv idual a r t i f a c t s long a f ter the design event i s a very l im i ted academic pursuit even i f i t i s enterta in ing. History must s t r i ve to unwind the threads which l i nk the a r t i f a c t s , must s t r i ve to define the conditions of meaning. One of the great services that histor ians could perform would be to so rad i ca l i ze the notion of form that i t i s no longer thought of as a generator of form. Such a pursuit has been taken up in other f i e l d s . Grey claims that s ty le can neither be defined nor studied, (14) and E l l i s maintains " . . . the concept of style...has no usefulness in the study of lang-uage and l i t e r a t u r e . " (15) Whatever the usefulness of s t y l e , i t i s a concept deserving of an overhaul. Style i s an index of forms and re lat ions among them, but s ty le i s not an en-telechy, for i t also deals with re lat ions that might have been. Therefore s ty le i s not jus t about choice, i t i s not that f ree, i t i s heavily influenced by context, even to the degree that as contexts change, so does s t y le . This statement was not so obvious jus t a few years ago when the Modernists could s t i l l claim that s ty le had been delimited i f not abolished, which i s to say that time was not a contextual izer - - the Modern was timeless. Addi t iona l ly the formal and functional elements of the Modern were deemed appropriate for 160. appl icat ion to a l l c l ima t i c , c u l t u r a l , and socia l appl ications - - universal non-contextual ism. The la s t couple of decades have attempted to redress th i s pur i tan ica l union of a very s imp l i f i ed arch i tectura l language with contemporaneousness through qua s i - s c i en t i f i c s i tuat iona l va r ia t ion . Since I960 we could i l l u s t r a t e the d i ver s i t y of form sponsored by d i f fe rent con-text s , among many labels are: megalopolitan, consumer modern, neo-fasc i s t , adhocist, biomorphic, pop, service state anonymous, or what-have-you. In an a l l too typ ica l example of how semiotic considerations in design are pre-ceded , by developments in l i n g u i s t i c s , we might consider the term " co l l o ca -t i o n " . Col location i s the concept that the meaning of words derives from the i r contexts, and is one of F r i t h ' s ideas, who dominated the London School of L ingu i s t ics during the years 1930 to 1960.(16) The term "contextualism" i s used in the "New C r i t i c i sm " movement to refer to the tendency to imbed form in i t s pa r t i cu la r s i tuat ion and not in larger contexts.(17) L ingu i s t i c and l i t e r a r y theo r i s t s ' concern for context ci's^more f u l l y aware of the mul-t i - l e v e l implications of the dictates of s ty le versus the dictates of con-text than are design theor i s t s . This might be the resu l t of the r e l a t i v e l y iner t response of the environmental scale to small cu l tura l s h i f t s . However arch i tectura l design i t s e l f can occur in rather f i c k l e cycles. Neo-Greek : -sty les have per iod ica l l y recurred since the early Renaissance and have been appl ied-rather un iversa l ly , as i f they were "good for .you" , regardless of con-texts of sca le, c l imate, funct ion, or material - - the imperialism of c l a s s i -cism predated the imperialism of the International S ty le . The "emigration of styles must i t s e l f symbolize epistemic forces, a missionary zea l . I t was ex-pected that in an epistemological manner the user of c l a s s i ca l buildings would become more l i k e the ancient Greeks, a basic ideal for white;.men. The expor-161. tat ion of the International s ty le was manifestly designed to cause an unre-l i a b l e world to conform to e s sent ia l l y the Greek tenets', of j u s t i c e , t ru th , and beauty. But above a l l these two sty les symbolized that context which surmounted a l l temporal, reg ional , s oc i a l , . o r functional contexts, namely rat ional i sm. Purveyors of these sty les came to view any other posit ion as i r r a t i ona l and for that reason pr imit ive (the Greek Period i s precisely that era which we feel for the f i r s t time shed a mantle of pr imit iv i sm through i t s rat ional i sm). The sensory dimensions in cu l tura l expression have always been suspect to rat ional ism because of the i r primitiveness. We can only con-clude that Post-Modernism is pr imit ive in i t s e ro t i c use.'' of whimsically de-r i va t i ve elements. But i t i s better to conclude that i r r a t i ona l i sm has_ re-turned to our permissable cognitive behavior, no matter what the resultant form i s . I t i s a l l too typ ica l of the design professions to a t t r ibute the i r ra t i ona l i sm to the form instead of to the designer - - th i s provides us with a b i t of distance from our re su l t s , for we f ind i t much more acceptable to be accused of periodic i r r a t i ona l behavior than to actual ly be found to be i r r -at ional people. Although the slower, more complacent realm of design w i l l never at ta in the same level of conceptual ism divorced from action avai lable to the arts in a communications media age, the inherent pr imit iv ism of the media w i l l a f fect design just as i t i s a f fect ing a l l aspects of society. I t i s more accurate to say that i t w i l l a f fect designing, because i t i s methodology which w i l l be i r r a t i o n a l , for that i s the f i e l d of behavior for the designer. Design as the physical a r t i f a c t w i l l not be rat ional or i r r a t i o n a l , for the terms do not apply to the behavior of materials. The behavior of persons i s as 162. avai lable semiot ica l ly as i s the behavior of mater ia ls , so l e t us analyse the rhetor ic of the designer i f indeed material form i s not the sole arch-aeology, the only residue in a communications age. And l e t us see the rhe-t o r i c , the strategy of the designer, not in the d i a l e c t i c a l opposition r a t -i o n a l / i r r a t i o n a l , but l e t us expose the excluded middle of the non-rational which i s much l i k e Hal loran ' s raison d 'etre of modern rheto r i c , " to discover a man in his words." (18) These non-rational re lat ions are the substance of what s ty le has always been about, and they should now be employed to f ind man at his work. As we have shown in the paradox of modeling, the future i s not known except to the degree with which present methodologies can be invested with i t . The past meets the future in the. working present once the h i s t o r i c a l or ientat ion provides the meaning in our behavior. 163. FOOTNOTES 1. Marx Wartofsky, "Telos and Technique: Models as Modes of Ac t i on " , in Planning for Divers ity and Choice, S. Anderson, ed. (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1968). 2. Karl Raimund Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The^Growth of S c i e n t i f i c Knowledge (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963). 3. B i l l H i l l i e r and Adrian Leaman, "How i s Design Possible? A Sketch for a Theory", DMG-DRS Journal, vo l .8, no.1, 1973, p.45. 4. Ib id . , p.46. 5. I b id . , p.45. 6. I b id . , p.40. 7. Popper, 1963. 8. H i l l i e r and Leaman, 1973, p.40. 9. I b id . , p.46. 10. I b id . , p.40. 11. Ib id. 12. Alexander Tzonis, Towards a Non-Oppressive Environment (Boston: i Press, 1972), p.15. 13. Karl Marx, Capital (New York: International Publishers, 1967), vo l .1 , p.178. 14. Bennison Grey, " S ty le : The Problem and i t s So lut ion " , S ty le , vo l .5 , Spring 1971. 15. J.M. E l l i s , " L i ngu i s t i c s , L i te ra ture , and the Concept of S t y l e " , Word, vol.26, Apr i l 1970, pp.65-89. 16. James R. Bennett, "A S t y l i s t i c Check l i s t " , S ty le , vol.10, no.3, Summer 1976, pp.356i 374. 17. Ib id . , p.359. 18. S.M. Hal loran, "On the End of Rhetoric; C lass ica l and Modern", College Engl ish, vol.36, February, 1975, pp.621-31. 164. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN THE PARADOX OF DESIGN AS A SYSTEM Many of the issues reviewed in th i s paper suggest that the notion of a de-sign method as a design system i s paradoxical. ; The"structuring of the "de- -sign process as a system leads to problems, and the occurrence of a problem must s ign i fy that there is an error in the system, for according to L.S. Stebbing, mutual compat ib i l i ty of constituent components i s the minimum con-d i t i on without which there i s no system.(1) The paradox i s resolved in th i s case by avoiding the misapplication of the term "system" which gave r i se to the se l f -contrad ictory pos i t ion. Providen-t l y i t i s also possible to dispense with the term "problem" as i t relates to design purpose; to w i t , designing i s not a de facto problem-solving process. The notion that problem solving i s the purpose of design arises to lend cre-dence to i t s pernicious accomplice, system. The exercis ing of a systems approach begins by i s o l a t i ng so ca l led problems, and soon the problem mentality i s so pervasive that problems appear under every stone upturned. By and large these problems could be better described as needs, or c r i t e r i a , or in some s t icky s i tuat ions characterized as d i f f i -c u l t i e s . Presumeably there i s some st rateg ic socia l gain to be found in a designer claiming that he can solve a "problem", prompting him to re-define environmental and cu l tura l requirements as technological " s t i cky wickets " . To the degree that he can master environmental and cu l tura l needs, the de-signer can invest the world with meaning; to the degree that he i s mastered by systems, problems ;determine his own self-image. Public re lat ions in de-sign have been directed towards increasing the pub l i c ' s demand for problem-165. solvers in order to sustain the investment in the self-image. Technological society supports the image of designer as problem-solver be-cause i t complements i t s own pursuit of programmed tools as a replacement for human i n i t i a t i v e s . Ivan I l l i c h i s in the forefront of commentators who are outspoken in the i r concern for not only our growing dependence on sys-tems but of our de f i n i t i on of dependence on systems, organizations, and i n -s t i tu t i on s as synonymous with progress. The designer i s threatened along with a l l of technological man, according to I l l i c h , by: 1. A lack of access to the fundamental physical structure of the environment in which man has evolved; 2. Systems which deny the r ight to conviv ia l work; 3. Over-programming of man for the environment and consequently deadening his creative imagination; 4. Large scale production which does not permit the r ight of part ic ipatory po l -i t i c s ; 5. Enforcing obsolescence through a defined need to produce threatens the r ight to t rad i t i on and precedent; 6. Pervasive f rus t rat ion which grows out of a compulsory and engineered s a t i s f a c t i on , inherent in the engineered environment.(2) Viewing the role of design from th i s cu l tu ra l and h i s t o r i c a l pos i t i on , the transformation of design methods into design systems pa ra l l e l s the " t rans -la t ion of values into technical tasks." (3) Should society value technology i t i s appropriate that design should render i t in form. It has always been the role of design to embody and g l o r i f y the values which give a culture i t s s igni f icance.(4) The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s in the inversion of ends with means which has resulted from the excessive rate of indus t r ia l production/consumpt-ion, i t s e l f devaluing the very mater ia l i ty i t claims as i t s goal. Systematic design compliments th i s goal, replacing the wel l - su i ted solut ion which i s now 166. only the means by which the system gets exercised. An analogous occurence took place in Western history when beauty underwent an apotheosis. The profane world became a goal, as opposed to the r e l i g i -ous world, as man's ego grew in pa ra l l e l with technological mastery of na-ture. Man came to deify his own i n t e l l e c t and his own creat ive powers as ref lected in the emerging secular dominion of science. Beauty, which had long been a property of sacred things, was conscripted to enhance the pro-ducts of men's minds. Previously beauty was not a goal which when achieved proved human prowess; i t was the means by which man approached a state of grace, and took the form of praise to forces larger than l i f e . The so-cal led problems which the designer i s ca l led in to solve we sha l l c a l l "design issues". The reason why we normally think of these issues as i f they were problems i s to detract from the real problems, for an acceptable soc ia l facade requires the denial of the real problems your very ro le creates. The designer becomes what Watzlawick et al c a l l a t e r r i b l e ; . s imp! i f icateur,. ,(;5) one who presents a "party l i n e " , who wears a mask so as to keep hidden fundament-al issues which would pose uncomfortable questions and thereby undermine the personas adopted to permit order ly, e f f i c i e n t socia l discourse. Two conse-quences fol low from the denial that problems ex i s t at th i s l e v e l : 1. anyone who reneges on his socia l re spons ib i l i t y to keep the facade in tact i s consid-ered mad or bad, and 2. the continued denial of a problem causes other prob-lems. The resolut ion to the semantic d i f f i c u l t y here i s to define a problem as "an issue which i s dealt with at the wrong l e v e l " . Since we might assume that the expert designer w i l l overcome a l l issues under his control at the appropriate l e v e l , problems w i l l not appear unt i l his tasks involve issues 167. larger than his operational f i e l d . I t seems apparent at f i r s t why the de-signer would want to systematize his tasks: the f i r s t requirement of a sys-tem is a boundary, so that sett ing the boundaries of the design system at the point where outside issues come to bear on the design task i s to ensure that the designer has a well defined and resolvable f i e l d of operation. This way of thinking i s of course unacceptable to design, although i t may be per-missable in engineering. Designers may not so represent themselves to the public in a l i t e r a l way, for they are by nature concerned with issues which implicate everything outside of the i r operational f i e l d . The designer sim-p l i f i e s his issues for systematic reasons, not because there i s any a f f i n i t y between his issues and defineable systems. The f i r s t task of the designer i s to invent the c l i e n t , in a l l his personif-icat ions . For David Pye: " I t i s as though a c i v i l engineer had not only to design a dam .^but f i r s t of a l l to design the water. "In nearly a l l other f i e l d s of design at least one of the main objects i s given at the s t a r t , but to the arch i tect i t i s not given." (6) Inventing the c l i e n t has become common enough in arch i tectura l programming, even among those who would abandon the programme in favour of various part-ic ipatory design approaches.(7) The requirement which o r i g i n a l l y prompted movement toward part ic ipatory design was the rea l i za t i on of the uncertainty of design. Therefore greater or less part ic ipatory design i s a nul l issue as fa r as the uncertainty quotient goes, for an organization i t s e l f ex ists in a turbulent f i e ld , (8 ) only to compound the con f l i c t i n g requirements of a bui ld ing design. A bui ld ing i s not the d i rec t resu l t of requirements, i t i s more d i r e c t l y the resu l t of arb i t rary decisions necessary to rea l i ze the com-168. promise of requirements. This s i tuat ion is r iddled with soc ia l expectations which make the end seem so obvious when in fact the process i s so a rb i t ra ry . Consider for example the actual u t i l i t y in workmanship - - every bui lding re-quires the par t i c ipat ion of a labour force in i t s design through arb i t rary d i sc ret ion . A worker does not receive more money i f his wall i s more plumb, his soldering j o i n t cleaner, or his p laster smoother, any of these consider-ations extending beyond function and into the realm of f r i v o l i t y . ( 9 ) When a systems theor i s t l i k e C. West Churchman claims "Every e f f o r t to make a problem manageable threatens a loss in the effectiveness of the so lu t ion . " we must reassess our pragmatics. The involvement of spec ia l i s t s i s deemed to be expedient but l im i t i ng , for the tendency of d i s c ip l i nes to d i s t o r t socia l problems so as to conform to t he i r perspective of the issues (as pro-blems) makes i t questionable whether the solutions they o f fe r are any so lut -ion at a l l . There would seem to be every good reason to ensure that design does not harden even further as a d i s c i p l i n e , that i t be not so much i n t e r -d i s c i p l i na r y as an t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y . And th i s does not mean that designers cannot be d i s c ip l i ned as current stereotypes would have i t . Systems science i t s e l f has taught us that the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of concepts and the determination of manageable issues comes at the end of the issue resolving process,. (10) This i s not the stand of t rad i t i ona l science where "Object i veesc ient i f i c methods confront soluble problems --problems insoluble in experimental terms are simply rejected as ' u n r e a l ' . " (11) Zadeh's concept of "fuzzy sets" (12), R i t teT ' s "wicked" problems (13), and Strauch's "squishy" problems (14) have gained considerable currency as theor-i s t s attempt to renovate the problem-solution quagmire. The consensus is that 169. approximate reasoning i s required because systems boundaries are vague, problems seem to be symptoms of other problems, and systematic models are only a perspective rather than an approximation of a so lut ion. The appar-ent unso lvab i l i ty of social problems i s perpetuated by th i s type of c l a s s i -f i c a t i on of thinking which f i r s t l y admits a f a i l u r e to f inding a solut ion to socia l issues and secondly admits a l i m i t to systematic ways of thinking. The assumptions are that: 1. solutions can or should be found to socia l i s s -ues, 2. rat ional .thinking should be applied to socia l issues, and 3. problems have to be systematical ly defined in order to gain a so lut ion. A l l of these assumptions suffer from confused presuppositions. The f i r s t assumption, that we should be on the look out for so lut ions, i s a resu l t of the second assumption, that we should apply rat ional thinking to soc ia l problems, which implies in turn that soc ia l practices that are not rat ional are prejudiced, capr ic ious, superst i t ious , and uncontrol lable. The solut ion syndrome inev i tably becomes tainted by Utopianism, which although not rat ional i t s e l f , focuses theory and p r inc ip le on an ultimate r e a l i t y which when r a t i ona l l y organized can orchestrate the necessary resources to at ta in a f i na l end. But there is no f i na l so lut ion to the housing issue, and i f rat ionale had much to do with i t everyone would be superbly housed - - appar-ently people prefer to "dwe l l " i n some other ideal v i l l a : As for the th i rd assumption, we discussed above that one of the troublesome character i s t i c s of defining a problem in a systems mode i s that you are obliged to cast about for a so lut ion. And yet these very things that are ca l led solutions existed long before they were married to problems. Housing was provided before i t was framed as a socia l problem, in fact i t was some housing which was o r i g i n -170. a l l y the perceived problem. From the seventeenth century rat ional ism of Bacon and Descartes to the pre-sent, "Men came to believe that i f the body of knowledge applied to an a c t i v -i t y were powerful enough, then the.h i t and miss of the human condition might be replaced by r e l i a b i l i t y . " (15) Systematic knowledge came to be a synonym for a l l knowledge. "But rat ional ism came to raise men's hopes across the whole range of human a c t i v i t y , not stopping short even of those areas of. personal interact ion which had previously been thought wholly dependent upon personal ta lent : manuals were offered to teach people how to win friends and influence people, or how to be sexually dynamic." (16) For Michael Oakeshott, one of the greateiconoclast ic p o l i t i c a l theor i s t s , the fundamental error in rat ional thinking i s to regard a s ingle aspect of method - - the means - - a s i f i t were the whole. But the ends pre-ex i s t , even though rat ional ism believes that we can abstract from present ends in order to atta in new non-existent ends through i t s means, systems. The housing was the issue and w i l l be the future issue, i t was merely some expert who came along to re-frame i t temporarily as a poverty issue or a delapidation issue. One man's delapidation i s another man's picturesque, we each search for a problem that w i l l ^re inforce our predisposit ion to ends, the solut ion must comfort our pa r t i cu la r h istory. Oakeshott framed this in his well known formula "the pursuit of an in t imat ion " : "The arrangements which const itute a society capable of p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , whether they are customs or i n s t i t u t i on s or laws or diplomatic decis ions, are at once coherent and incoherent; they compose a pattern and at the same time intimate a sympathy for what does not f u l l y appear. P o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y i s the exploration of that sympathy; and consequently relevent p o l i t i c a l reasoning w i l l be the convincing exposure of a sympathy present but not yet followed up, and the convin-cing demonstration that now i s the appropriate moment for recog-niz ing i t . " (17) 171. I f th i s can be taken to be an analogue of the design process we see that h i -story i s the pattern which i t s e l f indicates where our sympathies l i e , even i f what we desire i s not f u l l y b u i l t . This approach becomes less natural and more skeptical once design or planning is i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d . That i s , instead of being sympathetic with ends we become worried about problems. Conf l i c t appears after.the problem or ientat ion i s establ ished: "When we be-come attent ive to the framing of socia l problems, we thereby become aware of con f l i c t i n g frames." (18) These con f l i c t i n g frames have become the pre-occupation of such planning theor ists as Donald Schon; unfortunately planners f ind i t almost impossible to re-frame the concept of "problem". Schon chimes: "For some twenty years i t has been a powerful, indeed a dominant, view that the development of socia l po l icy ought to be considered as a problem-solving enterprise. In opposition to th is view, I have become persuaded that the essential d i f f i c u l t i e s in socia l po l icy have more to do with problem-setting than with problem-solving, more to do with the ways in which we frame the purposes to be achieved than with the select ion of optional means for achieving them. It becomes c r i t i c a l l y important, then, to learn how socia l pol icy problems are actual ly set and to discover what i t means to set them well or badly. (19) This author acknowledges the new found importance of ends de f i n i t i on over incessant means optimizations, but we do not f ind the elus ive d i s so lut ion of ends in means. For Oakeshott: "In recent centuries the conversation, both in publ ic and within ourselves, has become boring because i t has been engrossed in two voices, the voice of p ract ica l a c t i v i t y and the voice of ' s c i ence ' : to know and to contrive are our pre-eminent occupations. " I t i s with conversation as with gambling, i t s s ign i f icance l i e s neither in winning nor in los ing, but in wagering." (20) The goal seems to have come back to the actual bui lding of housing, and p o l i t -i c a l l y , that i s as fa r as making decisions goes, i t doesn't matter what the house i s , for that i s a personal thing. The nobleness of the age comes from 172. what i t i nhe r i t s , i t s true, but the point always >is'"th'atvthe;e^xec.u^M,jb.n;'.,bf personal re spons ib i l i t y w i l l take care of that. The word "noble" , a f te r a l l , came from the Latin root noscere meaning " to know" (21) - - we are only as noble as our intimate knowledge of our time and place. Undistinguished houses are a means to the future, noble houses are those which survive in the future. I f there i s truth in Charles Jenck's ep i thet i ca l "The architects • who get the most work provide the most un ident i f iab le bui ld ings" (22) there may also be j u s t i c e , and the point i s to f ind the beauty. Lave and March argue f o r ce fu l l y that we cannot f i n a l l y resolve the c o n f l i c t between t ru th , beauty, and ju s t i ce as c r i t e r i a for judgement.(23) Rather than have sympathy for t ru th , j u s t i c e , and beauty such that i t guides our act ion, and rather than be f u l l y confident in our guiding, or better lead-ing* suppositions such that we can put our emphasis on praxis , the l i b e r a l planning t r ad i t i on personified by Schon considers i t a s i gn i f i c an t advance to attach the creative scepticism of science to soc ia l planning: "To generate problems from our worries requires that we discover the t a c i t frames that organize our insights and then that we challenge them." (24) This author i l l u s t r a t e s the persistence of the s c i e n t i f i c method wherein the theory i s tested by the act ion, a process that does not give the emphasis required in designing to the union of theory and action (this consideration i s discussed further in the Paradox of Modelling the Future). Lewis Mumford was fond of i l l u s t r a t i n g how the misuse of science or technology could seldom be corrected by better science or technology. (25) While we may have a r ight to be worried, Schon i s even t e l l i n g us i t i s s t r a teg i ca l l y important to be worried, for from worries come our problems. I t can be seen that a bonus may be gained by 173. dispensing with design issues as problems, we may even be getting r i d of a reason for worry. For R i t t e l and Webber, "The search for s c i e n t i f i c bases for confronting pro-blems of soc ia l pol icy i s bound to f a i l , because of the nature of these pro-blems. They are 'wicked' problems." (26) The ten prime conditions for f a i l -ure espoused by these authors are highly questionable;. In fact the phi loso-pher Archie Bahm claimed, " . . . judging merely from the a r t i c l e , that these men are incompetent planners." (27) The reason for t h i s , however, was not appreciated by Bahm, who thought " . . .they do not understand e i ther the nature of science and s c i e n t i f i c research or the nature of socia l problems." (28) To whatever degree th i s lack of understanding may be true, i t i s more obv-ious that both parties suffer from the same s imp l i f i c a t i o n , namely that the term "problem" cannot be used ind iscr iminate ly in phys ica l , s o c i a l , b io log-i c a l and applied science f i e l d s , any more than the word "understanding" can, to compare unrelated f i e l d s independent of the things being compared. For example, R i t t e l and Webber claim "Solutions to wicked problems are not t rue - -o r - f a l s e , but good-dr-bad." (29) Bahm correct ly points out that solutions can be both fa l se and good, or bad and t rue, or fa l se and bad, or good and true. However he myopicly points out that "These statements hold for prob-lems and conclusions in the physical and b io log ica l sciences as well as in the pol icy sciences" because "The research goal i s to understand and solve the problem." (30) It ju s t cannot be assumed that the goal of design types of a c t i v i t y , and indeed much publ ic po l icy a c t i v i t y , i s to solve a problem. A solut ion i s ah a p r i o r i d e f i n i t i o n ; i t requires the problem. If our goal i s only to at ta in a cognitive notion or sensation we do not require a prob-174. lem: " . . . the roots of s c i e n t i f i c reasoning are in the reference to what ex-i s t s , while pract ica l reasoning refers to the sense of what subs ists. " (31) The designer operates on many levels and some of the design goals do not re-late to problems of design because they do not f a l l within the systemic o r N even rat iona l i zed world. Although the designer supplies a service in a pur-poseful applied arts and sciences sense, "What is s i gn i f i can t about service i s not the fact i t s e l f , " suggests George NeTs.on, "but the i n f i n i t y of levels at which i t can be rendered. The average arch i tect who draws plans for bui lding developments operates at roughly the same i n t e l l -ectual and socia l level as the attendant in a f i l l i n g s t a t i on . " (32) 175. FOOTNOTES 1. L. Susan Stebbing, Logic (New York: Harper Torch Books, 1961), p.196. 2. Ivan I l l i c h , Tools for Conv iv ia l i t y (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), pp.50,51 3. Ib id . , p.54. 4. Edgar Kaufmann, J r . , "2001 B.C. to 2001 Centre Avenue", Forum, October 1969, p.56. 5. Paul Watzlawick et al,,.Change: Pr inc ip les of Problem Formation and Prob-lem Resolution (New York: Norton, 1974), p.24. 6. David Pye, The Nature of Design (London: Studio V i s ta , 1964), p.90. 7. Tom Heath* "Getting Started: Is Your Programme Really Necessary", DMG-DRS Journal, vo l .9, no.2, 1976, p.196. 8. Donald A. Schon, Beyond the Stable State (New York: Random House, 1971). 9. Pye, 1964, p.86. 10. C. West Churchman, "Measurement: A Systems Approach", in Science, Decision, Value, J . Leach et a l , ed. (Boston: D. Reidel , 1973), p.75. 11. Harley C. Shands, The War With Words (The Hague: Mouton, 1971), p.14. 12. L.A. Zadeh et a l , eds., Fuzzy Sets and Their Applications to Cognitive and Decision Processes (London: Academic Press, 1975). 13. Heath, 1976, p.196. 14. Ralph E. Strauch, "Squishy Problems and Quantitative Methods", Pol icy Sciences, vo l .6, no.2, 1975, pp.175-184. 15. Kenneth R. Minogue, "Michael Oakeshott: The Boundless Sea of P o l i t i c s " , in Contemporary P o l i t i c a l Philosophers, A. de Crespigny and K. Minogue, eds.; (London: Methuen, 1976), p.127. 16. I b id . , p.128. 17. Ib id . , p.133. 18. Donald A. Schon, "Generative Metaphor: A Perspective on Problem-Setting in Social P o l i c y " , January 1978, pre-publ icat ion manuscript, p.4. 19. Ib id . , p.2. 20. Minogue, 1976, p.142. 176. 21. The Liv ing Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary (Chicago: The English-Lang-uage Inst i tute of America;,' 1971), p.644. 22. Malcolm MacEwen, Crises in Architecture (London: RIBA Publ icat ions, 1974), p.24. 23. Charles Lave and J . C March, The Social Science (New York: Harper and Row, 1975), pp.51-78. 24. Martin Rein and Donald A. Schon, "Problem Setting in Problem Research", in Using Social Research in Publ ic Pol icy Making, C H . Weiss, ed. (Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1977), p.237. 25. MacEwen, 1974, reference p.22. 26. Horst W.J. R i t t e l and Melvin M. Webber, "Dilemmas in General Theory of Planning," Pol icy Sciences, vo l .4, 1973, p.155. 27. Archie J . Bahm, "Planners ' Fai lures Generate Scapegoat," Po l icy Sciences, vo l .6, 1975, p.103. 28. Ib id. 29. I b id . , p.104. 30. Ib id. 31. Gunnar Olsson, Birds in Egg (Ann Arbor, Mich: Michigan Geographical Publ icat ion No. 15, 1975), p.123. 32. George Nelson, Problems of Design (New York: Whitney Publ icat ions, 1957), p.5. 177. CHAPTER EIGHTEEN THE PARADOX OF DIFFERENCE Persons who, over the la s t two decades, have deemed themselves col laborators with progress have assumed that good methodology i s the appl icat ion of ra t -ional pr inc ip les to design. This recent socia l sc ientism, the appl icat ion of abstract rat ional pr inc ip les to the process of design, is imbedded in the larger Modern Movement, i t s e l f imbedded in the rat ional ism of the Enlighten-ment, which was the appl icat ion of abstracted form to the context of design (the context of design being economic functional ism). Trade magazines hyping the Post-Modern are stat ing with a sense of mock astonishment at th i s very time, that the appl icat ion of rat ional ism did not do away with sty le as pre-dicted by early p rac t i t i oner s , but did in fact develop a " ra t iona l s t y l e . " This notion that s ty le could be done away with was an important meta-ideolog-i c a l development. It i s pa ra l l e l to the general philosophical progression since the c l a s s i c l i b e r a l John Stuart M i l l , when we moved from the h i s t o r i c a l posit ion that r e l i ed on p r inc ip le to a posit ion that r e l i ed on a structure for human progress as a guide for soc ia l a c t i v i t y . The Modern Movement attem-pted to abandon general pr inc ip les ( h i s to r i ca l sty les) in favour of a theory of design (say, the Bauhaus Philosophy). However, pr inc ip les and theories are props for ideology h i s t o r i c a l l y speaking, and ideology does not o f fe r an adequate contemporary reference for designing. The e c l e c t i c state of a f f a i r s today i s a very bald testament to the flack of directionnavaiTable for p r a c t i -cal app l icat ion. Styles are references to the la s t revo lut ion, and ideologies tend to be indexed as s ty les . The fact is that s ty le i s inescapable, since sty le i s nothing more than an 178. "index of form". We would have much less trouble accepting styl ismitoday i f i t were not for the Modern Movement and i t s b e l i e f in theory as emanci-pation from s t y l i s t i c s . Of course, Post-Modernism seems to be regaining a f e l i c i t y with s t y l i s t i c s at an astonishing rate. Doubt in the v a l i d i t y of the objective pr inc ip les of the Modern Movement seems to be eas i l y recovered, even though these objective pr inc ip les (functionalism) may be va l i d . The point i s , e i ther too much or the wrong things were expected of Modernist ob-jec t i ve p r inc ip le s . The fact that objective values led to abstraction is not the problem, for each experience i s an abstract ion, a fragmentation of a whole. We need not move to conceptual levels to meet with abstract ions, for we meet them in day to day a c t i v i t i e s jus t as a l l ages have. The abstract form has proved inad-equate not because i t l im i t s experience or i s meaningless per se (the pr imi -t ives have always used i t ) , but because of the theoret ical role i t performed. Abstract form symbolizes the abstracted and rat iona l i zed content which natur-a l l y came to govern i t s app l icat ion. In an Empir ic i s t fashion human values ( s o c i a l , psychological, cu l tura l ) were ob jec t i f i ed in the be l i e f that an ultimate design mode could be r e l i a b l y fashioned; congruence between ends and objectives would be guaranteed because truth would correspond with actual physical form, or at least we would be able to measure the d i f ference. Success came to be p r e d i c a t e d o n the design process. The move in design f i e l d s from a preoccupation with ideology to a preoccu-pation with theory pa ra l l e l s the general progression of soc ia l discourse t o -wards "methods" since the Age of Reason. A growth in knowledge leads i n e v i -179. tably towards a search for an understanding of the actions which lead up to execution. This af fect ion for new methodological instruments prompts a number of observations: f i r s t l y , an increase in our understanding of method has not necessari ly led to a better understanding of re su l t s ; secondly, the great increase in method has un r ea l i s t i c a l l y raised expectationsand confidence in the qua l i ty of the re su l t ; t h i r d l y , the actual increase in control over res-ources affected by rat iona l i zed method has meant that misplaced hope in and rel iance on the resu l t has led to disasters on a gigantic scale when that resu l t has been indeed in e r ror ; four th ly , our pervasive sympathy with r a t -ional att itudes has r e f l ex i ve l y al igned, such practices as c r a f t , custom, r i t u a l , habit, t r a d i t i o n , and symbolism to a shadow world of i r r a t i o n a l i t y ; f i f t h l y , the spec ia l i za t ion inherent in rat ional ism (result ing from the atom-iza t ion of scientism or the invariance of structural ism) incessantly runs the r i sk of mistaking one part for the whole; and s i x t h l y , the pursuit of so ca l led understanding has resulted in a dogged persistence that we achieve governance over action by approaching every s i tuat ion in a problem solving mode. The fact that formulation has not tended to create a human world worthy of the name requires that we come to grips with the shortcomings in each of the above observations. The f i e l d of design has suffered as much as any from i t s fasc inat ion with the dogma of rat ional i sm, whose basic tenents and laws prove to be implausible and capricious when they claim to explain anything other than the abstract and the o b j e c t i f i e d , within which they were born. However, there are pa r t i cu la r reasons why the f i e l d of design must show i n i t i a t i v e in gaining, or r ea l l y rega in ing, an understanding of the synthetic and the subject ive. More than other f i e l d s , design deals with sensory experience, 180. and the more we f i nd out about the sensory system, the more we come to un-derstand i t as the mediation between mind and experience. This mediating role of the senses takes place not only on the obvious level - - experience being transduced by sense organs before st imulating the brain (a level which has been empir ica l ly treated) but also on more synthetic l eve l s . For example, the sensory component of existence i s f a r more important to "human experience" than modern cu l tura l evolut ion, intoxicated with the magical powers of reason, would admit - - witness the fashion in which low-brow sensory st imulation i n -fuses our soc iety, the high-brow a l l the while viewing i t as depravity and pr imit iv i sm. Design w i l l continue to have an important role to play because of the sensory and cu l tura l needs i t can f u l f i l l , not because of the i n t e l l -ectual or economic super ior i ty i t can s i gn i f y . The fact that more and more of our sensory stimulus comes while we are e l ec t r on i ca l l y plugged i n , or the fact that technology can present every form to us to complement our rabid a b i l -i t y to consume, does not negate design, but does ident i f y essent ial t ransfor-mations to i t s character. Hence the contemporary movement towards communications and semiotics. For Ruesch and Bateson these are: " . . . the only s c i e n t i f i c model which enables us to explain phys ica l , interpersonal, intrapersonal, and cu l tura l aspects of events within one system. (1) " . . . a l l actions and events have communicative aspects, as soon as they are perceived by a human being; i t impl ies, furthermore, that such perception changes the information which an indiv idual possesses and therefore influences him. (2) "In as much as i t i s impossible to f i x at any moment our pos it ion as observers, we are never quite sure of that which we purport to observe." (3) The point i s not to make the heur i s t i c tool of the communications metaphor dominate the process, but to make the metaphor a level of discr imination at which we would not otherwise converse. We should not become automatons within 181. the system, we should use the system to reveal how d i f fe rent man i s from a computer, how the a b i l i t y to juggle from seven to twelve b i t s of information per judgement i s opposite to a computer. Rather than thinking that -systems of-communication s t i f l e - c r ea t i v i t y we should view these new constructions as we do language, as a structure which when used to order discourse, raises discourse to a higher l e v e l . But s t r i c t adherence to good grammar does not mean that ambiguity i s resolved, more that ambiguity can be dealt with. In 1961 Proudhon mentioned that: "People l i k e simple ideas and are r ight to l i k e them. Unfortunately, the s imp l i c i t y they seek i s only to be found in elementary things; and the world, society and man are made up of insoluble problems, contrary p r i nc ip le s , and con f l i c t i n g forces. Organism means complication, and mul-t i p l i c i t y means contrad ict ion, opposit ion, independence."(4) The word "system" i s a t t rac t i ve because i t i s consonant with boundary, and therefore the f i r s t step towards s imp l i f i c a t i on . Systems are very useful when we use them to freeze one section of natural discourse, as long as we are aware that we have frozen the pattern to the degree re lat ions with i t s environment are affected. But who is. to control the systematizing process, to take re spons ib i l i t i e s for altered relat ionships? According to the P r i n -c ip le of Requisite Var iety, " . . . i f s t a b i l i t y i s to be attained the var iety of the cont ro l l i ng system must be at least as great as the var iety of the system to be control led".(5) In the s p e c i a l i s t , d i s c i p l i n a r y , "centre-per-iphery model" dominant in our society " . . . the uniform, simple message i s ess-e n t i a l . The system's a b i l i t y to handle complex s i tuat ions depends upon a simple message and upon growth through uniform repl icat ion ' . " according to Donald Schon's 1970 Reith Lecture. Obviously simple structures of control require simple concepts to govern. The hardware avai lable in the communic-182. ations media environment implies that control cannot ex i s t in pyramidal hierarchies any longer, because information can be so eas i l y dispersed, which occasioned cybernetic models: "Here we have a system of large var iety, s u f f i c i en t to cope with a complex, unpredictable environment. Its character i s t i c s are changing structure, modifying i t s e l f under continual feed-back from the environment, exh ib i t ing 'redundancy of potential command', and involving complete inter lock ing control structures. Learning and decision-making are d i s t r ibuted throughout the system, denser perhaps in some areas than in others."(6) The uncanny manner in which self-governance i s achieved cybernet ica l ly through networks of elements communicating with each other with no other control f a c i l -i t a t o r pa ra l le l s the anthropological examples of Mary Douglas, where tr ibes once considered to have no p o l i t i c a l unity were seen to have a strong, di f fused structure, whose "system was i nv inc ib le and f l e x i b l e . " (7) The harmony through apparent complexity i s found not in a superstructure but in an in f ras t ructure, not in the coherence of unity, but in the resonance of relevance. " I t i s people who generate cu l tura l goals. I t i s the engineers who develop technology. Utopians have made the mistake of assuming the ro le of goal-generators. They s u p e r f i c i a l l y im-i tated the function of the engineers. This i s one of the reasons the Utopias f a i l e d . People's goals must be recognized as the c u l -t u r a l , goals." (8); Design by decree, by corporate marketing, by fashion or by tenets of good taste i s meaningless on most leve l s . The fascinat ion in design occurs when an indiv idual can feel his contr ibution to i t s creation simply through using i t . Paul T i l l i c h points out that environment i s not the same as surroundings. (9) In the same surroundings d i f fe rent things are relevant to each person, each w i l l have the i r own environment. Now environment can also become world: the Greeks ca l led world "cosmos", meaning "order" ; the Romans ca l led world "universe", meaning "the unity of an i n f i n i t e manifoldness." (10) 183. "A de f i n i t i on of man in which a l l other def in i t ions are implied i s that he not only has environment, but also world. World i s the st ructura l unity of an inexhaustible number of actual and possible things. I t i s the structure which makes the world world. " (11) Sadly, the designer has l imi ted himself to environmental design and l e f t the world to others. The designer 's world is one of e l i t e s ign i f icance removed from the symbolism of the layman's world. I f the creation of world is a personal task, the designer must meet his socia l mandate by ensuring the i n -dividual that opportunity in each environment and not only in what Norberg-Schulz c a l l s "a rch i tectura l space". For Norburg-Schulz there i s a special "expressive or a r t i s t i c space" in', the hierarchy of spaces, which is the "con-c re t i za t ion of man's ex i s ten t i a l space'.'!j where " ex i s ten t i a l space" i s synon-ymous with T i l l i c h ' s "world" (add i t iona l l y , Norberg-Schulz's "pragmatic space" i s the same as T i l l i c h ' s "environment"). (12) This arch i tectura l space, at the top of an increasing, abstract hierarchy of spaces where pragmatic space i s at the bottom, i s a misleading design theory by implying that the interests of high design are d i f fe rent from; the c r i t e r i a fo r every change in environment. That i s , the fact that a designer 's methodology may require that he be e l i t i s t to the degree that he workssfor others does not imply that the designed pro-ducts be e l i t i s t to the degree that they express fo r the c l i e n t . The point of an a r t i s t i c work is to inst igate the audience to view the i r world, for i t i s only t ru l y ex i s ten t i a l space when the a r t i s t gets out of i t . The a r t i s t ' s interpretat ion moulds our in terpretat ion , but so does the expert p lasterer teach us about good drywa11. There must be some point to the a r t i s t ' s work in the environment causing more than one world creation. For Roland Barthes: 184. "Rereading, an operation contrary to the commercial and ideological habits of our soc iety, which would have us 'throw away' the story once i t has been consumed ("devoured"), so that we can then move on to another story, buy another book, and which i s tolerated only in certain marginal cate-gories of readers (ch i ldren, old people, and professors), rereading i s here suggested at the outset, for i t alone saves the text from repet i t ion (those who f a i l to reread are obliged to read the same story everywhere)." (13) This paradox claims that f a i l u re to f ind differences in an object or an ex-perience i s to be destined to f ind no unique object or experience. Those who would confront the issue once, those who create the ent i ty but a s ingle time are l imi ted to mirroring themselves, to f inding what has already been.;.-cre-ated",,. what we learned before. Add i t iona l l y , approaching the event as s te r -eotypes i s to stereotype a l l events. Breaking the stereotype requires learn-ing, requires a c r i t i c a l consumption in which i t i s implied that the second encounter w i l l be qua l i t a t i ve l y d i f fe rent from the f i r s t . E f f ec t i ve l y the second encounter must be to see the differences in the ident i t y of the event, not in the differences between events. I f we i n i t i a l l y devour in an event what i s s o l i d l y located within ourselves, dis'criminaCi.th i:s: ;the "rereadiing".. '\ This i s why symbols can be dangerous.; everything can become so hackneyed and common that discr imination i s not inv i ted nor readi ly ava i lab le. The fact that the public cannot discriminate good design from bad, cannot c r i t i c i z e events or compare events i s not the designer 's f au l t e n t i r e l y , but i t con-tr ibutes to the complacency of design. The Modernists between the Wars threw of f the complacency with a zeal we can only envy, and attacked the repressions of s ty le and embellishment which worked against rereading. These new sens i -b i l i t i e s were a new c r i t i c i s m which was unfortunately aborted before i t f i l -tered throughout society as other than another s t y l e , and th i s one too "econ-omical" to warrant a second look. 185. The word " c r i t i c i s m " i s rooted in the Greek verb Krinein meaning " to separate or choose." (14) I believe the meaning of rereading Barthes had in mind would be more transparent i f adopted to mean the d i f f e r e n t i a l between the environ-ment and the world. In th i s sense the c r i t i c a l and the creative both dwell in the region between environment and world, one constructing, the other de-constructing (the proverbial constructive c r i t i c i s m , which i s not synonymous with destruct ion), one formulating re lat ionsh ips , one test ing them. The ob-jec t i ve of the user may be immediate, to use the environment, or mediate, to inspire his world. For the designed object i s expressive of both the values of worldliness and the expedience of environmental needs. The p o s s i b i l i t y must be entertained that the t r ad i t i ona l values in worldl iness have f a l l en out of common currency, resu l t ing in a psychological need for de-sign methods which are not ambiguous or uncertain in order to make up for the lack of cu l tura l p roh ib i t ion. Science based design is not a l l that uncommon, the mathematics of proportion and harmony not only underlay c l a s s i ca l Greece's sciences, but i t s cosmos and architecture as we l l . Science based design methods i s another matter - - i t i s not the use of semiotics but of communicat-ions to actual ize rather than symbolize the value of systems. Science may underlie our world, even be our r e l i g i o n , i t may underlie our environment, but i t cannot underlie the pa r t i cu l a r l y human task of abstracting between these two realms. The search for form is the search for i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y be-tween them, made d i f fe rent today by the rate at which environment/technology i s s h i f t i n g . Es sent ia l l y the form d i f fe rent ia tes between d i f fe rent levels of i t s e l f even as a form distinguishes i t s e l f from a l l other form. Therefore the paradox of differences i s resolved in act ion, d iachron ica l l y , when we 186. d i f fe ren t i a te the unit we learn something about relat ionships which are v a l -uable when we turn to another unit. S i l v e t t i uses Barthes' " c r i t i c i s m from wi th in " to discuss how designers have h i s t o r i c a l l y manipulated codes, the subversion of known meanings producing knowledge i t s e l f . (15) Levi-Strauss commented on th i s operation with respect to Duchamp's "ready-mades": "You then accomplish a new d i s t r ibu t ion between the s i g n i f i e r and the s i g n i f i e d , a d i s t r i bu t i on that was in the realm of the possible but was not openly affected (in the pr imit ive condition of the object). You make them, in one sense, a work of learning, discovering in that object latent proper-t i e s that were not perceived in the i n i t i a l context; a poet does this each time he uses a word or turns a phrase in an unusual manner." (16) An advantage for designers of proceeding c r i t i c a l l y i s that h istory can be respected, d i a l e c t i c a l reasoning rather than rat ional ism can be adopted, and the mult i - re lat ionsh ips in a communications mode can be acknowledged. The disadvantage i s that creative and generative att itudes may be repressed, a l -though such creative tasks as re-framing, establ i sh ing metaphors, and abstr-acting are well served, as are the more re f lex ive unconscious aspects of de-signing. S i l v e t t i comments: " . . . t h i s 'return to language' i s marked by an unusual degree of self-consciousness in arch i tecture, which s tarts with the recognition that architecture l i k e any other cu l tura l product, can be studied as a system of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , es t -abl i sh ing d i f fe rent l eve l s , accumulating layers of meaning and sense, and const i tut ing one of the many symbolic spheres i n s t i tu ted by society. As a consciousness of i t -s e l f , architecture can only, and only w i l l i n g l y , operate with the known: i t s past, immediate or d i s tant , and the existent world. I t i s , then, a work of r e f l e c t i o n , essen-t i a l l y anti-Utopian, one which automatically establishes a basis for c r i t i c i s m since trl.ti'ei's^'^sv:a.:spetu1attve.';.' ref lection ' ; bn the known." (17) The conservation inherent in s i t t i n g astr ide the environment and the world i s 187. a re f l ec t i on of th i s anti-utopianism - - idealism i s to be found in techno-log ica l so lut ions, not in human problems, and as such is anathema to design. As Richard Sheppard suggested of rat iona l design, "the real content of arch-i t ec tu re , b u i l t up with love and care over many generations, i s thrown away for no good reason." (18) The differences in architecture appear to be incremental var iat ions within a t rad i t i ona l corpus. E f f i c iency i s gained through manipulating fami l i a r codes and constructs, rather than in redefining difference .in an information theoret ic manner as "novelty" . This approach i s regaining great currency within the Post-Modern Movement. The single greatest l i m i t a t i o n , one which has been h i s t o r i c a l l y rea l i zed , i s for design to be unwil l ing to step out of the system i t i den t i f i e s for i t s e l f and thereby diagnose any pathological conditions. This' occurrence i s highly l i k e l y i f the future should see a con-centration on types of form to the detriment of the types of service the de-signer must provide, as witnessed in the Modern Movement. One of the most profound statements avai lable to guide the design method i s to be found in a summation found in Koest ler ' s The Act of Creation: "One of the main contentions in th i s book i s that organic l i f e , in a l l i t s manifestations, from morphogenesis to symbolic thought, is governed by "rules of the game" which lend i t coherence, order, and un i t y - i n - va r i e ty ; and that these rules (or functions in the mathematical sense), whether innate or acquired, are represented in coded form on various l e ve l s , from the chromosomes to the structure of the nervous system responsible for symbolic thought ... The rules are f i x ed , but there are endless var iat ions to each game, the i r v a r i a b i l i t y increasing in ascending order ... There is also an overal l rule of the game, which says that no rule i s absolutely f i n a l ; that under certain circumstances they may be altered and combined into a more sophist icated game, which provides a higher form of unity and yet increased va r ie ty ; th i s i s ca l led the subject ' s creative potential»"(19) 188. That design must in the end re ly on i t s creative potential stands as a pro-found manifestation of f a i t h in a process which has not distinguished i t s -e l f l a t e l y , least of a l l in th i s country. Contemporary developments in med-ia communications which have severely a ltered the importance of form-a! s o l -utions themselves would not seem to be an occasion•• to express optimism in a rather t r ad i t i ona l version of design methods. In a rather paradoxical man-ner i t i s the incongruity of form design in a formless age which I f ind most promising. C reat i v i t y always operates on more than one plane, the current cr i ses being the greatest possible opportunity for a continuous unstable juxtapos it ion in which disruption countered by the h i s t o r i c a l equi l ibr ium produces the new age. 189. FOOTNOTES 1. Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson, Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry (New York: W.W. Norton, 1951), p.5. 2. Ib id . , p.6. 3. I b id . , p.7. 4. P.J. Proudhon, quoted in Anarchy in Act ion, Colin Wood, (London: George Allien and Unwin, 1973), p.44. ~ 5. John D. McEwan, quoted in Anarchy in Act ion, Colin Wood . (London: George Al len and Unwin, 1973), pp.50, 51. 6. Ibid. 7. Colin Wood, Anarchy in Action (London: George Al len and Unwin, 1973), p.52V 8. Proceedings: Cultural Futurology Symposium (American Anthropological Assoc-i a t i o n ) , unattributable comment, 1970, p.1-15. 9. Paul T i l l i c h , "Environment and the Ind iv idua l " , Modulus, vo l .9, p.23. 10. Ibid. 11. I b id . , p.24. 12. Chr ist ian Norburg-Schulz, Existence, Space and Architecture (New York: Praeger, 1971), p.11. 13. Roland Barthes, quoted in "The C r i t i c a l Difference" by Barbara Johnson, D i a c r i t i c s , June 1978, p.2. 14. Barbara Johnson, "The C r i t i c a l D i f ference", D i a c r i t i c s , June 1978, p.3. 15. Jorge S i l v e t t i , "The Beauty of Shadows", Oppositions, Summer 1977, no.9., pp.44-61. 16. Claude Levi-Strauss, quoted in "The Beauty of Shadows", by Jorge S i l v e t t i , Oppositions, Summer 1977, no.9, p.51. 17. S i l v e t t i , 1977, p.45. 18. Richard Sheppard, quoted in Crises in Architecture, by Malcolm MacEwen, (London: RIBA Publ icat ions, 1974), p.15. 19. Arthur KoestTer, The Act of Creation (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1964), p.631. 190. CHAPTER NINETEEN THE PARADOX OF FORM GIVING Human communication i s a two step process, the f i r s t operation being abstr-act ion. Abstraction requires that some structure or pattern be taken from an or ig ina l context, usually for the purpose of descr ipt ion. Such patterns are re-cast as they are transduced through the human sensory and cognitive apparatus. The opportunity for new meaning ex ists in the looseness of th i s process which permits a great deal of "noise" to get through. While the sensory event is a moving, i r reversab le, diachronic process, the abstracted event attains a level of s ta s i s . The s tas i s contrasts with the natural world, causing further opportunity for noise, since i t i s a r t i f i c i a l , and can be manipulated more f ree ly for being in a type of steady-state. E f f e c t i v e l y , th i s a r t i f i c i a l s t a b i l i t y gained through abstraction makes i t possible for meaning to be presented, reca l l ed , and manipulated. Meaning i s the resu l t of consensus within the relevent community using the pattern system. The sensory experience of pattern i s not s t a t i c , but i s i nd i v idua l . In order to get from sensory experience to meaning we require an intermediary construction, namely.a semiotic. A consensus about a sen-sory event i s achieved not in doing i t , but in ta lk ing about i t . The sem-i o t i c i s the transformation of the world of shape, a sensory experience, i n -to a world of meaning, a communication experience. The second operation in a communication process i s th is union of the abstr-action with a medium. This may be a very a rb i t rary mating, as in the l i n g -u i s t i c operation of naming, wherein the abstraction i s associated with an arb i t rary grouping of l e t te r s to make up a word. The word w i l l be operative 191. as long as th i s union has consensual sanction. In the soc ieta l realm the operation of combining an abstracted structure with a medium i s to create an i n s t i t u t i o n - - a pattern of operation is translated into the physical functions which w i l l a f fect the stated abstract purpose. This process is indeed the generic process of formal izat ion, and i t i s the process of design. In general the two step communication process can be ca l led the process of form giv ing. Whether we are at the stage of abstracting or at the stage of shaping we are dealing with meaning, that i s , in order to be ta lk ing about i t in th i s way, we must view the process semiot ica l ly . I t i s not only the resultant, the form which emerges, that i s a semiotic construction. Abstr-action i s a tool for focusing meaning, shaping i s a tool fo r expressing i t . Too much abstraction w i l l el iminate meaning and resu l t in only sensation, too much shape w i l l s im i l a r l y l i m i t meaning and resu l t in expressionism. Whatever the resu l t in form, a communication as a created meaning must be a s c i e n t i f i c abstraction which i s shaped in a s pec i f i c medium. The creative process of physical c losure, of actual ly investing a physical medium with meaning, i s hereby seen to be nominally contradictory. Such a paradox was stated by Shands: " . , . the object i s to be understood as a concrete pers istent thing only a f te r i t has been possible to develop a conception of i t , that i s , paradoxical ly, that i t s concreteness depends upon the development of abst ract ion. " (1) Shand's concern i s the soc i a l i z a t i on of patients through psych iatr ic therapy. (2) The goal of such therapy i s to improve the congruence between the way in which a patient abstracts the world and the consensual shapes which make up his soc ia l mi l ieu . I f the patient cannot learn to conform his abstractions 192. in the consensus, a pathology i s i d e n t i f i e d . In the f i e l d of design an equivalent pathology can ex i s t : the designer may not be able to analyse the s i tuat ion in such a manner as to permit his cre-ation of form to meet consensus. Note that th i s pathology i s not concerned with a designer 's i n a b i l i t y to create form, i t i s concerned with a designer 's i n a b i l i t y to abstract the context within which form w i l l become imbedded. Designers are normally better at shaping than at abstract ing. Because shape i s so der ivat ive i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to f ind consensual shape (form) per se. Further, the learning of shape i s the learning of one's c r a f t , i t i s the normal course of mimetic education. Just as the c h i l d , being a natural mim-i c , i s able to copy shape before being able to deduce abstract ions, so the designer i s able to (re-) create shape before being able to f u l l y analyse content. This opposition para l le l s the bi-cambrial brain s t ructure, the de-signer gravitates to l e f t brain functions and learns to read text before con-text. Recourse to s t y l i s t i c revival i s the resu l t of preferr ing a fast and comfor-table mimesis to a contextual disturbance. It has become charac te r i s t i c of the communications age that many designers are now concerned with the context more than with the text. Contemporary concern for methodology rather than s t y l e , or theory, or form i s an attempt to resolve inadequacies society feels with the products of design. The evolutionary importance of th i s i s that the two step communications model personif ies the trend to.wholes over the t rad i t i ona l emphasis on analysis/synthesis oppositions. Secondly, the use of a communications metaphor acknowledges the natural resolut ion of entele-chy, the character i s t i c tendency of an ent i ty for s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n in form. 193. The communications model provides a society-wide heur i s t i c for comprehend-ing socia l transformation. Whereas soc ia l i n s t i t u t i on s have hitherto evo l -ved slowly through t r i a l and error (e.g. B r i t i s h Common Law), the present rate of change requires that i n s t i t u t i on s be abstracted through operational and structural analys is . Conger has coined the term "Social Inventions"(2) for a process which includes a f i r s t operation of consensus gaining in the abstract preparatory to i n s t i t u t i n g a second operation, real functional change. T o f f l e r ' s "Ant ic ipatory Democracy" (4) i s s im i l a r l y an attempt to establ i sh a methodology which achieves consensus and soc ia l meaningfulness in advance of i n s t i t u t i n g actual functional plans. In design the f i r s t level operation of abstraction is ca l led the programme, and i s commonly distinguished from the second level operation of shaping, actual design. The whole process i s a semiotic process, fo r i t i s en t i r e l y devoted to communicating shape, which when shared w i l l become form. The physical form requires a th i rd operation, construction. The two step sem-i o t i c process of producing shape pa ra l l e l s the generic semiotic process.(5) To give shape to an idea means to model i t semiot ica l ly . Consequently i t i s not formally correct for us to ta lk about the product of the f i r s t leve l op-eration as being abstract ion, since a resultant shape must be provided in words for us to deal with i t , however our purpose i s to re late the nature of the programme to the process of abstract ion. The paradox of form giving re-fers to th is need to analyse before synthesis i s poss ib le, to ident i f y a con-text before a text can be establ ished. There are purely der ivat ive means for achieving form where the text i s derived from non-contextual events. This i s a matter of degree, for a l l complex de-194. signs seem to borrow from other texts in some way. The International Style i s the hyperbolic example of t h i s , wherein par t i cu la r forms, mater ia ls , and constructions were actual ly placed".'in the widest possible range of contexts, where in f ac t , context was eliminated as meaning on many levels because the text was awarded universal value. Although in complex design s i tuat ions such as in architecture i t i s normal for most elements to be derived from previous p ract i ce , derivation of form d i r e c t l y from other form admittedly escapes the paradox of form by simply never being abstracted. 195. FOOTNOTES 1. Harley Shands, Semi o t i c Approaches to Psychiatry (The Hague: Mouton, 1970), p.251. 2. Ibid. 3. D. Stuart Conger, Social Inventions (Saskatoon: Modern Press, 1974). 4. Alv in To f f l e r , ed. The Futurists (New York: Random House, 1972), p.117. 5. A. Marino, "Two Hermeneutical C i r cu i t s : Part/Whole and Analysis/Synthesis", D ia lect ics and Humanism, no.2, 1976, pp.126, 129. 196. CHAPTER TWENTY SUMMARY OF THE PARADOXES OF DESIGN The preceeding paradoxes are summarized for ease of i den t i f i c a t i on and com-parison. Each paradox i s described in two statements, the f i r s t e s tab l i sh -ing the c o n f l i c t of thes i s/ant i - thes i s as an apparent contrad ict ion, the second providing a synthesis in the form of s t rateg ic opportunities for re-solving the c o n f l i c t . 1. The Paradox of Progress A. The idea of "progress" as known to the Western World i s based on an accelerating rate of change which is s e l f - l i m i t i n g , consequen-t l y "progress" must come to an end. B. The realm of physical design w i l l s h i f t from a mode in which i t i s considered necessary to perpetually invent new form to a mode where the form i s a rb i t rary and new meaning i s created through acting on ex i s t ing form; "progress" i s redefined. 2. The Paradox of Metaphors of Order A. The use of metaphorsior analogues of order decreases the amount of order, since "open" socia l systems must cont inual ly re-estab-l i s h order. B. The rate of change taking place today requires that socia l stab-i l i t y be symbolized by b io log ica l metaphors of re lat ions rather than mechanistic metaphors of order. 3. The Paradox of Disorder A. Disorder i s not chaotic. 197. B. Disorder i s a type of order, and once so defined the order which is required to define i t w i l l become as s oc i a l l y acceptable as stra ight forward order t r ad i t i o na l l y has been. The Paradox of Chaos A. The most complete type of communication i s at the level of comm-union, however i t i s not communicable semiot ica l ly at a l l . B. Creative-processes mediate the chaotic state of communion and transform qua l i t i e s of i t s freedom into consciously acceptable form. The Paradox of Language A. Our most useful communications t o o l , language,; has proven to be the most d i v i s i ve of forces between soc iet ies . B. Divis ion which spawns heterogeneity i s of innate survival value, increasing re s i l i ence and richness, and i s therefore desirable. The Paradox of Information A. Information i s defined as a difference that has been communicated However a very small amount of information may lead to a patholog i ca l d i f ference. B. Information can have an implicate order, e f f ec t i ve l y causing com-plex personal constructs to be ref lected or challenged by key f a -cets of the i r structure. The Paradox of the Second Law of Thermo-dynamics A. The universe is proceeding towards an ever more homogeneously or-dered end. However open systems, such as b io log ica l or socia l 198. structures, seem to be capable of absorbing energy from the en-vironment and creating heterogeneous order. B. Open systems operate under a d i f fe rent kind of order than that suggested by the negentropic process of ever greater, ever more pervasive and far-reaching order. Large soc ia l constructs, hom-ogeneity, and imposed order do not complement soc ia l evolut ion. Rather, soc ia l order i s best fostered under very small units of order, under almost anarchic conditions seen from the large sca le, where an i nd i v i dua l ' s freedom i s r e l i ed upon over circum-scribed soc ia l structures. 8. The Paradox of the Excluded Middle A. The contrasting bivalence of d i a l e c t i c a l thinking i s the closest we can come to an appreciation of mult ivalent phenomena. B. The character of thinking and language constructions which place e f fect i ve meaning along a polarized dimension of r e l a t i v i t y must be seen to be an opportunity to appreciate the intermediate and r e l a t i v e , and not to give emphasis to the so ca l led exclusive poles. 9. The Paradox of Aesthetic Contradiction A. The more hazardous the apparent order in an object, the greater i t s aesthetic appeal. B. The tension i s very appealing and suggestive in an object where the l i ke l i hood that such order can indeed ex i s t i s un l i ke ly . Interest in an aesthetic object is not the resu l t of novelty but of in tens i ty . 199. 10. The Paradox of Iconic Models A. The sophist icat ion of language is ava i lable and equally open to generation and reception by a l l members of soc iety, however an a b i l i t y to consume iconic models i s not matched in our society by an equally common a b i l i t y in each member to create physical form. B. Our soc iety, through communications media and through attendant emphasis on semiotics of form over the form i t s e l f , i s moving towards a pos it ion found in other cu l tures, where each member i s more capable of generating s i gn i f i can t form. 11. The Paradox of Programming A. The acculturated person feels a great sense of freedom having sub-mitted himself to severe programming. B. Freedom to negotiate in the ex te r io r world i s the resu l t of the i nd i v i dua l ' s a b i l i t y to structure his inner world; one realm of order i s used to balance the other realm of a rb i t ra r ines s . 12. The Paradox of the Environment A. The so-ca l led 'environment', the'iiiTOediate^ly;.(imp'-inging physical world, i s r ea l l y only our old and comfortable interpretat ion of events l inger ing on in the new actual r e a l i t y . The l a tes t phys-i c a l and technological environment i s not perceived as the env i -ronment, for we are caught up in i t s content, the old interpre-tations of things, and unable to appreciate the new form i t s e l f . B. The design task today i s to give form purpose, rather than to create form. There i s an abundance of form and of technology avai lable but not u t i l i z e d by society. That e lect ron ic technol-200. ogy which is used causes changes through use, not through design, to the user even while he i s concentrating on the formal aspects of the immediately displaced r e a l i t y . 13. The Paradox of Tradit ional A r t ; The Paradox of Post-Modern Art. A. Art production has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been concerned with hiding the '.'• process which leads to the art product. Modern art reversed th i s practice so as to become highly occupied with the process of pro-duction, ostensibly as a challenge to the t r ad i t i ona l a r t i s t - aud -ience re lat ionsh ip. This challenging process has become compoun-ded in time, such that Post-Modern ar t products are preoccupied with s e l f - c r i t i c i s m . B. Resolution i s found for the audience in the consumption of the ar t product as a media event. The art object i s only the denouement of an act which i s consumed in real time. 14. The Paradox of Modeling the Future A. The notion that a physical form in the present can be a model of the physical future i s t a c i t l y contradictory, for the future i s unknowable and uncreatable. B. We must be careful to rea l i ze that a physical model s i gn i f i e s our ideas, while only our ideas (through action) can s i gn i fy the future. The future does not infuse our models, our models infuse the mind's future. 15. The Paradox of Design as a System A. The idea that the design process i s a systematic process leads to 201. problems, even though the system is devised as a problem solving process. B. Problems do not reside in objects, nor do objects solve problems, because problems do not reside in the physical realm. To make of the design process a system i s to harden i t a f te r the manner of objects, such that the design process does not have the f l e x -i b i l i t y required to exorcise during the exercise the real personal and soc ia l problems. 16.. The Paradox of Differences A. The f a i l u r e to f ind differences in a s ingle object i s to be dest-ined to f ind no differences among objects. B. Observation of an ent i ty i s at f i r s t a re f l ec t i on of oneself, and only upon continued c r i t i c a l appraisal does otherl iness appear. Thus the person/environment d i f f e r e n t i a l must.be established in the pa r t i cu la r in order for learning about others to occur. 17. The Paradox of Form Giving A. The creation of a physical object requires f i r s t l y that i t be ab-stracted conceptually. B. Although concept does seem to precede percept, they are united through semiosis. That i s , a sign mediates the abstract and the concrete. 202. CONCLUSION Before summarizing the implications of these paradoxesA.tnhereht to. the design process, l e t us re-assert the conclusion regarding the value of paradox i n -termittant ly mentioned in th i s paper. The par t i cu la r creative opportunity which a r i ses , should one derive a frame in which one thing i s stated as be-ing in c o n f l i c t with another , i s that in which the receiver i s motivated to create a path upon which both en t i t i e s can proceed to a resolution.(1) A rat ional contemporary world causes many equivalences and recurrences to be the resu l t of predictable established structure which cannot by d e f i n i -t ion lead us into the future. . C r i t i c a l approaches in the present must modify ex i s t ing re lat ions in order to: 1. discover the motivation in any system, which in turn requires de f i n i t i on of that system's context, environ-ment, or meta-system, and 2. reveal the richness, information, and novelty avai lable in modif icat ion. The point i s that the design process can be as boring a convention as the designed object. A process of design as a creat-ive enterprise i s an interact ion with r e a l i t y and not, despite h i s t o r i c a l tendencies, an ideology on i t s own. A model of r e a l i t y must be made, i t i s t rue, but the designed object l i e s along side and interacts with the model of r e a l i t y . In th i s re lat ionship i t can be seen that f i c t i o n i s not a polar-ized opposite of f ac t , but rather f i c t i o n i s a log ica l modification of fact since the structure of r e a l i t y i s so heavily r e l i ed upon. Creative a c t i v i t y i s log ic based and r e a l i t y based, hence the design of an object must adhere to laws which are expressive of other areas of human behavior, even while tension i s created because control i s threatened. The fusion of future s ta -tes ( f i c t i on ) with past constructs (facts) cannot be changed without some 203. con-fusion, which in the hands of the creative i s a meta-level of order rather than a plunge into disorder. Confusion i t s e l f i s a means for the creative mind to achieve new structure, for paradoxically "ambiguous works draw attention to the i r own compositional p r i n c i p l e " . (2) P a r t i c u l a r l y , ideology which paradoxically channels a creative task l i k e designing, appears to be important in conveying pr inc ip les of change to r e a l i t y at large, yet i t i s ideology which i s the greatest threat to designing even while i t i s ult imately the source of a l l commissions for design. The reason why ideology i s of l i t t l e use to design today i s that ideologies of the Modern Movement consistently stood in the way of the acceptance of the gains already made in freeing design for the i nd i v idua l . The mater ia l -i t y of r e a l i t y i n s i s t s on a re-working in objective terms of the struggle for freedom. Design i s asked to i l l u s t r a t e again and again the i nh ib i t i on of indiv idual freedom, but the voyeur ist ic public w i l l not adopt the stance, but w i l l only s i gn i fy i t with signs, the "deadly s i lence of s igns". (3) Utopians l i k e Restany would speed the progression on: "Contemporary technology indeed permits the imagination to take over: freed of any normative shackle of any problem of rea l i za t i on or production, the creative imagination be-comes the same as the planetary conscience." (4) But being a s o c i a l i s t Utopian Restany would see the imagination exercised at a group l e v e l , the production only avai lable to the i nd i v idua l . In c a p i t a l -i s t soc iet ies the material object i s commissioned and not the i n t e l l e c t ua l a c t i v i t y , consequently imagination i s a means to the ideological ends of cap-i t a l . Only recently has the revived avant-garde taken up the posit ion of Dadaists s i x ty years ago, as found in Duchamp's statement, "I have forced my-se l f to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own tas te . " (5) 204. Such a pos i t ion , or rea l l y such a non-posit ion, has been subverted by art and design ever s ince, even though Duchamp has here voiced The Paradox of Post-Modern Ar t , for he obviously conforms to his own taste, a taste for i n -consistency. It i s only the present communications media age, having thrown into question the a r t i f a c t because of the creation of form in e lectron ic media, which can give Duchamp's focus on "making" a new immediacy. I t i s as i f we no longer have to go about expressing personal freedom in sign and a r t i f a c t because the material form i t s e l f i s now questionable. Personal freedom, that anarchic s tate, suggests the state of non-Ar istotel ian log ic advocated by Al f red Kor-zybsk i , wherein the phenomenology of the ind iv idual led l o g i c a l l y to i d i o -syncrat ic contradict ions. (6) The Post-Modern designer has the opportunity to l i v e Duchamp's way of l i f e , for according to the ed i tor of The Complete  Works of Marcel Duchamp, Arturo Schwartz: "Let us s t a r t with ( l og i ca l ) consistency and observe that i t i s thanks only to inconsistency that humanity has survived. To be perfect ly consistent with oneself, in a l l circumstances, leads to intolerance and fanaticism. Inconsistency i s the source of tolerance. It i s tantamount to an awareness of the contradictions of the world. Inconsistency as an i n d i v i d -ual human att i tude i s simply a sum of uncertainties held in reserve in the consciousness. The world of values i s not a world of p o l a r i s t i c l o g i c ; and the refusal to make a choice once and for a l l between mutually exclusive values, and thus to prejudice the future, is exactly what inconsistency stands for . Generally, inconsistency i s practiced more than pro-claimed. It i s a way of l i f e - - Duchamp's." (7) The process of el iminating countless A r i s t o te l i an d i a l e c t i c a l thoughts can continue (designer versus user, architecture versus bu i l d ing , future versus past) so that they can be replaced by phenomenological d i a l e c t i c s (users make designers, buildings make arch i tecture, past makes future, and vice 205. versa). The c l a r i t y with which technology transforms r e a l i t y , as implied above, i s clouded by two issues. F i r s t l y , the technology of today (communications media) are material systems to a substantial degree, and as such w i l l i n t e r -fere with indiv idual freedom according to t he i r manner of management. Sec-ondly, the ascendent technology provides the generative metaphors for organ-i z ing thought, at least on the cu l tura l scale. It must also be true that to some degree evolving patterns of thought prec ip i tate technological inno-vation. The example we have dealt with extensively in th i s paper i s the metaphor of the "machine" as the pre-eminent log ica l model for Modern design. Although we have not said so quite as l i t e r a l l y , the second technological ly based generative metaphor we have been dealing with is "communication", the icon of Post-Modernism. The value of communication as metaphor i s that i t surmounts the early utopianism of the Modern avant-garde which might have led to ann ih i lat ion through the law of the systematic i n f rac t ion of ru les , hereby control led because of new values of "communicability". The weakness of comm-unication as metaphor i s that i t attempts to make communicable those forms and qua l i t i e s that cannot be so communicated - - the metaphor once useful in act ion, acts on d i f fe rent phenomena i nd i f f e ren t l y as we saw in the universa l -i t y which accompanied the machine metaphor. In th i s way the communication metaphor develops into an ideolog ical scheme of i t s own. The communication metaphors have existed within the ent i re Modern-avant garde movement. Notions of semantic d i s t o r t i on , the ambiguity of a r t i s t i c languages, analysis through cod i f i c a t i on , and programmed innovation were e f fec t i ve and popular analogues for a r t i s t i c methods at the beginning of th i s century. Af ter 206. a l l , the early l i n gu i s t i c s movements such as Russian Formalism, Czech Struc-tural i sm and European Semiotics, para l le led the Eastern European dominated avant-garde art movements. (3) L ingu i s t i c components of the communication metaphor have continued to be i n f l uen t i a l throughout th i s century through the i r influence on s t r uc tu ra l i s t methodologies in the humanities, and;social sciences. Information theory and cybernetic considerations provided hew ^im-petus by growing rapidly a f ter the Second World War in a l l areas of applied science. Systems and l i n gu i s t i c s became a combined interest in l a t e r man-machine developments, for computerized technology u t i l i z e s programmed vers-ions of language on a var iety of l eve l s . The arts as visual languages, whe-ther theatre, f i l m , the p l a s t i c a r t s , or architecture are submitting to a p ro l i f e ra t i on of semiological studies as new levels of e f f i c i ency in commun-icat ion i s sought. C r i t i c i sm, espec ia l l y in l i t e r a t u r e , has responded to the new independent l i f e of the sign by searching for new levels of s p e c i f i -c i t y in l i t e r a r y models of r e a l i t y through the use of semiotics. Architecture is t ry ing to move from a Utopian frame to a c r i t i c a l frame in order to keep pace with the new experiences of communications technology. However in adopting the semi o t i c instrumentation architecture also adopts the semiotic ideology and i t s tendency to become bogged down in programmed log ic which has only an a b i l i t y to describe and no a b i l i t y to expla in. The outcome of th is i s further e f f o r t inappropriately expended on expl icat ing the languages of arch i tectura l plans, models, products, and environments. The essence of the communications metaphor i s not, however, to give new l i f e to " a r t i f a c t s " through semiosis or diagnosis, but rather i t i s to recognize the intention of the s ign, or put another way, i t i s to see the design as a mess-207. age and not jus t as an i n te rna l l y coherent structure. The message i s an ex-change between.structures, espec ia l ly between domains of design pa r t i c ipa t i on . For example, the role of the commissioner of the design has always been seen as a superstructure to the design method, and yet present semiological pre-occupations have not improved the communications between c l i e n t and designer, they have only a r t i cu la ted internal cod i f icat ions which describe e l i t i s t and specia l ized languages of the designer. The ambiguity and creative interplay ex i s t s precisely at the point where r e a l i t y keeps in f r ing ing on the pur ity and coherence of the designers purposive v i s i on , which the designer has t r a -d i t i o n a l l y tended to minimize or surmount rather than incorporate. ;This i s understandable, for up to Duchamp's time i t could s t i l l be stated that lang-uage systems are incapable of dealing with the asymmetry of the " r e a l " world, which resulted in Duchamp's resistance to words and emphasis on act ion. But in today's communications r e a l i t y the potential for action has become greater than the potential of the object, for the object is only a transducer of con-tent from displaced sources. The world has become one of " c i r c u i t structures" and not s t a t i c structures according to Gregory Bateson, who claims that art provides wisdom " i n correcting a too purposive view of l i f e . " (9) We conclude then, that design i s purposive and i s concerned with communicability, but in order to escape the structures of ideology which mean design strategies w i l l be applied where i t has no value, design must w i l l i n g l y embrace the contra-dict ions of matching design with r e a l i t y . These contradictions are not d i s -order ly, nor are they oppositions, imbalances, or c r i t i c i sms which are ext ra -neous to the design task. Because the image does not have the autonomy which our attempts at the creation of h istory has led us to bel ieve, the designer 208. cannot t reat "form" with such importance. The design task i s to see these contradictions to s t ra ight forward form as paradoxes, that i s as contradic-tions which are resolved through the a c t i v i t y of design, through the very nature of design as a creative process. This i s not that simple, as Sargent says, "By and large i t i s easier to appreciate a problem than i t i s to un-derstand an opportunity." (10) So i t i s that formaliz ing or systematizing cu l tura l interact ion i s maladaptive in the long run, or as Morse Peckham put i t , "the drive to order i s also a drive to get stuck in the mud." (11) I f anyone in society is responsible for getting things unstuck, i t must be the designer. Obviously the manner in which the designer i l l u s t r a t e s paradox resolut ion i s metaphorical, since the paradox of paradox, as Wilden points out, i s the fact that apparent contradict ion w i l l appear in a design despite the variety of levels of synthesis enfolded in i t . (12) We require a bounded meta-communi-cative system to explain the lower level contrad ict ion, and cannot escape th i s boundary condition of exp l i cat i ve systems. But th i s i s precise ly the ultimate metaphorical purpose of design, to symbolize the perpetual act of creating meta-communicative leve l s . The a f fect i ve resu l t i s that form as well as the design process should consist of questioning the nature of architecture. When Tschumi says: "I would therefore suggest that there has never been any reason to doubt the necessity of arch i tecture, for the necessity of architecture i s i t s non-necessity. It i s use-less but r ad i ca l l y so." (13) he i s re-establ i sh ing the abstraction that does not change even while dealing with a purpose-built construction whose goal i s to accommodate':specific'change. 209. Thus contemporary commentators are returning to a long out-of- fashion, pre-Modern objective found in Hegel's Aesthetic Theory, where he feels that "a r -chitecture was whatever in a bui ld ing did not point to u t i l i t y . " (14) Peter Levin in a paper ca l led "Decision Making in Urban Design", suggests: "...perhaps i t i s a va l i d aim to try de l iberate ly to achieve a s i tuat ion in which the functioning of the system i s as independent as possible of the design. The design, in other words, should have the minimum e f fec t on human organization and a c t i v i t i e s . " (15) This statement at f i r s t seems p laus ib le , then paradoxical, and f i n a l l y n i h i l -i s t i c , However couched in a discussion of systems we can appreciate i t as a comment on our i n a b i l i t y to systematical ly match meaningful form with complex functions. This f a i l u r e to design-in complexity, as i t i s often thought of today, brought Joseph Rykwert to phrase one of his "Paradoxes in Contemporary Architecture" as an inequity between the large quantity of buildings designed and the i r low qua l i t y , which he att r ibutes to the a r ch i t ec t ' s " i n a b i l i t y to give form to the socia l m i l i eu . " (16) How i ron i c i f th i s s i tuat ion indeed generates Rykwert's second paradox: "At the most secret and the most unconscious l e v e l , the thronging to the schools of architecture indicates a continuing be l i e f in the power of the physical environment to remedy soc ia l i l l s , a be l i e f which seems to be mistaken'.'" (17) The physical environment.vform, and objects are avai lable as platforms for the development of concepts and are avai lable for human c r ea t i v i t y and d i s -covery. The B i b l i c a l mission to rein over nature attains a level of f u l f i l -ment today at which we phenomenologically re-create or threaten to destroy the ent i re earth da i l y . This level of " r e a l i z a t i o n " is d i f f i c u l t to exagg-erate, and i t prompts a pa r t i cu la r formulation of the B i b l i c a l paradox wherein one gains l i f e by los ing i t . This i s a special version of The Paradox of Form 210. 1 Giving, in which i t i s not possible to experience something at the same time as i t i s being conceived or abstracted. I t follows that we lose our a b i l i t y to experience l i f e when we attempt to conceive of the meaning of l i f e and conversely. Ultimately th i s i s also the paradox of transcendence in a l l s e l f - a c tua l i z i n g human pursuits -- ; "happiness i s a by-product that eludes d i -rect pursuit " (18) i s Brewster Smith's way of putting i t . Bernard Tschumi has ca l led this paradox "The Paradox of Arch i tecture " : "namely, the imposs ib i l i t y of simultaneously questioning; the nature of space and, at the same time, making or experiencing a real space." (19) For Tschumi th i s paradox corresponds to the denial of erot ic ism in Modern arch i tecture, since the conceptualization of the Modern was invested in pu r i t y , there was no room for the conceptualization of pleasure. That i s , erot ic i sm requires more than sensual i ty, the experience of which was avai lable in Modernism; erot ic i sm requires that the concept of excess of sensuality accompanies the experience of sensual ity. We conclude that th i s paradox can be framed to correspond more generally to the opposition between form and meaning. We create the meaning of our form-ations apart from our experiences of them. We exercise l i f e obl iv ious to the potential codes, meanings, rules that might be created: "To ex i s t i s not to rea l i ze potent ia l i t y , " . ( 20 ) Architectura l concepts are not present in our experiences of space, rf th i s i s t rue, we are dealing with a contradict ion and not a paradox of conception/perception, of idea l/actua l , of l i fe/death. The special demand on design i s to resolve th i s paradox, *hat is.,, to i l l u s -trate i t s lack of contradict ion. For Tschumi " i t i s not a matter of destruc-211. t ion or 'avant-garde' subversion, but of transgression". (21) Transgression i s required to meet S:M. Rosen's "plea for the p o s s i b i l i t y of v i sua l i z ing existence". (22) We do not have a very good t rad i t i on in North America, for discussing how one goes about constantly contradict ing oneself. Hans Selye 's requ i s i te "stress of l i f e " (23) i s perhaps an analogue of the need for con-t rad i c t i on in the b u i l t environment, a point i l l u s t r a t e d at a base physio-log ica l level by the Boeing Company's spacecraft mock-ups which proved to be so comfortable the astronauts had d i f f i c u l t y remaining awake. The much gr-eater immunity to highly l i vab le environments found among Europeans i s i nd i c -ated in Jean-Paul Sart re ' s statement: " I f France allows i t s e l f to be influenced by the whole of American cu l ture, a l i v i n g and l i vab le s i tuat ion there, w i l l come here and completely shatter our cu l tura l t r a d i t i o n s . . . " (24) The most common aphorism to th i s e f fec t i s the one which claims that "rules are made to be broken". Rules require h i s tory , and the place of history as a predict ive tool i s reaffirmed in the c y c l i c a l con f l i c t s around the axia l i nd i v idua l . The poor understanding of transgression in the New World may be the resu l t of a lack of h i s tory , or better, the resu l t of l i v i n g in the future, not so much in a promised land as in a land of promise, of becoming. Conf l i c t i s deepening in th i s land, the land is maturing, the c i t i e s are de-caying, time i s evinced, creation i s no longer jus t novelty - i t i s , f i n a l l y , decadent.\ In th i s context the implications of the seventeen paradoxes discussed as they re late to the design process are as fo l lows: 1. The Paradox of Progress: a l l form can be seen to be a rb i t ra ry , any form 212. that does the job w i l l do, there are no forms of i n t r i n s i c worth, that is to say, form is a means for the designer and not an end. 2. The Paradox of Metaphors of Order: the use of images of order within the open systems of design bui ld up ideological expectations of consistency which on a large scale are pathological. 3. The Paradox of Disorder: disorderly design processes are not uncontrol-l ab l e , in fact as a tool they would necessari ly cause greater order wi th-in the systems which border the design system. 4. The Paradox of Chaos: the ultimate level of communication between designer and design purpose i s the w i l l i n g suspension of a l l conscious determination to achieve the purpose. 5. The Paradox of Language: i t i s detrimental to the long term success of design for a l l designers to pursue a universal language of design. 6. The Paradox of Information: design elements are not of equal value, such that tolerance and accommodation of a l l design issues interferes with a designer's a b i l i t y to provide depth - - succ inc t l y , breadth hinders depth. 7. The Paradox of the Second Law of Thermo-Dynamics: design processes are not closed systems which operate by formula, they are open systems which respond d i f f e r e n t i a l l y to varied inputs; further, there ex ists no promise in the organization of design methods at large complex scales, for the design act i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y based at the level of indiv idual freedoms. 8. The Paradox of the Excluded Middle: the tendency for the design process to mimic thought and language structures which are d i a l e c t i c a l , i nh ib i t s the a b i l i t y of the designer to provide the f u l l range of var iat ions poss-ib le in his resolut ion. 9. The Paradox of Aesthetic Contradiction: the designer is fundamentally 213. concerned with the aesthetic dimension, but as a tool to enhance other functions. 10. The Paradox of Iconic Models: the i n a b i l i t y of the general consumer of design in our society to generate form results in an inev i table e l i t i s t s i tuat ion for those who can. 11. The Paradox of Programming: open systems such as design require s t r i c t structur ing in one dimension in order to atta in the f u l l freedom possible for the manipulation of elements in other, more synthetic dimensions. 12. The Paradox of the Environment: the purpose of the design function i t s e l f i s to give s ign i f icance to that which, although present, fs'.un'realized. 13. The Paradox of Tradit ional A r t ; The Paradox of Post-Modern Art: while design h i s t o r i c a l l y has been concerned with keeping hidden the turmoi l , c o n f l i c t , process, and compromise of the design process, Post-Modern de-sign has been concerned with providing opportunities for transparent and part ic ipatory methods, which have resulted in contemporary processes in which design is a s e l f - c r i t i c i z i n g methodology. 14. The Paradox of Modeling the Future: the plans which are designed are containers of meaning about our ideas for the future, but add i t iona l l y they are predict ive in that they serve to some degree as " s e l f - f u l f i l l i n g prophesies". 15. The Paradox of Design as a System: to think of designing as a systematic process i s to think of designs as solutions to problems, however neither problems nor the i r solut ion reside in the b u i l t environment. 16. The Paradox of Difference: super f i c i a l design solutions are to be thought of as stereotypes of the designer rather than as resolutions to an issue which has been brought to him; only a f te r in-depth c r i t i c a l appraisal can 214. the real nature of the design issue be rea l i zed , which i s to say that the designer who is a good synthesizer i s so because he i s capable of depth analys is. The Paradox of Form Giving: the designer cannot d i r e c t l y synthesize form, he must create i t s image in his mind f i r s t and thereafter use semi o t i c tools to communicate between concept and prax i s , which suggests that the designer works from the general to the pa r t i cu l a r , as does the s c i en t i s t . 215. FOOTNOTES 1. Robert-Alain de Beaugrande, "Toward a General Theory of C r ea t i v i t y " , Poet ics, vo l .8, 1979, p.289. 2. Shlomith Rimmon, The Concept of Ambiguity. The Example of James (Chicago: Univers ity of Chicago Press, 1977), p.258. 3. P. Restany, quoted in Architecture and Utopia, by Manfredo Tafuri (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1976), p.140. • 4. I b id . , p.145. 5. Marcel Duchamp, in Marcel Duchamp, A. D'Harnoncourt and K. McShine, eds, (Greenwich, Conn: New York Graphic Society, 1973), p.35 6. A l f red Korzybski, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotel ian Systems and General Semantics ( Lakev i l l e , Conn: International Non-A r i s t o te l i an Library Pub. Co., 4th Ed., 1958). 7. Marcel Duchamp, in The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, Arturo Schwarz, ed. (New York: Abrams, no publishing date), p.193. 8. D.W. Fokkema, "Continuity and Change in Russian Formalism, Czech Structur-al i sm, and Soviet Semiotics", PTL, vo l .1 , n o . l , 1976, pp.153-196. 9. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (New York: Ba l lant ine, 1972), pp.146-147. 10. L. Sargent, "Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary Science F i c t i o n " , The Futur i s t , vo l .6, no.3, 1972, pp.93-98. 11. Morse Peckham, Man's Rage for Chaos (New York: Schocken Books, 1965), p .x i . 12. Anthony Wilden, System and Structure (London: Tavistock, 1972), p.123. 13. Bernard Tschumi, "Questions of Space: The Pyramid and the Labyrinth (or The Architectural Paradox)", Studio, vo l . 190, September 1975, p.141. 14. Ib id. 15. Peter Levin, quoted in " I f the City i s not a Tree, nor i s i t a System", by John Minett, Planning Outlook, vol.16, Spring 1975, p.14. 16. Joseph Rykwert, "Paradoxes in Contemporary Arch i tecture " , Architecture :i & Urban ism, Apr i l 1979, p. 82. 17. Ib id. 216. 18. Brewster Smith, quoted in "Aiming at the Se l f : The Paradox of Encounter and the Human Potential Movement" by Maurice Friedman, Journal of  Humanistic Psychology, vol.16, no.2, 1976, p.7. 19. Bernard Tschumi, "Architecture and Transgression", Oppositions, no.7, Winter 1976, p.57. 20. Maurice Friedman, "Aiming at the Se l f : The Paradox of Encounter and the Human Potential Movement", Journal of Humanistic Psychology, vol.16, no.2, 1976, p.11. 21. Tschumi, 1976, p.61. 22. S.M. Rosen, "A Plea for the P o s s i b i l i t y of V i sua l i z ing Existence", Sc ien t i a , no.108, 1973, pp.789-802. 23. Hans Selye, Stress Without Distress (Toronto: McClelland, 1974), p.171. 24. Jean-Paul Sartre, quoted in The Shape of Content, by Ben Shahn (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), p.4. 217. BIBLIOGRAPHY Arnheim, Rudolph, Visual Thinking (Berkeley: University of Ca l i f o rn i a Press, 1969). The Dynamics of Architectura l Form (Berkeley: Univers ity of Ca l i f o rn ia Press, 1977). Arup, Ove, in "Ove Arup", The Architectura l Review, no.993, November 1979. Bahm, Archie J . , "Planners ' Fai lures Generate Scapegoat", Pol icy Sciences, vo l .6, 1975. Bar, Eugene S., "Psychoanalysis and Semiotics", Semiotica, vo l . 16, no.4, 1976. 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Zadeh, L.A. et a l , Fuzzy Sets and Their Appl icat ion to Cognitive and  Decision Processes (London: Academic Press, 1975). 225. APPENDIX GLOSSARY Ambiguity: As i t relates to paradox, i t i s the mult iple meanings evoked by an apparent contradict ion which support one another in a complex and sh i f t i ng thought pattern. Analogue: A construction that can be considered to be a pa ra l l e l to some other construction. Analogy: A construction which has a rather d i rect l ikeness across a par-t i c u l a r dimension of some other construction. Antinomy: A contradict ion between two assertions each of which seem to be su itably convincing while implying the f a l s i t y of the other. Code: A formula by which information i s encoded. A set of rules for organizing signs to perform an organized task. Communication: A l l the procedures by means of which one system affects another through the use of representatives. Communications: That which treats the issues of- repl icated representatives, the how of sending and receiv ing. f Contradiction: An essential c on f l i c t or opposition between natural en t i t i e s or human constructions. Cybernetics: For Ampere in 1834, the science of governance or cont ro l , the science of control and communication, (see Wiener, 1948). Denotation: A re la t ion of reference. Compare "des ignat ion", the re la t ion of meaning or sense (such that interpretat ion i s usually concerned with connotation, the re la t ion of associat ion). Design, designed object, designer 's product, e t c . : The transmission of a s i gna l , received pr imar i ly through visual receptors, coded as signs, which i s treated as form (as a message) by i n fe r r i ng meaning from i t . Designing, design process: A purposeful creative act dealing " i n time" with the juxtaposit ion of sign phenomena which re late to the physical environment. It i s i r r a t i ona l in that i t cannot be described. Diachrony: Following Saussure, the "axis of successions". A diachronic frame of reference uses notions of re lat ions rather than of objects; i t involves a describing function as well as the described. The diachronous occurs " i n t ime". Diachronic d i ve r s i t y : Var iat ion over time, synonymous with change. 226. D ia lec t i c s : The formalization of an ideational p r inc ip le wherein an ent i ty i s defined through i t s opposition with a contradictory notion. For Hegel, the combination establishes a higher form of truth in a "synthesis ". Dilemma: The resu l t of a given assumption or conclusion leading to a pa r t i cu la r occurrence, whether or not the conclusion i s true or i s sa t i s factory . Entelechy: A rea l i za t i on as opposed to a po ten t i a l i t y . The characte r i s t i c of matter to s t r i ve for s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n in form, of an idea to be rea l i zed in form. Entropy: The tendency for structure or order to d i s s ipate, to break down, or to never occur in the f i r s t place. Compare negentropy. Epistemology: A theory about the nature of knowledge. Excluded middle: See "Law of the Excluded Middle". Form: Shape which has meaning. Information: As derived from cybernetics, something which makes a d i f ference. Langue: After Saussure, a formal system which acts as a general solut ion or reference. See "paro le " . Law of Ident ity: A i s A; i f p then p. According to the pr inc ip les of l o g i c , th i s law implies permanent i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , i t clashes with empirical f a c t , and i t should be rejected. See " l o g i c " . Law of Non-contradiction: Nothing can be both A and not-A; not both p and not-p. This p r inc ip le should not be viewed as a law of opposites. Not-A is simply the denial of the existence of A, and i s not equiva-lent to A's opposite (while in propositional l o g i c , of course, not-A means A i s f a l s e ) . Because c l a s s i f i c a t i on s are vague, the Law of Non-contradiction cannot claim that c l a s s i f i c a t i o n can take place without ambiguity, and should be rejected on those grounds. See " l o g i c " . Law of the Excluded Middle: Something i s e i ther A or not-A; e i ther p or not-p. This p r inc ip le attempts to operate independent of the highly r e l a t i ve nature of a l l human measuring or evaluative procedures. As a consequence the suggestion that i den t i f i c a t i on can operate only between exclusive poles i s in error and should be abandoned. See " l o g i c " . Logic, c l a s s i c a l : As encapsulated in A r i s t o t l e ' s three "Laws of Thought": 1. The Law of Identity: A i s A. 2. The Law of Non-contradiction: nothing can be both A and not-A. 3. The Law of the Excluded Middle: something i s e i ther A or not-A. 227. Logic, formal: As encapsulated in the three laws of proposit ions: 1. The Law of Identity: i f p then p. 2. The Law of Non-contradiction: not both p and not-p. 3. The Law of the Excluded Middle: e i ther p or not-p. Message: A combination of signs the arrangement of which (the coding) has the same meaning for sender and receiver. Meta: A pref ix used to indicate that the ent i ty or type of ent i ty fol lowing the pref ix i s being discussed. Method: A set of describable pr inc ip les and techniques used as a means for gaining knowledge. Negentropy: A shortened version of "negative entropy", i t i s the opposite of entropy, and refers to the tendency for open systems (b io log ica l systems, human systems) to display order, structure or pattern, and to gravitate towards conditions which are not random. Ontology: A theory about the fundamental nature of the world, whose subject matter is being, i s what r ea l l y ex i s t s . Paradigm: After Kuhn, a pattern or way of thinking which infuses spec i f i c theoret ica l constructions by presenting i r repres s ib le models and solut ions. See (The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, p . v i i i , 1970). Paradox: An apparent contradict ion. What i s sometimes ca l led a " l o g i c a l contrad ict ion" in thought and discourse, as stated in pre-17th century notions of " c l a s s i ng " , a construction unfortunately perpetuated by d i a l e c t i c a l materialism (Marx, Engels, Lenin a f te r Hegel), i s here ca l led a paradox in l i ne with contemporary usage. Parole: After Saussure, an indiv idual use of a system which acts as a spec i f i c so lut ion, as opposed to acting as the epitome of typ ica l so lut ions. See "langue". Phenomenological: In design, the concern that a designer 's perception of the world be disclosed in the a r t i f a c t , that the uniqueness of the designer i s c r i t i c a l l y avai lable in the design. Semiotics: The science of signs and sign systems, where the sign i s the fundamental unit of interchange within the communicative act. Sign: Something which produces a response to something other than i t s e l f . Structural ism: A methodology which seeks to s h i f t the emphasis from unique, independent, and atomistic objects to the relat ionships between these objects such that general models (structures) can be described. The structure i s a general hypothesis about a system of invariance which i s an external reference for each indiv idual and pa r t i cu la r work. 228. Synchrony: For Saussure, the "axis of s imul tane i t ie s " . The examination of a phenomenon at one moment in time, descr ipt ion i t s e l f made possible by the i so l a t i on of objects at a pa r t i cu la r time. Synchronic d i ve r s i t y : Var iat ion in a phenomenon at one point in time, leading to an ambiguous descr ipt ion of i t . System: A set of en t i t i e s together with the relat ionships between them which define a boundary between internal and external operations. Tautology: An ideational construction which gives no information about the world because i t (the construction) i s t o t a l l y se l f - referenc ing. 229. 

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