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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 U n i v e r s i t y 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 t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1980 (c^J  Thomas Joseph Becher, 1980  In presenting t h i s thesis in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  of t h i s thesis f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  &  t  t  *  P  u  *  n  s  .  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  -  s  n  ^  u  ^  s  ABSTRACT This p a p e r attempts to deal with a r c h i t e c t u r a l theory at the l e v e l of the design process.  By concentrating on a p a r t i c u l a r i d e a , or r e a l l y a  p a r t i c u l a r type of idea c o n s t r u c t i o n , I intend to i l l u s t r a t e the nature of contemporary design process. with i s the notion of paradox.  The method of idea construction dealt 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 r a n s i t i o n from Modern to Post-Modern design.  It i s my contention that the paradox i s  a p a r t i c u 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 q u a l i t i e s which are greatly prized by the Post-Modernists  but which were not highly e x t o l l e d by the  Modernists. The q u a l i t i e s of paradoxes which are proving to be of considerable value to design are ambiguity and complexity. great importance f o r c r e a t i v e work.  These q u a l i t i e s are held to be of Their special value today r e s u l t s from  the diverse and r a p i d l y transforming s o c i a l and technological realms, which require complex yet integrated conceptual models in order to cope with rapid change. Paradoxes are shown to p a r a l l e l the structure of c r e a t i v e thinking as c r e a t i v i t y has been described.  in-so-far  Paradoxes are a special case of the b i -  association used i n c r e a t i v e t h i n k i n g .  In b i - a s s o c i a t i o n one e n t i t y i s  juxtaposed i n a s i n g l e framework with an antagonistic e n t i t y . c o n f l i c t gives r i s e to the creation of new integrated ideas. ii.  The r e s u l t a n t In a paradox the  c o n f l i c t arises over the question of whether or not a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s true or f a l s e .  In f a c t the ambiguity that r e s u l t s from a c o n t r a d i c t i o n  that i s both true and f a l s e 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 c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  It  is  to be valued f o r i t s a b i l i t y to introduce indeterminate thinking to the design process.  By d e f i n i t i o n , t h e paradox retains the idea that a con-  t r a d i c t i o n i s present, even while the c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s known to be f a l s e . I w i l l maintain that an appreciation of a c o n t r a d i c t i o n even a f t e r the c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s shown to be f a l s e has the a b i l i t y to vault the designer to s t i l l higher l e v e l s of synthesis and a b s t r a c t i o n .  This movement between  l e v e l s of abstract i n t e g r a t i o n i s held to be fundamental to the design process in general and to paradoxical t h i n k i n g in p a r t i c u l a r . This paper introduces the idea of the paradox i n preparation f o r a discussion of the complexity and indeterminacy that r e s u l t s when we attempt to apply i t to p a r t i c u l a 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 r o l e of seventeen paradoxes.  These paradoxes  have been chosen f o r t h e 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 r e s p e c t i v e l y .  The i n t e n t i o n has  been to i l l u s t r a t e the character and r o l e of paradox in s p e c i f i c  instances.  But a d d i t i o n a 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 ii.  The general conclusion based on the i n s i g h t s gained from discussing the paradoxes i s not r a d i c a l .  To conclude that the e s s e n t i a l purpose of de-  sign must be to personify the perpetual act of creating meaning on many l e v e l s at the same time i s to corroborate findings established in many quarters.  The f a c t that the notion of paradox reinforces widely held  b e l i e f s does reveal the relevance of paradoxical thinking to mainstream design.  E s s e n t i a l l y , paradox i s important to the design process as a  r a t i o n a l construction of a type which incorporates i r r a t i o n a l functions. A very potent c r e a t i v e tool r e s u l t s when both r a t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l functions can be combined to compose meaning at a v a r i e t y of l e v e l s at the same time.  iv.  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  it  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 i x :  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 t e e n :  The Paradox of T r a d i t i o n a l A r t ; 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  Conclusion  ' • •. -  Bibliography Appendix:  .  of Design . . . 197 .203 .218  Glossary  226  vi  INTRODUCTION This t h e s i s i s the outgrowth of an i n t e r e s t in the state of a r c h i t e c t u r a l theory today.  I n i t i a l explorations confirmed the generally held view  that a p a r t i c u l a r theory of a r c h i t e c t u r e i s u n l i k e l y to.be derived in the f u t u r e , j u s t as i t has not been derived in the past.  There are p a r t i c u l a r  theories about how physical form can be generated, to be sure, but there i s no generally acceptable theory about the r o l e of a r c h i t e c t u r e , i t s value and place in s o c i e t y , or about the elements of a r c h i t e c t u r e , t h e i r use and d i s p o s i t i o n in b u i l d i n g s . Discussions of a r c h i t e c t u r a l theory tend to take place at one of two l e v e l s . The f i r s t l e v e l i s t h i s more s p e c i f i c f i e l d of discourse, at which p a r t i c u l a r methods are described or s t y l e s are depicted.  Given the wealth of possible  solutions to problems i n the b u i l t environment, i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that p a r t i c u l a r methods or s t y l e s w i l l lead to unique rather than general solutions.  Even the most successful and widely spread method or s t y l e  enjoys only a l i m i t e d period during which i t i s u n i v e r s a l l y a p p l i e d .  In-  deed, the universal a p p l i c a t i o n of a type of a r c h i t e c t u r e seems to imply a rather i n d i s c r i m i n a t e use which i s sure to r e s u l t in a backlash.  Conse-  quently the greatest examples of a r c h i t e c t u r e which we can name are examples of p a r t i c u l a r types of a r c h i t e c t u r e rather than of a r c h i t e c t u r e generally. One example to draw upon to i l l u s t r a t e t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s the question of whether or not the Pyramids are a r c h i t e c t u r e at a l l .  There are those who  would state that a Pyramid i s as good an example as any of a r c h i t e c t u r e i n general.  Others would counter with the argument that a Pyramid i s a very  1.  p a r t i c u l a r type of a r c h i t e c t u r e .  And others would claim that a Pyramid  i s not a r c h i t e c t u r e at a l l , but rather a primary geometric s o l i d designed independent of man. My i n t e n t i o n in t h i s paper i s not to deal with the l e v e l of theory which deals with p a r t i c u l a r means whereby form can be generated, whether or not that form has unique or general q u a l i t i e s .  My i n t e r e s t i s not in the  methods or s t y l e s exercised by the i n d i v i d u a l to achieve purpose b u i l t structures.  Rather, i t i s at the second, more general level of a r c h i t e c t u r a l  discourse that I wish to contribute to t h e o r e t i c a l discussion. This second level of discourse in a r c h i t e c t u r a l t h e o r i z i n g operates at the l e v e l 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 a r c h i t e c t u r e i s or could be when operating at this level.  This image or paradigm i s b u i l t up of widely recognized  a r c h i t e c t u r a l considerations that f o r a time provide procedural models f o r a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s . ( 1 )  That i s , a number of considerations  which act together c o n s i s t e n t l y over a substantial period of time tend to characterize an era.  They become the general case or paradigm present in  a l l p a r t i c u l a r instances during that period.  P a r t i c u l a r problems are de-  f i n e d 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 t h e i r s o l u t i o n . The s h i f t from one paradigm to another i s a transformation of s i g n i f i c a n t proportions. change.  In f a c t , Kuhn considered a paradigm s h i f t to be a " r e v o l u t i o n a r y "  In that i t has been my i n t e n t i o n to deal with t h i s general, sec-  ondary l e v e l of ontological structure I have sought to account f o r t h e o r e t i c a l transformation in a r c h i t e c t u r e at a very profound s c a l e .  2.  Indeed, i t i s  debatable whether or not we can discuss i d e a t i o n a l structures at the level of paradigm as theory at a l l .  The term theory might best be r e -  served f o r that level of discourse at which i n d i v i d u a l s have f u l l and conscious control (even though c e r t a i n aspects of a theory may i n i t i a l l y be unconsciously generated).  At the level of paradigm the i n d i v i d u a l 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 t h e o r i z i n g .  He d i s -  criminates on the basis of his education w i t h i n the system which values that paradigm.  So i t i s that a discussion about paradigms i s a discussion  of h i s t o r y rather than a discussion about p a r t i c u l a r works, since large time-scales are required to define conceptual structures of such magnitude. I am interested in h i s t o r y in t h i s paper in so f a r 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 d e a l i n g , but i t i s not a h i s t o r y 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 v e s t i g a t i o n of one p a r t i c u l a r e n 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 t h e o r i z i n g , but which provides an e x c e l l e n t 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 l a 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 t y l e but  a paradigm, as indicated by our l a b e l i n g of such d i f f e r e n t 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 i n i t s ubiquitous metaphor, "the machine age".  The machine was espoused as the v e h i c l e of  3.  transformation from the paradigm which preceded Modernism, or as Frank Lloyd Wright saw i t , "We see t h i s adversary to the old order, the machine, a s - a t 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 r e a t i v e l y used by man!"(2) The machine metaphor proved to be an extremely useful and powerful "servant" to e s t a b l i s h the Modernist order or paradigm.  But as Wright seems to admit  in t h i s quotation of 1953, the machine e t h i c required a " s a v i o r " by that time.  As a true Modernist he continued to r e l y 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 r e q u i s i t e freedom, but his proviso i s that i t be c r e a t i v e l y used. I w i l l argue that the machine order has b u i l t - i n l i m i t a t i o n s f o r the very reason that i t denies c e r t a i n dimensions of c r e a t i v i t y .  In p a r t i c u l a r , the  machine metaphor led the Modernists to believe in the e l i m i n a t i o n of complex and ambiguous ideas, such as the paradox.  And the absence of complexity  and ambiguity r a d i c a l l y l i m i t s c r e a t i v e freedom in the long run. Note that the r a t i o n a l , p u r 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 l e v e l of paradigm construction than at the f i r s t level of s p e c i f i c t h e o r e t i c a l construction.  The pursuit of  l o g i c a l , simple truths characterized the Modernists in general, but i t did not necessarily describe the p a r t i c u l a r works of c e r t a i n Modernists. That i s , the great Modernists, l i k e the great designers working in any e r a , revealed in t h e i r work very complex t r u t h s .  In f a c t , that i s the reason they  are great, they are able to provide a richness beyond the l i m i t s of any theory.  4.  C e r t a i n l y the best of the Modernists were not more s c i e n t i f i c than t h e i r predecessors in the way in which they designed.  But they were caught  up in the use and s e l e c t i o n of mechanical imagery and i n d u s t r i a l elements, as society was in general.  The d i f f e r e n c e between them and the rest of  society was that the great Modernists were able to be c r e a t i v e 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 s p e c i f i c instance. These persons have r e l i e d on planning, data bases, methodologies, systems t h i n k i n g , s c i e n t i f i c research and l o g i c to animate the i n d u s t r i a l elements. It has been the concern of many design t h e o r i s t s 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 i s incompatible with the thinking required w i t h i n the c r e a t i v e design process.  This i s not to  say that the machine image i s incompatible with design, with form, or with progressive paradigms.  A f t e r a l l , the machine image served s u c c e s s f u l l y  to break the shackles of the Nineteenth Century gripping the e a r l y Modernists. But i t i s to s ay that the r e d u c t i o n i s t and r a t i o n a l 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 c e r t a i n types of c r e a t i v e behavior. The i n a b i l i t y of the machine age to provide c r e a t i v e 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 i n  5.  the development of images and models which could replace the mechanistic world view with a more s y n e r g i s t i c one.  It i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s  Century that science and engineering should provide the foundation f o r the machine age as well as f o r the paradigm which has replaced i t .  I  a t t r i b u t e t h i s to the f a c t that the most c r e a t i v e work in our s o c i e t y , that work which i s revolutionary to the degree that i t can cause to s h i f t , takes place in the pure and applied sciences.  paradigms  The impact of  t h 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 t e c h nological t o o l s . Science has been concerned with complexity rather than s i m p l i f i c a t i o n during the l a s t few decades.  The i m p l i c a t i o n f o r s p e c i f i c everyday a c i t i v i t i e s  i s a preoccupation with i n t e r a c t i o n and with information processing t e c h nology.  The i m p l i c a t i o n f o r theory b u i l d i n g and conceptualizing i s 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 i s to the "communication age". I have sought to deal with t h i s paradigm s h i f t to the communications age as the most important influence on a r c h i t e c t u r a l theory today.  Since I  wish to deal with a r c h i t e c t u r e i n - s o - f a r as i t i s a c r e a t i v e process, w i l l be concerned with the "design process".  I  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 s p e c i f i c design works.  This process i s already taking hold strongly - - i t i s very  d i f f i c u l t to discuss design today without r e s o r t i n g to highly t o p i c a 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 i n t o 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 f o r the  machine age, a maturing of the paradigm occurs as the bold image and e a r l y assumptions work down into the p a r t i c u l a r methodological works; An a d d i t i o n a l p a r a l l e l deals with the e a r l i e r , i c o n o c l a s t i c phase of a paradigm.  As noted, the Modernists r e l i e d on the forms implied by the  machine to break with the past, the preceding order.  These e a r l y Modernists  did not have the systematic conceptual tools which were to be developed in l a t e Modernism a f t e r the Second World War.  S i m 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 s o p h i s t i c a t e d conceptual tools  which are capable of incorporating the communications paradigm i n t o the generative process have y e t to be developed.  Post-Modernism i s presently  f i l l e d with cant and posturing, since at t h i s stage the statement i s more important than the substance. I t i s my proposal that the concept of paradox can serve very well to o r i e n t a discussion of design theory in the eventual d i r e c t i o n of a mature PostModernism.  At i t s l e a s t the paradox i d e n 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 p e r s o n i f i e s the  very s t r u c t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of r a d i c a l l y c r e a t i v e designing. The creative power of the paradox rests in i t s p a r t i c u l a r s t r u c t u r a l q u a l i t y . A paradox i s a u n i t a r y , whole e n t i t y 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 a d i t i o n a l l y dealt with complexity by  7.  breaking i t down, by s i m p l i f y i n g — the image of science adopted by the Modernists.  However, most evolving s c i e n t i f i c work in t h i s Century has  been seeking to deal with complexity i n t e g r a t i v e l y .  Similarly, theoretical  applied and s o c i a l sciences have been preoccupied with organic, b i o l o g i c a l , systematic, cybernetic, communications, s t r u c t u r a l , or l i n g u i s t i c models. The r e s u l t s of these d e l i b e r a t i o n s are gradually being adopted by the design professions.  New conceptual and t h e o r e t i c a l constructions are emerging  in design which i n c r e a s i n g l y 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 s c h o l a r l y  world, although a number of a u t h o r i t i e s have taken up the cause.(3)  The  examples of paradox discussed in the body of t h i s paper i l l u s t r a t e the p a r t i c u l a r value of ambiguity to the creative act of design.  The tension  found in ambiguous r e l a t i o n s h i p s proves to be very f e r t i l e to c r e a t i v e work.  I t i s the a b i l i t y of a paradox to encapsulate both complex and am-  biguous r e l a t i o n s h i p s 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 p a r t i c u l a r , and to c r e a t i v e 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 p r i n c i p l e s 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 r e -  dundancy and ambiguity permits us to e a s i l y create new meaning using old forms.  This e s s e n t i a l ambiguity found in language i s a good reason why  analogies with language systems are so strong in the s o c i a l sciences and the arts today.  8.  I t i s on t h i s basis that I intend to explore and define paradox as a precise conceptual apparatus f o r constructing s p e c 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 c o n t r a d i c t i o n . A paradox i s a c o n t r a d i c t i o n which, viewed from another vantage p o i n t , proves to be f a l s e .  However, to  discover that a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s only apparent and not real i s not s u f f i c i e n t to i d e n t i f y a paradox.  Rather, we chose the term paradox to apply to a  c o n t r a d i c t i o n which we value and wish to keep in mind even though we know i t to be f a l s e .  That i s , we apply the term paradox to those s i t u a t i o n s in  which we wish to preserve the d i d a c t i c value of a c o n f l i c t despite the f a c t that i t s construction i s not an o u t r i g h t c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  From c e r t a i n con-  f i n e d perspectives such a c o n f l i c t may appear to be an o u t r i g h t c o n t r a d i c t i o n . 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 c a l l e d a c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  A  paradox i s resolved through the very act of d e f i n i n g i t . The construction of a paradox p a r a l l e l s d i a l e c t i c a l thought processes. Whenever we f i n d value in p o l a r i z i n g e n t i t i e s i n t o a s i n g l e oppositional framework, we are using d i a l e c t i c a l thought processes.  Should e n 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 e n t i t y in an opposition deny  some facet of another e n t i t y , we would have a c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  I f the c o n t r a d i c t i o n  can be exposed as being i n e r r o r , we would only be dealing with an opposition. I f we should construct one assertion which seems to be s u i t a b l y convincing while implying the f a l s i t y of another, we are dealing with an antinomy. However, should a c o n t r a d i c t i o n be found to have innate value even while we  9.  expose i t as f a l s e 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 s t r u c t u r e .  I t i s t h i s structured ambiguity  which makes the paradox so potent a tool in the c r e a t i v e 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 s e above the ambiguity of o s c i l l a t i n g between a c o n t r a d i c t i o n that appears true at one moment and f a l s e at another.  The paradox demands that extra synthetic act which sur-  mounts the s i n g l e p o l a r i z e d dimension in order to be s e l f - c r i t i c a l . E f f e c t i v e l y , a paradox can be structured by acknowledging the p r i n c i p l e of hierarchical integration.  By moving the discussion of a c o n t r a d i c t i o n to  a higher level of abstraction i t i s possible to t e s t whether the c o n t r a d i c t i o n , holds.  By reframing the c o n f l i c t from a broader point-of-view the contra-  d i c t i o n might be resolved.  I f so, i t i s a matter of using the p r i n c i p l e of  i n t e g r a t i v e reframing, much a f t e r the fashion of Hegelian d i a l e c t i c s , to create a synthesis of a p r o p o s i t i o n . t h a t i s v a l i d one moment.and f a l s e the next. An i n d i c a t i o n that the properties of paradox are becoming of increasing i n t e r e s t to many commentators i s to be found i n the coining of the term "Janusian" t h i n k i n g .  This label i s used by Olsson (4), Koestler (5), and  Rothenberg (6) to r e f e r to a type of t h i n k i n g in which two or more c o n t r a d i c t o r y elements are dealt with simultaneously.  According to t h i s view the  co-existence of antagonistic elements i n a s i n g l e frame is.considered to be the most powerful a v a i l a b l e construction to spawn c r e a t i v e a c t s .  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 r e c t i o n at the same time.  Rothenberg studied  the c r e a t i v e works of a great many b r i l l i a n t people, i n c l u d i n g E i n s t e i n , O ' N e i l l , Conrad, Mozart, and Picasso in order to v e r i f y t h e i r adherence to the hypothesis of Janusian thinking.(7)  The record o f ' g r e a t c r e a t i v e acts  assembled by Rothenberg suggests that i t i s very important that the e s t a b l i s h ment of oppositions be a conscious and r a t i o n a l act.  I t i s through the  tensions considered and tested when incompatibles merge i n t o a transcendent whole that a c r e a t i v e release i s p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e . A paradox i s a conscious j u x t a p o s i t i o n  between the idea of a c o n t r a d i c t i o n  and the idea that the c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s f a l s e Janusian c o n s t r u c t i o n .  a f t e r the manner of the  Consequently, paradoxes should be seen by the designer  as f u r n i s h i n g e x c e l l e n t opportunities f o r his most c r e a t i v e and powerful work. They are r a t i o n a l constructions which u t i l i z e the p o t e n t i a l of the i r r a t i o n a l and indescribably complex to achieve highly integrated r e s o l u t i o n s .  This  has been c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the design process f o r c e n t u r i e s , and the rapid rate of change in our c u l t u r e i n c r e a s i n g l y demands c r e a t i v e t h i n k i n g tools which can d e l i v e r c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n in the midst of unprecedented complexity and d i v e r s i t y .  To lose s i g h t of the ambiguity.and c o n f l i c t i n an apparent  c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s to lose sight of an i n t e g r a t i v e understanding of a c e r t a i n aspect of the world. I have chosen seventeen p a r t i c u l a r paradoxes f o r discussion in t h i s paper out of the large number of paradoxes p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e . have been selected on the basis of two main c r i t e r i a ;  These paradoxes firs.t.,  general a p p l i c a b i l i t y to design in that they embody perennial faced by the designer,  each had a struggles  s e c o n d , these paradoxes are e s p e c i a l l y t o p i c a l con-  11.  siderations to the designer concerned with the emergence of Post-Modernism. That i s , these paradoxes are themselves p r i m a r i l y the r e s u 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 f o r ease of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and comparison. While the value to the design process of any s i n g l e paradox, or of paradoxes in general cannot be proven, each instance c i t e d i l l u s t r a t e s the s t r a t e g i c advantage of such a construction.  The Modernists chose to eliminate com-  p l e x i t y and ambiguity in favour of s i m p l i c i t y and p u r i t y .  Consequently  they could not value the paradox p o s i t i v e l y as a c r e a t i v e device on i t s own. I w i l l argue that disregard f o r paradox i s to lose an important c r e a t i v e advantage which serves to enrich design.  The complexity, heterogeneity  and c o n f l i c t that are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of everyday l i f e are being e x t o l l e d today as the very q u a l i t i e s which should be found in our b u i l t environment. Paradoxes are e x c e l l e n t tools with which to i l l u s t r a t e the m u l t i - l e v e l process of creating meanilhg and s i g n i f i c a n c e i n 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 m u l t i p l e l e v e l s 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 c e r t a i n ambiguity i s being conserved, that there i s an advantage i n not s t a t i n g things as e i t h e r "black or w h i t e " .  Further analysis of paradox exposes the r a t i o n a l and  non-rational aspects of such a c o n s t r u c t i o n .  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 "nonr a t i o n a l " to r e f e r to that part which cannot be adequately described.  12.  The designer, l i k e others involved in c r e a t i v e endeavors, make great use of the non-rational and the i r r a t i o n a l to p u l l together highly complex considerations.  Such considerations would remain fragmented and i l l - c o n c e i v e d  i f only r a t i o n a l processes were a p p l i e d .  The importance of the paradox to  the design process i s to provide the designer with a device which i s i d e n t i f i a b l e and r a t i o n a l in e f f e c t , but which incorporates highly i n t e g r a t i v e and synthetic aspects which are e s p e c i a l l y valuable to c r e a t i v e work.  13.  FOOTNOTES 1. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1970), p . v i i i . 2. Frank Lloyd Wright, The Future of A r c h i t e c t u r e (New York: Horizon Press, 1953), p.33. 3. See Chapter T h i r t e e n , The Paradox of Programming, pp.122-136. 4. Gunnar Olsson, Birds i n Egg (Ann Arbor, Michigan: U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan, Michigan Geographical P u b l i c a t i o n No.15, 1975), pp.218-221. 5. Arthur K o e s t l e r , Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp.57-58. 6. A l b e r t Rothenberg, "Creative C o n t r a d i c t i o n s " , Psychology Today, v o l . 1 3 , n o . l , June 1979, pp.55-62. 7. I b i d . , p.56.  14.  CHAPTER ONE  THE CONTRADICTIONS OF PARADOX Within the often vague and i n a c c e s s i b l e methods used by the designer to p u l l concept from chaos l i e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o n t r a d i c t i o n , such that the r e s ult is false.  But i t i s normal f o r the design elements to c o n f l i c t one with  another despite a well motivated process a t t e n t i v e to l o g i c a l connection and semantic c o r r e l a t i o n .  I t i s also normal f o r the connections and the meanings  of the elements to maintain t h e i r t r u t h and  propriety  no matter how much  r e v i s i o n i s undertaken i n order to resolve the c o n f l i c t . ion must very often s a t i s f y i t s e l f with a compromise.  The design s o l u t -  Consequently we must  look to the very premises upon which are founded e i t h e r of two elements in opposition in order to gain f u l l r e s o l u t i o n of c o n f l i c t in a fashion that does not make compromise a d i r t y word. I t i s not normally the case in any discourse that there be an i n c l i n a t i o n to go back to the foundations of the elemental conceptions in order to r e c o n c i l e an e l u s i v e c o n f l i c t .  The term paradox i s used in f a c t to apply to a s i t u a t i o n  in which the l o g i c i s not merely i n c o n s i s t e n t , but where the inconsistency i s an acknowledged part of the by now d o c t r i n a i r e discourse.  There i s l i k e l y  no i n t e n t i o n of t r y i n g to understand the c o n t r a d i c t i o n for a host of usually comfortable excuses.  Primary among them i s the dis-ease that w i l l  result  w i t h i n the e n t i r e l o c i of events when the root premises on which the e n t i r e structure i s founded are a l t e r e d .  N a t u r a l l y changes in thinking are required  a l l the way along the l i n e once a p r i n c i p l e changes. Paradox i s one type of c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  It i s a type which i s rather uncomfort-  able because i t c a l l s the conceptual context of the .contradiction i n t o question.  15.  In f a c t , the word "paradox" i s applied only when someone thinks something wrong with the context of the perceived c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  is  Further discussion  of  the l a r g e r f i e l d of c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i l l better o r i e n t the a t t i t u d e we take to paradox.  Contradiction which can be revealed to be only apparent e x 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 i n d e r e l l a ,  A l i c e in Wonderland), than i s brought into subsistence Sophia Loren).  (Raquel Welch,  But more to the p o i n t , something brought into subsistence  must necessarily 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 c a l period through the medieval period, the notion of dealing with contradictions of appearances as p o l a r i t i e s has become an ingrained way of t h i n k i n g f o r the modern  layman.(1)  This basic d i a l e c t i c scheme of thesis and a n t i t h e s i s was the foundation of pre-modern science.  The theme of t h i s l i n e of reasoning i s to turn e a c h a c t i o n  and reaction i n t o a p r i n c i p l e .  This manner of thinking i s so much a part of  us that we often f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to o b j e c t i f y to a point where we can see the c o n t r a d i c t i o n taking place, f o r these p r i n c i p l e s have come to form the perceptive l o g i c of Western c u l t u r e .  In t h i s scheme the a n t i t h e t i c a l charac-  t e r of physical things i s resolved by e s t a b l i s h i n g i t s opposite measure - thus coherence i s achieved, order maintained, and regulation made possible because any given p o s i t i o n can be maintained by measuring out proportionate q u a n t i t i e s ; too much heat i s the r e s u l t of a lack of a proportionate amount of c o l d , j u s t i c e i s something that hangs on a balance, e v i l can be counteracted with an equivalent dose of good, and so on.  16.  This approach to the s t r u c t -  uring of p r i n c i p l e s in order to resolve c o n t r a d i c t i o n has i t s e l f l i k e l y given r i s e 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, i n  deference to the coherence obtainable in s o c i a l  discourse should people agree to abide by such a p r i n c i p l e . Given the a m b i g u i t i e s ' o f language, the c o n f l i c t amongst a man's d e s i r e s , and the diachronic dimensions of circumstance, there i s very good reason to seek consistency.  Consistency i t s e l f becomes a most important h e u r i s t i c tool in  society and in design in the face of such sources of c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  In f a c t  the ease with which c o n t r a d i c t i o n can be m u l t i p l i e d upon the i n t r o d u c t i o n of any s i n g l e element suggests that the designer i s obliged not to undermine the design process by exposing i n t e r n a l or external c o n t r a d i c t i o n s .  More p o i n t e d l y ,  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 d e s c r i p t i o n of c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , nor in the s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of the appearances of the material s o l u t i o n .  The consistency i s found in aspects of method-  ology which permit the great v a r i e t y of types of d e s c r i p t i o n and types of appearances to e x i s t .  These are completely d i f f e r e n t aspects of design method-  ology than those which merely resolve the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , only to have them r i s e up in another place and be resolved again ad i n f i n i t u m .  And the resolved  c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i l l r i s e again because i t requires no change in p r i n c i p l e s , never mind a change from p r i n c i p l e s , to gain a r e s o l u t i o n .  In f a c t c o n t r a d i c -  t i o n which gives the i l l u s i o n of consistent, coherent unity i s i t s e l f a paradox.  17.  While the concept of paradox has seemingly alluded him, Michel Foucault, in his treatment of the contradictions of archaeology, establishes a r o l e f o r c o n t r a d i c t i o n at the end of a n a l y s i s ; f o r us, i t i s at the end of the design that: " . . . o n l y residual contradictions remain - - accidents, defects, mistakes - - o r , on the contrary, as i f the e n t i r e analysis had been c a r r i e d out in secrecy and in s p i t e of i t s e l f , the fundamental c o n t r a d i c t i o n emerges: the bringing into play at the very o r i g i n of the system, of incompatible postulates, i n t ersections of i r r e c o n c i l a b l e i n f l u e n c e s , the f i r s t d i f f r a c t i o n of d e s i r e , 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 s u p e r f i c i a l elements that must be reduced, i s f i n a l l y revealed as an organizing p r i n c i p l e , as the founding, secret law that accounts f o r a l l minor contradictions and gives them a f i r m foundation: in short, a model f o r a l l the other oppositions."(2) The organizing p r i n c i p l e which i s going to contextualize a l l the oppositions of the design i s the paradox, which must be found out in order to t e s t how serious we are about the l e s s e r c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , and not necessarily to d i s c r e d i t them, or replace them, f o r they are constituent parts at various of function which are also working s y n t h e t i c a l l y .  levels  The models and approxima-  t i o n s , the elements of the puzzle, the t h e o r e t i c a l options, the predetermined variables which modulate the methodological sequence do not promise an easy, smooth and f u l l y v e r i f i e d 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 cont r a d i c t i o n 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 i n d u s 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 c o n t r a d i c t i o n . " ( 3 ) His One-Dimensional Man i s the contemporary person who has found a set of p r i n c i p l e s worthy of t o t a l conscious investment.  18.  In f a c t these p r i n c i p l e s of scientism  operate at r e l i g i o u s and mythic l e v e l s to hide c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  The ancient  b i v a l e n t 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 u n t i l c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s p e j o r a t i v e and paradox untenable.  Rulon Wells mentions that  change i s simply "a synchronic r e f l e c t i o n of diachronic diversity."(4) i s i n t e r e s t i n g that t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y Marcuse's One-Dimensional  It  Man, who  can appreciate d i v e r s i t y over l i n e a l time only but cannot appreciate synchronic d i v e r s i t y , which i s d i v e r s i t y in one thing at the same time.  The word we  normally use f o r synchronic d i v e r s i t y i s ambiguity. The opportunity e x i s t s f o r paradoxical thinking to become more than an i n strument, f o r tools of reasoning gain a l i f e of t h e i r own, extending into an otherwise unreachable p r a x i s .  Because the notion of paradox confronts  conventional reasoning, challenging the l o g i c of systematic t h i n k i n g , the d i a l e c t i c a l movement of contradictions provides the h i n t of multi-valence required in our methods to complement the multi-valence we more r e a d i l y admit in our physical environment.  The goal of a l l knowledge i s 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 e i t h e r / o r of yesterday appears to be moving towards a both/and f o r tomorrow.  The goal must be to create knowledge by e x t r a c t -  ing the next layer of the implicate order, of the b u i l t - i n s t r u c t u r a l tension 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 c a n n i b a l i z i n g d i a l e c t i c a l thought.  Witness Herbert Marcuse's  statement that " . . . t h e power of negative thinking i s the d r i v i n g power of d i a l e c t i c a l thought, used as a tool f o r analyzing the world of facts in terms  19.  of i t s i n t e r n a l inadequacy." (5)  While he acknowledges the ambiguity in the  world of f a c t s , Marcuse adopts negative analysis as the d e s c r i p t i o n of d i a lectics.  This i s to say that he adopts the "Law of C o n t r a d i c t i o n " as i t r e -  l a t e s at l e a s t to f a c t s : one form of the law being "a thing cannot have oppos i t e a t t r i b u t e s at the same time." (6)  I t i s t h i s Law of Contradiction, which  i s 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 i n i t , f o r a theory that c a n ' 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 t h i s i s what Marcuse considers to be the d i a l e c t i c ,  the thesis and a n t i - t h e s i s of science, he i s dismissing the existence of uni c o r n s , or b e t t e r , he i s dismissing the concept of the contradictory e n 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 y e t e x i s t i n  another "region" which permits contradictory facts "incompatible to s c i e n c e " . L i m i t i n g 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 o p p o s i t i o n , f o r 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 e x i s t f o r i t says nothing about what pote n t i a l p o s i t i v e state can be obtained.  Therefore the Law of Contradiction  does not p r o h i b i t unicorns, although natural law might.  D i a l e c t i c s as the  opposition of incompatible properties does not so much need the Law of Cont r a d i c t i o n as laws of nature.  The laws of nature are required to e s t a b l i s h  20.  a base-line s t r u c t u r e , while the Law of Contradiction establishes so much as i n d u c t i v e , r a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s .  nothing  That r a t i o n a l i s m needs structure  as well i s to point out that the overgoal of thought may very well be s t r u c t u r e , since i r r a t i o n a l i t y and n o n - r a t i o n a l i t y require structure as well f o r no other reason than to be so i d e n t i f i e d .  if  As Garelick p o s i t s , to suggest  otherwise i s paradoxical: "Every denial that reason can t r u l y perceive that the world i s structured adds up to an a f f i r m a t i o n of j u s t what i t attempts to deny. And t h i s because the l o g i c and language we use i n denying presupposes n e c e s s a r i l y that reason i s capable of seeing t r u l y . " (7) I t would seem "reasonable" to conclude from t h i s that the unicorn i s emine n t l y r a t i o n a l . Sound acumen i s required to i d e n t i f y what i t s a t t r i b u t e s are, what i s incompatible, and indeed what a t t r i b u t e s are and what incompati b l e s are.  Contradiction i s used to e s t a b l i s h the dimensions of the subject,  t h e i r q u a n t i t i e s in the object and the c r i t i c a l departures from experience, but the unicorn i s not negated i n 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, f o r 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 a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t schemas w i l l a s s i m i l a t e and i n t e r p r e t data in d i f f e r e n t ways. Their d e s c r i p t i o n of the same data w i l l at times vary to the point of being unrecognizable." (8) People seem to view a garden v a r i e t y horse as v a r i a b l e ; surely f o r many i f a horse's t a i l could be l o g i c a l l y mistaken f o r a l i o n ' s , a ride 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 R a t i o n a l . "  (9)  I f the unicorn cannot comfortably be c a l l e d r a t i o n a l because reason i s assoc21.  iated wi/th the type of negation practiced in science, l e t i t take t h i s negation which also propels the d i a l e c t i c , and remake the v e h i c l e , d i a l e c t i c , so that i t runs on o p p o s i t i o n , a more v o l a t i l e fuel f o r c r e a t i v i t y .  The de-  signer i s 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 o n " , 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 e s t a b l i s h the tension between p o s s i b i l i t i e s , rather than the t r u t h of t h e i r synthesis.  The truth value of the syn-  thesis i s up to the i n d i v i d u a l consumer, j u s t as a j o k e , once constructed, depends on the audience to develop the consistency in the parts which lead up to the c o n 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" between the dueling parties i s p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e .  Rather than have a un-  icorn negated by nature the d u a l i t y can be represented as a continuum, which possesses two poles; in t h i s case the poles might be f i c t i o n a l beasts and n o n - f i c t i o n a l 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 c o n s t r u c t i o n .  However t h 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 e s t a b l i s h a s t i l l of unknowns.  l a r g e r number  And given the ambiguity with which people view a s c i e n t i f i c  datum, the n o n - f i c t i o n a l pole i s highly phenomenological when we are d e a l 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 n o n - f i c t i o n a l pole, since i t i s by no means that f a n c i f u 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 o n may not  conform to r e a l i t y in aggregate, but the parts are very l e g i t i m a t e , f u n c t i o n a l l y assembled on a n o n - f i c t i t i o u s model, and o p e r a t i o n a l l y e f f e c t i v e in t h e i r mythic context.  The disorder i s eminently r a t i o n a l , the unicorn as  form i s a conceptual unit ambiguous at only one l e v e l , and u n l i k e l y 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 c o n s t i t u t e d , as might occur with a c h i l d .  "Michael Polanyi  wrote that creative thinking was thinking as a c h i l d with the tools of l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r i n g given by maturity."(11) The s c i e n t i f i c method of deductively negating theory through f a c t must, paf r a d o x i c a l l y , r e l y on new f i c t i o n a l constructions which are searching f o r supporting proof and l o g i c .  Science has, to i t s c r e d i t , delivered us from  many fantasies whose order i s inconsistent with f a c t s , but in so doing has condemned the excluded middle of p o t e n t i a l or i n t e r p r e t e d f a c t , where f o r William Blake "anything capable of being believed i s an image of truth."(12) In our society the s c i e n t i s t as -the new high p r i e s t upholds the Establishment and the absolute, that which must be believed. a r i l y a departure from present s t r u c t u r e s .  The creative i s necess-  So i t i s that a r c h i t e c t u r e ,  representing l a r g e - s c a l e s o c i a l investment, i s a f o l l o w e r 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 f a c t that the Establishment commissions i t . yet i t does, i t must change, as Kalakowski points out: " P r i e s t s and j e s t e r s cannot be reconciled unless one of them i s transformed i n t o 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 i n c o n t r o v e r t i b l e , derides common sense and reads sense i n t o the absurd. In short, i t undertakes  23.  And  the d a i l y chores of the j e s t e r ' s profession together with the i n e v i t a b l e r i s k of appearing r i d i c u l o u s . Depending on time and place, the j e s t e r ' s thinking can range through a l l the extremes of thought, f o r what i s sacred today was paradoxical 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 i s to consider a l l the possible reasons f o 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 i s motivated not by a des i r e to be perverse but by d i s t r u s t of a s t a b i l i z e d system. In a world where apparently everything has already happened, he represents an a c t i v e imagination defined by the opposi t i o n i t must overcome." (13) If i r r a t i o n a l i t y i s thought without s t r u c t u r e , 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 p e r s i s t e n t , are not d i s j o i n t e d as much as j o i n t e d . frame  In the d i a l e c t i c a l we can  the thought processes which a r t i c u l a t e and uncover the l e v e l s of  structure at work, even in the s i n g l e opposition.  I t 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 o n a l i t y of thought which uses the p r i n c i p l e of negation to confirm structure.  The f a c t that c o n t r a d i c t i o n could a c t u a l l y e x 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 t h i s i s the universal r e v e l a t i o n and works equally well to  show that the value of synthesis i s the degree to which i t i s consistent with experience, f o r "as Plotinus s a i d , (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 o n . "  (14)  Paradox i s an apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n that haunts the excluded middle establ i s h e d by the d i a l e c t i c . apposition,  The c o n t r a d i c t i o n a r i s e s because the balance, the  the p o s i t i o n taken between two opposites i s not appreciated.  The c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s only apparent because i t r e s u l t s from an unwillingness ,  24.  to s h i f t to another l e v e l of structure so as to order in unitary terms the ostensibly c o n f l i c t i n g 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 e n t i t i e s p r e c i s e l y deny another.  The c o n f l i c -  t i n g parts of the paradox are a resolvable unity at a l e v e l at which t h e i r opposition i s subsumed w i t h i n yet another, higher opposition.  In each f i e l d  paradox occurs j u s t at that point where resistance begins to emerge in the thinking process, where i m p l i c a t i o n s have not been made f u l l y conscious the past f o r a v a r i e t y of reasons.  in  The hidden assumptions, the habitual con-  s t r u c t s , the formulaic aspects of experience are very strong in a f i e l d such as design which derives from c r a f t t r a d i t i o n s .  Consequently there i s great  opportunity f o r 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 a p p l i c a t i o n of data and systems, or the a p p l i c a t i o n of absolute novelty or fancy. Paradox requires synthesis, j u s t as a r t does, i n the ready-made semi o t i c world which defines i t .  But any expression i s , s u p e r f i c i a l l y  creative, f o r commun-  i c a t i o n requires i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , requires the connecting of at l e a s t 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 i s considered to be a e s t h e t i c , a dimension valuable to a r t works because a r t works have a r e a l i t y of t h e i r own.  The f a c t that a r c h i t e c t u r e has many  purposes in addition to the function of operating as an a r t o b j e c t , the f a c t that a r c h i t e c t u r e i s a s o c i a l a r t form, the f a c t that a r c h i t e c t u r e i s such an a c t i v e element of l i f e i t s e l f suggests that there i s immense opportunity f o r paradox.  While the moral dimension of a r t refers to the r e s o l u t i o n of  c o n f l i c t (whether in c o l o r , shape, theme, c h a r a c t e r ) , the moral dimension of  25.  architecture i s found in the a d d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l s ( s c a l e , c u l t u r e , s o c i a l , o r g a n i z a t i o n a l , economic) at which c o n f l i c t i s found and, short o f tragedy, i s resolved.  Thus the e s s e n t i a l 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 r a m i f i c a t i o n s , are the processes which, when manifest in d a i l y l i f e , e s t a b l i s h a s o c i a l presence and f o r the a r c h i t e c t become form. Resolution to the paradoxes of f a c 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 t h i s other medium i s of no i n t e r e s t to us here, f o r we are concerned with the a b i l i t y to communicate our f i n d i n g s , our discourse r e q u i res that other process,  semiosis.  "Philosophers have usually f e l t that a primary antinomy of t h i s sort condemned a structure of thought as unsound. Kant devotes a number of sections of his c r i t i q u e 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 e n t i r e turmoil in present-day t h i n k i n g may be said to be merely a phase of t h i s deeper u n s e t t l e 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 r u c t u r a l i s t movement in the humanities i s the ascendent paradigm in the d i a l e c t i c a l  tra-  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 s t r u c t u r a l dynamics.  The communications  t h e o r e t i c 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 H u s s e r l ' s o b j e c t i v i s m " . (17) is ontological. with how we know.  " f a l l a c y of  This type of analysis i s concerned with what e x i s t s and  I t i s opposed by the epistemological approach, concerned  '  The d i a l e c t i c used in t h i s mode revolves p r i m a r i l y 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 conceiving things, rather than the actual matter of f a c t that one has conceived." (13) While t h i s i s much more dynamic, i t often happens that the subject takes hims e l f too s e r i o u s l y , "any idea s e r i o u s l y entertained, however, tends to bring about the r e a l i z a t i o n of i t s e l f " . (19)  A vicious c i r c l e wherein the i n d i v -  idual i s referenced f o r a l l knowledge i s 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. made f o r giving answers.  Words seem to be  For Lewis Thomas,  " I f i t were not f o r the capacity of ambiguity, f o r 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, s t a r i n g i n t o the sun... The great thing about human language i s that i t prevents us from s t i c k i n g to the matter at hand." (20) D i a l e c t i c a l as werare, knowing that the answer i s going to be ambiguous produces a c o u n t e r v a i l i n g force to make the question as s p e c i f i c as p o s s i b l e . This i s contradictory and sure to f a i l , f o r the question cannot change the nature of words, but the questioner might be helped i f he were to s t r i k e up a dialogue.  Festinger notes that the discomfort with dissonance i s i n part  the w i l l to order, the drive to achieve congruity.(21)  Paradoxically the  drive towards consonance requires dissonance as the antecedent c o n d i t i o n . Viewing design methods as semiosis i s to take advantage of the c r i t i c a l  27.  str-  ucture in discourse on language, but of more i n t e r e s t here i s the opportunity to make use of the paradoxical confrontation of meaning present in thought and language.  The design task p a r a l l e l s the process of transforming thought  i n t o 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 i s only design method based on e r r o r . "So much f o r the basic antinomy of existence as we know i t . However, beyond t h i s ever r e c u r r i n g paradox, there i s the mystic u n i t y , the u l t i m a t e , the non-paradoxical, which i s the only c e r t a i n t y we have, f o r i t i s what we mean by the I n f i n i t e i t s e l f . To describe the nature of t h i s ultimate i s impossible. Yet f a i t h in i t i s necessary, not only as a p r a c t i c a l o r i e n t i n g 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 superparadoxical, toward the I n f i n i t e in r e l a t i o n to which alone the whole o b j e c t i v e , 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 p r a c t i c a l l i v i n g what we know in the i n t e l l e c t u a l world as the i n t e r e s t in philosophy i t s e l f . " (22)  28.  FOOTNOTES 1. Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form (New York: Charles S c r i b n e r , 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 S e m i o t i c " , in Essays i n Semiotics, J . K r i s t e v a , e t a a 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 G a r e l i c k , "Blanshard and the Law of C o n t r a d i c t i o n " , I d e a l i s t i c Studies, v o l . 4 , 1974, p.51. 7. I b i d . , p.57. 8. John Parry, The Psychology of Human Communication (New York: E l s e v i e r , 1968), p.103. 9. G a r e l i c k , 194, p.54. 10. Arthur K o e s t l e r , Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1978), pp.113-114. 11. Joseph C h i l t o n Pearce, The Crack i n the Cosmic Egg (New York: Pocket Books, 1971), p.20. 12. I b i d . , p.11. 13. Leszek Kolakowski, "The P r i e s t and the J e s t e r " , i n Toward a Marxist Humanism, t r a n s l a t e d by Jane Z. Peel (New York: Grove Press, 1968), p.34. 14. G a r e l i c k , 1974, p.63. 15. Richard Rothschild, Paradoxy (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc.,  1930),  p.5. 16. A.N. Whitehead, Process and R e a l i t y (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, v o l . 8 , no. 3-4, 1975, p.33. 21. Leon F e s t i g e r , 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 t u r e which precede any t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y genre can u s e f u l l y 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 l o 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 e x c l u s i v e , although tragedy and comedy c o n t r a s t , as do romance and s a t i r e .  The f i r s t pair champions the i d e a l ,  while the second p a i r champions the a c t u a l .  The c y c l i c a l q u a l i t y of univer-  sal myth reveals i t s t r u t h i n the eternal c o n f l i c t of the p u r s u i t f o r synthesis w i t h i n 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 s t r u g g l e , f o r i t i s in movement that e i t h e r r e s u l t a n t fate i s avoided. Romance The essence of the romantic d i s t i l s to a confrontation between two elements, which may be found i n symbols, i n characters, or i n ideas.  I t i s not only  e s s e n t i a l that two forces meet, but that they be opposing f o r c e s , and that they c o n f l i c t .  The nature of the romantic i s to s i m p l i f y opposition in the  antagonist-protagonist  dialectic.  The archetypal hero, incorporating s p r i n g ,  dawn, order, f e r t i l i t y , and youth, represents w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t w i t h i n a dream l i k e coincidence of success.  The v i l l a i n , representing w i n t e r , darkness, con  f u s i o n , s t e r i l i t y , and old age i s a threat to s o c i a l i d e a l s . Romance i s a decidedly p r o l e t a r i a n form which s p i l l s over the bounds of r e a l i  31.  i n i t s naivete' and a f f i n i t y f o r n o s t a l g i a .  The h i s t o r i c a l alignment of de-  sign with bourgeois or noble taste accounts f o r a current lack of s e n s i t i v i t y f o r what the romantic can do to resolve c o n t r a d i c t i o n , despite the presence of some imposing examples, such as Disneyland.  The f a c t that Post-  Modernism i s "Learning from Las Vegas" i s a healthy hint that class d i s t i n c t i o n may very well be dead, not as a r e s u l t of the l i v i n g of mass society as p r e d i c t e d , but as a r e s u l t of the o b j e c t i f y i n g of mass s o c i e t y , in which the new s p e c i a l i z e d communities of i n t e r e s t reap a harvest of nostalgia from the once thought barren plains of mature consumerism.  The importance of the  Romantic i n resolving paradox remains c o n s i s t e n t , the i d e a l i s promoted beyond the actual l i m i t s of the day, and the d e v i l i s demised.  Today, even  any pockets of c u l t u r a l e l i t i s m which might remain seem to be w i l l i n g to deny the l o g i c a l conclusion of long held b e l i e f s .  And these b e l i e f s are f a t a l  impostures i f the i n t e l l e c t u a l conscience does not take up the d i r e c t p h i l o sophical challenges that they represent i n a world courting a n n i h i l a t i o n . The a c t i v i t y of design must a l i g n i t s e l f with the progression of i n t e l l e c t ual h i s t o r y .  The designer mirrors s o c i e t y ' s present w i l l i n g n e s s to admit  the conjunction of many dangerous a t t i t u d e s to environmental management. There i s even a d o c t r i n a l acknowledgement of the prevalence of paradoxical phenomena, these c o n f l i c t i n g forces appearing at every t u r n , and a f u r t h e r acknowledgement that these are not understood.  Yet the philosophical stances  seem to be hardening j u s t when philosophical i n q u i r y should be dropped. Here Romance may serve an important purpose to cloud f u r t h e r philosophical explication.  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 l d - t h i n k and nostalgia - - the 32.  new  Camelot w i l l be  a thread-bare romance.  We can already see too much Post-Modernism weighed  down with n o s t a l g i a , seemingly looking f o r success in a dream-scape. Tragedy Tragedy i s of course what happens in the real world when the Romantic i s forced to face up to the omnipotence of natural law.  Within the archetypal  characters of tragedy, the t r a g i c 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 i g u r e , a nemesis, who r e a l l y only promises that things w i l l go bust.  The actual r e s t o r a t i o n of law comes about through outside forces f a r  l a r g e r than the t o i l of men.  The t r a g i c hero i s a v i c t i m of events, and too  confused to be able to r i g h t the i m p e l l i n g p e r i l of the t r a g i c process w i t h i n which he has found himself. The designer as t r a g i c hero must accept his g u i l t despite his good i n t e n t i o n s . A c t u a l l y , the authority vested in the designer by our c u l t u r e i s so nominal that he does not e a s i l y f i l l  the role of even i l l e g i t i m a t e 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 i n d u s t r i a l cornucopia, rather the designer 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 i e n d appears to t r y to d i r e c t the i n d u s t r i a l machine (the t r a g i c hero) while staying untainted by g u i l t . Paradoxically the designer packages the materialism of hero industry with the best moral and a e s t h e t i c r e c t i t u d e , but i s helpless to overcome i t s damning a f f e c t on the suppliant consumer, and i n f a c t when sympathetic to i n d u s t r y ,  33.  he t y p i c a l l y adds another dimension of a l i e n a t i o n to the product.  The p l o t  in design h i s t o r y has been thickened by the greater or l e s s e r a f f i n i t y designers may have f o r ends, and e s p e c i a l l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d materialism.  This  has been the basis f o r continued c o n f l i c t between the hero and the nemesis. However, in tragedy the c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n i s v i s i t e d upon the puny p l o t by e x t e r i o r forces who w i l l not s u f f e r the reign of t e r r o r forever.  Natural law  i s asserted and c o n t r a d i c t i o n resolved, usually by e l i m i n a t i n g the protagonists.  While l i g h t n i n g may s t r i k e e i t h e r or both i n d u s t r i a l materialism and  design as we know i t , we w i l l discuss f a r t h e r in t h i s paper the rapid r e d e f i n i t i o n of design praxis undertthe pressure of natural law. Satire The use of s a t i r e or irony i s not a casual or low brow occurrence, f o r i t represents the use of wit and i n t e l l e c t to expose contradictions concealed in: the status quo. S a t i r e e s p e c i a l l y i s applied to the obsessive passions of man f o r transcendence through t r i v i a l w o r l d l i n e s s .  While man's squalid gropings f o r s a t i s f a c t i o n of  his animal appetites i s an easy t a r g e t , at the other end of the spectrum s a t i r e reaches a very high moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l .  The greatest w i t i s  required to expose overly serious adherence to the established order against which innovation must compete.  Once ensconced the i n e 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 f o r c e , c r e d i b i l i t y in the protagonist i s helped i f he i s o l d , wise, expert, or sanctioned along the l i n e s of the court j e s t e r . S a t i r e i s a natural f i e l d i n which to use paradox, but the d i f f i c u l t y we have resolving paradoxes in everyday garden v a r i e t y thought suggests why s a t i r e  34.  must be flagged with special signs reading "Caution, s a t i r e used here". S a t i r e u t i l i z i n g rank humour i s usually found out; however more subtle sat i r e is easily order.  mistaken f o r the most impious a f f r o n t e r y to the established  A r t i s t s and p o l i t i c a l pundits are licensed s a t i r e 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 s e r i o u s l y that they make poor  s a t i r i s t s , except a f t e r the f a c t , when we r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y see a great deal of unintended s a t i r e in design.  This may be e s s e n t i a l l y the r e s u l t of con-  temporary design benefactors, who short of commissioning a few a r t works of considerable s a t i r e , never conceive of the work they commission as a " f o l l y " (at l e a s t before c o n s t r u c t i o n ) . Comedy Like the other types of narrative associated with the t h e a t r e , comedy finds i t s i n s p i r a t i o n 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 i n over-coming t h i s obstacle providing the substance of the p l o t .  The paradox  of humour i s derived from the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of the l o g i c of those who would claim power i l l e g i t i m a t e l y and the l o g i c of the hero.  According to Koestler  the fundamental source of humour i s "the perceiving of a s i t u a t i o n or idea in two s e l f - c o n s i s t e n t but mutually incompatible frames of reference or associative  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 necessarily takes place on stage.  This i s as close as most purpose-built designs may come to  being comical.  A design which gives an i n d i c a t i o n of c e l e b r a t i o n , of l i g h t 35.  heartedness, of whimsy, or which may even display a zoomorphic d i s p o s i t i o n of elements are sources of humour through a s s o c i a t i o n .  I t i s much r a r e r  to a c t u a l l y f i n d a design as f o l l y which i s associated with two d i f f e r e n t contexts whose comparison i n v i t e s the tenseness necessary to r e l i e v e i t with laughter.  Our laughter i s more often of a scornful v a r i e t y aimed at another  exaggeration, a Swiss chalet or country heart of the c i t y .  The  cabin innocently b u i l t into 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 e x p l o i t a t i o n of the environment  through signs, slogans, and b i l l b o a r d s reduces the humour a v a i l a b l e in b u i l t form to v a r i a t i o n s on s l a p - s t i c k comedy. I t 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.  I t may be more agree-  able to adopt the Greek t h e a t r e ' s t r a d i t i o n of comedy, which used the term to r e f e r to the s u r v i v a l 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 r e f e r 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 f e r e n t stages - - a T r i v i a l Plane and a Tragic Plane.(3) refers to experience l e v e l s of the absolute occasioned cendent conditions. olous d a l l i a n c e :  The Tragic Plane  by death or t r a n s -  At such times normal existence seems f i l l e d with f r i v -  A l t e r n a t e l y everyday perspectives view the absolutes as  Greek Theatre, "Sturm und Drang", or at l e a s t as o p e r a t i c .  36.  Within  the space  between these two planes i s much of man's a r t i s t i c and c r e a t i v e endeavor. The paradox involved in marrying the eternal with the tangible operates at both conscious and unconscious l e v e l s .  Both a r t i s t and s c i e n t i s t serve as  high p r i e s t s f o r 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, a t t a i n a b l e here."(4) Comedy, romance, s a t i r e , and tragedy are the types of forces at play in u n i t 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 e s s e n t i a l paradoxes of existence.  For  Levi-Strauss  myth i s a universal form of a r t functioning to provide coherent cognitive models capable of overcoming these c o n t r a d i c t i o n s .  Meaning i s the r e s u l t of  t h i s mediation - - worldly s i g n i f i c a n c e emanates from the higher plane of meaning.  F r i e d r i c h S c h i l l e r associated the higher plane with form.  "Its  object i s shape, the formal q u a l i t i e s of things, t h e i r r e l a t i o n s to the i n t e l l e c t and r a t i o n a l ideas, the laws of reason, s p i r i t , and m o r a l i t y . " ( 5 ) We are provided in t h i s German enlightenment view with the unmistakeable impression of the morality of form, and hence the moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of that which would construct a mediation between the two planes, namely a r t and design. We must contend, however, with a contemporary s i t u a t i o n where the transcendent conditions are confused with the everyday, where the form i s not so important, never mind the morality of s i g n i f i c a n t human events.  The communi-  cations age tends to turn the T r i v i a l Plane and the Tragic Plane into a single soap-opera, where the value of myth to negotiate the gap between universal laws and d a i l y l i f e i s questionable, since a family may spend,more time with  37.  t e l e v i s i o n p e r s o n a l i t i e s 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 t h i s absence of any myths to mediate higher l e v e l s of order i s t r i v i a l or t r a g i c .  38.  FOOTNOTES 1. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m (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, v o l . 7 , no.4,  1977,  pp.103-110. 4. C a r l y l e , quoted in K o e s t l e r , 1977, p.109. 5. Tom* F. F r a t t o , "Undefining A r t " , D i a l e c t i c a l Anthropology, v o 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 i n c r e a s i n g l y v e r t i c a l l i n e p l o t t e d against time.  Although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to e s t a b l i s h exactly what the inherent l i m 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 advancement.  Nature.abhors endless exponential growth, such that a notion of pro-  gress which incorporates i t must be s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t o r y , 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 i m i t s to progress in order to f u r t h e r e s t a b l i s h the conditions f o r design.  Progress  in design, has a f t e r 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 p r a c t i c e of design. Gunther Stent "progress"  According to  as a complete epistemological d e s c r i p t i o n of our age  i s nearing an end because of i t s b u i l t - i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . (1) v i s i o n of human discourse as "progress",  Clouding the  c a l l e d "a notion of perpetual Plus  U l t r a " by S i r Peter Medawar, are new states of indeterminacy which are constructed as a r e s u l t of lessening r e l i a n c e on the p a r t i a l , l i n e a r , reductioni s t "decadence of s c i e n t i s m " . (2)  While we can make very l i m i t e d observations  on how t h i s condition w i l l d i r e c t l y a f f e c t design, i t would seem that we may  40.  already be f e e l i n g i t s i m p l i c a t i o n .  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , we should s t a r t get-  t i n g used to Post-Modernism, f o r the indeterminacy of p l u r a l i s t i c , n o s t a l g i c , m u l t i - v a l e n t , even schizophrenic design i s not f a d , fashion, or the t e n t a t i v e uncertainty which emerges into a s t y l e .  Indeterminacy is_, but more importan-  t l y , indeterminacy i s permitted. The discussion of indeterminacy o v e r a l l goes hand-in-hand with a discussion of freedom.  Aligning progress with the freedom that r e s u l t s from economic  s e c u r i t y , dominion over nature, and increased knowledge provides real indices that freedom has increased.  (Other cultures may not use any of these indices  to measure t h e i r freedom, and indeed may f i n d them meaningless.)  Other more  s p i r i t u a l or subjective types of freedom can accrue to t h i s c u l t u r a l trend. For example, Western avant-garde a r t i s l i b e r a t e d to a degree which prevents any operative canon of taste or random l i m i t a t i o n of form to come immediately to mind. An information t h e o r e t i c view of evolving s o p h i s t i c a t i o n in the arts can exp l a i n in general the appearance of successively less r i g i d s t y l e s as the r e s u l t of numerical increases in a r t i s t i c a c t s .  Where the meaningfulness  of  a r t i s related to the consumption of new c r e a t i v e a c t s , the p r o b a b i l i t y of meaning being found in any s t y l e goes down with time.  The a c c e l e r a t i n g rate  of avant-garde experiences requires a corresponding rate of c r e a t i o n , implying fewer and fewer c o n s t r i c t i o n s can be permitted i f novelty i s to be o b t a i n ed: "The amount of information embodied in any event i s the higher the greater the number of a l t e r n a t i v e events which the perc i p i e n t expected would occur given the antecedent s i t u a t i o n . I f that s i t u a t i o n i s so highly structured that the p e r c i p i e n t ' s  41.  expectation of occurence of the event i s very high, the information content of the event i s 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 , f o r 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 r o b a b i l i s t i c appreciation of the consequences of the e a r l i e r antecedent s i t u a t i o n . " (3) Each avant-garde act exhausts f u r t h e r the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r new meaning. Technological and organizational aspects of progress enhance the novelty d i a l e c 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 l e c t r o n i c media, and disseminate physical form we a c c e l erate f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n . The notion of the avant-garde i s p a r a d o x i c a l , f o r 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, P h i l i p Johnson in a r c h i t e c t u r e , and A l a i n Robbe-Gri1 l e t in w r i t i n g a t t e s t to the exhaustion of order and structure as a route to meaning.(4)  The phy-  s i c a l demand f o r structure and sequence in a r c h i t e c t u r e suggests some consistent engineering requirements are perpetual, although a n t i - a r c h i t e c t u r e movements have been rampant; but s o - c a l l e d Post-Modernism on the whole addresses the formal indeterminacy in a r c h i t e c t u r e today. The progenitors of the Modern Movement had verbalized t h i s indeterminate state in t h e 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 r a d i t i o n a l encumbrances. The difference i s t h a t , besides being freed from the past, they were very i n t e n t on e s t a b l i s h i n g 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 t h i s l a s t w i l l to order - - the f o r m a l i s t pursuits of h i s t o r y have died with the machine metaphor.  Should t h i s be true the machine metaphor must take a much more auspi42.  cious place in h i s t o r y than i t has been heretofore awarded.  We might r e -  frame the e n t i r e evolution of formal rules since the f i r s t natural s i g n i f i c a t i o n s of p r e - h i s t o r i c man  to be the pursuit of the machine.  The machine  symbolizes at once the a b i l i t y of man to o b j e c t i f y his creations and the d e - o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of man through the t r a n s f e r r a l of dynamic powers to i n e r t matter.  The machine embodies the transcendental myths of mankind.  The avant-garde, in i t s mantic c a p a c i t y , i s l e f t (leaves mankind) with no meaning, only sensation.  The a r t industry has t r i e d to recover meaning, since  that i s what i s 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 a r t today  i s con-  fused by a r t c r i t i c i s m , which provides the p u b l i c with a r t as a discourse consumable v i a the media.  The a r t i s t himself cannot create t h 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 i n e d Suprematism in 1915 as "the primacy of pure sensation"  (6) which sug-  gests that a r t as pure sensation i s an operative schema f o r the e n t i r e Modern Movement, and not the e f f e c t of contemporary trends in making the a r t i s t a transcendentalist.  In t h i s l i g h t attempts since 1915 to search f o r meaning  in form have been i l l spent other than as the search f o r decoration. i s not an end, i t i s a means to pure experience.  Form  This may explain the i n t e r -  est in pure forms, and in the p u r i f i c a t i o n e f f e c t of simple geometry, minimalism, and starkness.  The recent w i l l i n g n e s s in design to return to the  "impure" can thus be explained.as the c u l t u r a l r e a l i z a t i o n that the evolution of form i s at an end, and the archaeology of form can e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l l y 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 t h i s discussion the  e f f e c t of any or a l l of these trends i s summarized as the end to the e v o l ution of form as a pertinent design concern.  This paradox of progress i s a  c o r o l l a r y to the "paradox of the environment" discussed elsewhere in t h i s paper in that the conclusion i s s i m i l a r - - form cannot maintain i t s h i s t o r i c a l focus f o r design - - f o r m only has prominence in r e l a t i o n to a r e t r o spective and d i s c u r s i v e 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 i n F.H. Knelman, "Review Essay," Futures Canada, Vol. 3, no. 2, 1979, p.17. 3. Stent, 1978, p.39. 4. I b i d . , pp.44-45. 5. I b i d . , 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 o n a v a i l a b l e f o r diagnosing or p r e s c r i b i n g the amount of order or d i s o r d e r , the homogeneity or heterogeneity, the stimulus or banality within an environment are not a v a i l a b l e to the designer.  According to  John Wade: "The design l i t e r a t u r e concerned with order appears to be founded on a basic f a l l a c y - - the notion that there i s a l e v e l 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 f e r e n t l e v e l s of order, speaks, i n s t e a d , of order in opposition to disorder (or chaos). This d i f f i c u l t y e x i s t s , in p a r t , because we have not had measurements that could d i s t i n g u i s h d i f f e r e n t degrees of order." (1) It may be fortunate that these behaviorists have not yet.developed t h e i r measurements f o r degrees of order, f o r we might never have developed what l i t e r a t u r e there i s which speaks about disorder.  Order and disorder are a  c l a s s i c a l l y structured o p p o s i t i o n , which seems to require the man of p r i n c i ple to compensate one with the other.  Even the l i b e r a l minded who may permit  some disorder to e x i s t over " t h e r e " 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i l l never provide suff i c i e n t l e v e l s of measurement of order.  A l l John Wade and his colleagues ex-  pect to accomplish by t h e i r own admission i s to show cause f o r " d i f f e r e n t kinds of p r e c i n c t s " (2) d i s p l a y i n g d i f f e r e n t degrees of order in our environment.  But compensatory planning of t h i s type i s j u s t t h i s very do-good l i b -  eralism that pervades s o c i e t y .  The c o n t r o l l e d opposition tolerated"by.the ed-  ucated, the l i m i t e d p e r m i s s i b i l i t y of other l i f e s t y l e s to e x i s t , the acknowledgement that differences contribute to richness of e x i s t e n c e , i s in f a c t a  46.  cultural straight-jacket.  The tolerance of d i f f e r e n c e only goes as f a r 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 (monogamy, a t h i r t y - f i v e hour week, s o c i a l i z e d a g r i c u l t u r e , 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 f o r the fate of humanism. in the Deutscher Werkbund's year book of 1914,  Walter Gropius  enunciated the philosophy  which was to become the manifesto of the Bauhaus f i v e years l a t e r , "Only when the happiness of a new f a i t h descends on men w i l l a r t achieve i t s highest aims...."  (3)  And the old f a i t h from which he s p e c i f i e s a movement away i s  materialism based only on functionalism and m a t e r i a l s .  That the " s p i r i t u a l  ideal of universal meaning" (4) f o r which he worked became not only misunderstood but grossly abused i s not the f a u 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 m a t e r i a l i s t i c  s i t u a t i o n , 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 f a r too w e l l , what went wrong? We may f i n d some clues in the preponderance of c e r t a i n metaphors of process and of design.  It i s to be appreciated that a powerful metaphor of form in 47.  f a c t becomes the h e u r i s t i c of the design process of that form.  Especially  prominent in the roots of modern design i s the metaphor of the machine. Early in the Century M a r i n e t t i ' s F u t u r i s t i c manifesto dealt with the machine as a cataclysmic metaphor - - the f a s t e r i t could move the b e t t e r .  The de  S t i j l movement in Holland preferred the machine's mechanical strength.  Van  Doesburg, prime t h e o r i s t f o r 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 i e t v e l d ' s Red-Blue c h a i r had " . . . t h e s i l e n t 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 " n o t i o n ,  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 o v e r a l l saw the machine, as did t h e 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 F u t u r i s t Prampolini, or of an opera by Oskar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus. The a r t i s t - e n g i n e e r had the fundamental r o l e in the C o n s t r u c t i v i s t a c t i v i t i e s in Russia.  Gropius himself would not have t o l e r a t e d subservience of man to  machine, but did see machine forms serving "the needs, psychic as well as m a t e r i a l , of human beings."  (9)  behind Leger and Le Corbusier's ical purity.  Psychic needs s a t i s f a c t i o n was very much founding of Purism on p r i n c i p l e s of mechan-  And of course there are the a d d i t i o n a l functional connotations  of Le Corbusier's idea of dwelling place as a "machine d h a b i t " . 1  Dada i t s e l f  e x t o l l e d the v i r t u e s of automatic machine-like a r t production methods, not to mention the v i r t u e s of actual machines as a r t . the machine metaphor are endless.  48.  The examples of the role of  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 e r a .  The p r a c t i c e  w i t h i n the f u l l y matured, i f not over-ripe era i s 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 " u n i f i e d form", the "harmonious congruence" of which Gropius spoke.  (10)  The swing in form has been r e a l i z e d - - the pendulum i s in f a c t on a return swing into the nether reaches on the other side of center.  As f o r the new  morals, i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to tackle the t o p i c of comparative morals. may be adequate to say that morals are r e a l l y a means, and not an end.  It The  point i s 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 i s the search  f o r commitment to the appropriate moral stance.  A f t e r taking t h i s emotional  d i v e , the task of staying above water i s rather t e c h n i c a l .  I don't think  that the moral stance has changed thafr.much, i t i s s t i l l m a t e r i a l i s t i c . Gropius f e l t that a strong c u l t u r a l armature around which could develop his " u n i f i e d form" was the best way to counter a s i t u a t i o n 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 r a d i c a l methods were c a l l e d f o r - - - a revolutionary educational i n s t i t u t i o n to tackle the root of the problem.  The point was that the goal of the Bauhaus was not to produce o b j e c t s ,  or to produce students as o b j e c t s , 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 i n s p i r e d by the machine metaphor were seen to be a harbinger of the new age by the Modernists  ( f o r g i v i n g the eagerness of  the I t a l i a n F u t u r i s t s , who l i v i n g in a n o n - i n d u s t r i a l i z e d peasant society by  49.  and l a r g e , thought consummation occured once a d r i v e r s t a r t e d his sports c a r ) . The dependent variable throughout a l l t h i s i s the machine metaphor.  The  p a r t i c u l a r character of a metaphor i s that i t i s an a b s t r a c t i o n , but one which changes with the times.  The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s i s simply t h a t , s e t -  t i n g aside other evidence, we cannot understand what the machine metaphor meant s i x t y years ago. because the concept of a machine has r a d i c a l l y changed since then.  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to appreciate p r e c i s e l y 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 i n t o being, uninfluenced by the methods of mechanistic technology." (13) In short, the predicted cybernetic technology, which i s not mechanistic, i s a n t i c i p a t e d 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 r a c t i o n of the machine metaphor. The newness of self-powered vehicles proved to be p a r t i c u l a r l y suggestive, and the associated images came to dominate design u n t i l World War Two.  But  of more importance here i s the v i s i o n of a new fundamental order, of a new organizing p r i n c i p l e in the r e l a t i o n s h i p of man and productive s o c i e t y .  The  cacophany of Nineteenth Century s t y l e s and forms was a very repressive force to a European.  No other world experience could compare to t h i s s i t u a t i o n  where decades of technological and i n d u s t r i a l developement had not yet produced 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 e n v i r onment which was consistent with the emergent engineering and production methods was complimented by a number of s o c i a 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 e x c e l l e n t opportunity for r e a l i z i n g the unity of a r t and l i f e .  It was only l a t e r in  the decade that reactionary consolidation of p o l i t i c a l positions forced the repudiation of prime modernist tenents, such as that "elemental c r e a 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 s o c i a l i s m was to produce a t w i s t to the meaning of the machine metaphor.  The " s t a t e as machine" represented t o t a l l y unpre-  cedented scale f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n of mechanistic p r i n c i p l e s .  Dicken's  "dark satanic m i l l s " might have enslaved people to machines i n a l i t e r a l sense, but physical entrapment was a t t r i b u t e d to materialism, and not extendable per se to e i t h e r the machine metaphor or s o c i a l i s t i c t h e o r i e s .  Note  that the f r o n t i s p i e c e of the Bauhaus manifesto was a rendering of a church, e n t i t l e d "The Cathedral of Social ism", which was o b l i q u e l y r e f e r r e d to by Gropius in the text as "a c r y s t a l symbol of a new coming f a i t h . " (15)  Design  was to play the very important r o l e of providing s o c i a l e q u i l i b r i u m to the i d e o l o g i c a l t r a n s i t i o n s required by the nature of modern production. I t i s . s i g n i f i c a n t that t h i s stance i s not the same as utopianism, but rather i s the proclamation of a new formation which would be a complement to c e r t a i n social ideologies.  D i s c i p l i n e s such as economics and a g r i c u l t u r e 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 e a r l y i n the century, and were equally a v a i l a b l e as tools to any s o c i a l ideology.  51.  The more r e l i g i o u s  language of design reformists can be a t t r i b u t e d to the innate emotional . character of the a r t s .  A f t e r a l l , i f design was " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " i t s e l f i t  would have played a much more n i h i l i s t i c r o l e in h i s t o r y .  The r a d i c a l step  away from a symbolic r o l e in the t r a d i t i o n a l sense and towards a scientism of sensation was paradoxical to the extent that many modernists a c t u a l l y believed scientism rendered t h e i r work devoid of symbolism, even while the machine metaphor was the operative parole. a b l e and  not U t o p i a n as a product.  Mechanistic design was r e a l i z -  What was U t o p i a n , or at l e a s t what has  proven to be a confounding myth to the Modern Movement, i s t h i s imbedded notion that the product could, by r e l i a n c e on natural law and elemental c r e 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 t h i s fantasy with mechanistic functions.  I t seemed  f a n t a s t i c 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 e n c y , such economy of materi a l s , and such mechanistic grace.  Once s a l i e n t parts of that r e a l i z e a b l e  fantasy neared f u l f i l l m e n t i t became a l l to obvious that the nature of f a n tasy i s contradicted by f u l f i l l i n g i t , such that i t becomes oppressive f a c t rather than generative f i c t i o n . We might ask whether or not the e a r l y products of Modernism were j u s t experiments using the new " s e n s i t i v i t i e s " , which are dominated by the machine heur i s t i c , which can be said to r e s u l t in a methodology of scientism.  Should  they be experiments in f o r m a l i z i n g the universal they cannot be assumed to s i g n i f y the intended c u l t u r a l goal.  They may better be said to symbolize the  decayed s o c i a l order from which they were intended to s i g n 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 i s i n -  voked i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of i t s great f u t u r e , even while the evident t r u t h of i t s oppressive h i s t o r y i s 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 f o r  "universal space."  No one would question that Miesien space can be adapted  to the widest v a r i e t y of uses, the a r c h i t e c t u r e remaining strangely independent of the function housed.  Was t h i s f l e x i b i l i t y of function the new " o r g -  a n i c " design that Gropius talked about, or was i t a warning that the organic could be l o s t completely: was i t a new freedom f o r s o c i a l discourse, or was i t the f i n a l deprivation of an i n d i v i d u a 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 i n d i c a t i o n of how the machine h e u r i s t i c could n u l l i f y continued  inventiveness?  I t would seem that in f a c t Miesien space was experimental, was not a r a t i o n a l long-term s o l u t i o n because i t contradicted the w i l l to change, was not a symbol of an emergent human condition but of a present alienated one, and was the f o r m a l i z a t i o n par excellence of the tension created by the machine metaphore.  This excess provides us with access to a t r u t h about the machine met-  aphor,, now a machine aesthetic - - "He who does not know how to vary our p l e a sure w i l l never give us pleasure." (16)  This pleasure which i s lacking i s  the pleasure that discourse derives from c o n t r i b u t i n g structure to the p h y s i cal s e t t i n g which lacks perfect order. I t was also a regressive Utopian b e l i e f that the designer should play the role of i d e a l i s t f o r s o c i e t y .  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.  53.  It i s noteable that  Gropius never e x t o l l e d t h i s r o l e for the designer; i t became applied with greater persistence as the role of the Modernist became the r o l e of i deal ogue --. r h e t o r i c a l l y p e o p l e a c t u a l l y 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 l e a r i n g today because of the continued d i s c i p l i n a r y break down.  It i s becoming a l l too obvious that the  r o l e of design has changed, has in f a c t been forced (rather than been w i l l ing) to change.  From John Ruskin, William M o r r i s , Arthur Mackmurdo, Hermann  Muthesius, to Walter Gropius we f i n d a p a r t i c u l a r appreciation of medieval s t y l e s o c i a l i s m which saw the a r t of the i n d i v i d u a l wed to the production of the c o l l e c t i v e .  Design came to be associated with i d e o l o g i c a l reform,  in t h i s case towards an ideal s o c i a l i s m .  However, the nature of the machine  metaphor i s 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 f r i g h t e n us, but what they have in common these two technocracies that think themselves antagonists, are dragging humanity in the same d i r e c t i o n of de-humanization... man i s treated as a means and no longer as an end - - t h i s i s the indispensable condition of the two cultures that face each other." (17) Gropius' concern f o r the emergent materialism was auspicious, but we cannot, in the l i g h t of h i s t o r y , claim that he s u c c e s s f u l l y 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 a d i t i o n  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 c h e r t : "Why they should not be o r i g i n a l l y c r e a t i v e i s p u z z l i n g . It i s possible that the lack of the organic sense, the convict i o n that man i s a machine - - turns them i n t o technicians and cuts them o f f from the chaos, the accidents and i n t u i t i o n s of the c r e a t i v e process?" (18) The machine metaphor had a value i n destroying the past, but i t s value f o r creating the future has proved l i m i t i n g .  The reason f o r t h 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 f o r order and the w i l l to formlessness."  (19)  Or as Arnheim has  s a i d , "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)  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , our greatest metaphor of order,  the machine, has a c t u a l l y i n h i b i t e d us from creating real s t r u c t u r a l order. Contemporary metaphors f o r our ordering of the world are moving i n t o b i o l o g i c a l and ecological areas, as t y p i f i e d by the metaphors given popular currency by the works of C H . Waddington or Gregory Bateson.  In the b i o l o g i c a 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 i n d that any feature of a b i o l o g i c a 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 a p p e t i t e , h a b i t , and s o c i a l convention rather than by hunger,..." (21) Once the apple c a r t of f u n c t i o n a l ism i s upset i t becomes strangely easy to perceive that the function of the apple c a r t may be both to lead and to f o l l o w the horse, in that the nature of a c a r t i s to lead by f o l l o w i n g .  I t would  be a very poor e c o l o g i c a l u n i t i f the horse had to be depended on alone to provide d i r e c t i o n . The s t r a t e g i c value of the machine metaphor i s i t s emphasis on f u n c t i o n . 55.  The  perversity of the machine metaphor i s i t s support of a closed systems view of things, of the planning e t h i c .  B i o l o g i c a l examples are timely in t h e i r  a b i l i t y to show that functional demands in e c o l o g i c a l realms are not cause/ e f f e c t models.  Not only i s function more i n d i r e c t and indeterminant than  we have come to think, but i t has become one of the worst f e t i s h e s in the . c l a s s i c a 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 p r i n c i p l e s which you are e i t h e r f o r or against.  While new paradigms such as s t r u c t u r -  alism have displaced the p o l a r i z a t i o n s , we must go f u r t h e r 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  r e a l i z a t i o n has sunk i n that we must suspect any value being put on new i n variance and determinacy.  Design methodologies c a r i c a t u r e the design e f f o r t  through t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l a l l i a n c e with systems and s t r u c t u r a l i s m . The r e l i a n c e f i r s t on theory to e s t a b l i s h an orderly Modern Movement, and then on methods to salvage control of the i n c r e a s i n g l y disordered modern environment i s a paradox which unresolved keeps man dreaming about control mechanisms.  The resolution to the paradox i s to wake up to the f a c t that  the l i m i t to the determinant world i_s_, period (not to say the l i m i t to r e lations is f i n i t e ) .  It i s man who creates the disorder as well as the order.  S h i f t i n g the emphasis to the creation of disorder should be a very natural undertaking f o r designers, f o r i t i s the a r t i s t i c mind which has a l l the experience comprehending disorder, and i t i s the c r e a t i v e mind that has t r a d i t i o n a l l y handled chaos.  The mistake i s to use a metaphor such as "machine",  f o r the f a u l t with the machine as a model f o r thinking about anything s o c 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  c l o s i n g our open, l i v i n g systems. The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the a r t i s t i c to help us out of t h i s Post-Modern muddle i s fundamental and absolute. t e r i a l i s t i c age dreamed of.  Technology has not provided the succor the maThe " s e n s i b i l i t i e s " that were Gropius'  goal,  when t i e d to technology, spawned apparitions at h e l l i s h s c a l e s , but the f a u l t i s not with the s e n s i b i l i t i e s .  The f a c t 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 u n i v e r s a l i t y of purposes and ends to which they were applied i s suggested in the very f a c t of t h e i r hermetic origins.  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 r e c t and  r e a l i s t i c r e f l e c t i o n s of contemporary values " a b s t r a c t art'. . 1  I t i s of course  abstract only in r e l a t i o n to that other discourse, the h i s t o r y of a r t .  That  a r t labels are derived from an h i s t o r i c a l frame of reference rather than an e x p e r i e n t i a l one i s part of the problem.  The point i s s i g n i f i c a n t because  of the importance inward preparation plays in defining outward experiences. We are progressively gaining more of the perceptual and diachronic s t r u c t u r a l orders necessary to countervail the t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l r e l a t i o n s which dominate our c a t e g o r i z a t i o n s .  This has been one of the valuable roles of  s t r u c t u r a l 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, v o l . 6 , n o . l , 1976, p.20. 2. I b i d . , p.21. 3. Kurt Rowland, A History of the Modern Movement, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973), p.207. 4. I b i d . 5. I b i d . , p.169. 6. I b i d . 7. I b i d . , p.182. 8. I b i d . , p.185. 9. I b i d . , p.207. 10. I b i d . 11. I b i d . 12. I b i d . , p.231. 13. Werner Graf, i n Programmes and Manifestoes on Twentieth Century A r c h i t e c t u r e , U l r i c h Conrads, ed. (London: Lund Humphries, 1964), p.71. 14. I b i d . 15. Rowland, 1973, p.208 16. F. M i l i z i a , in Manfredo T a f u r i , A r c h i t e c t u r e and Utopia, (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1976), p.20. 17. Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content, (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1975), p.4. 18. I b i d . 19. T a f u r i , 1976,  p.161  20. Rudolph Arnheim, The Dynamics of A r c h i t e c t u r a l Form, (Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a 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 f o r disorder, the e a r l y 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 o r der to the Twentieth Century: eliminate a l l conventional meaning in design such that there i s no discernable r e l a t i o n between men and matter except the functional ones.  I t was understood that modern man was becoming more  and more a highly mobile i n d i v i d u a l whose minimal requirements f o r coordination 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 c a l l e d i t cou-  l d l i v e with the order implied in the machine metaphor.  The wonderful po-  t e n t i a l of the f u n c t i o n a l i s t theories i s not that the world would operate l i k e clock-work, but that confusing perceptual r e l a t i o n s h i p s would be e l i m 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 t h i s approach i s the r e a l i z a t i o n that uncomfortable forms of disorder are the r e s u l t of design, and not the r e s u l t of accident.  That i s ,  discomfort arises from the r e l a t i o n s h i p of two or more juxtaposed elements, and not merely from t h e i r existence outside of human i n t e r v e n t i o n .  We do  not ascribe disorder, but merely indeterminance, to the randomness of nature. Any two buildings which are not dealt with as a r e l a t i o n s h i p create disorder. Our c i t i e s are a testament to the selfishness of a r c h i t e c t u r e which maintains the ego of the i n d i v i d u a l b u i l d i n g at the expense of the orderliness of the whole.  The idea behind universals of functional ism was to gain p o s i t i v e r e -  l a t i o n s h i p s between a l l buildings without r e s o r t i n g to s t y l i s m , to any s t r u c -  59.  tured p r i n c i p l e s of r e l a t i o n or order. The tragedy in t h i s approach i s the rather l a t e r e a l i z a t i o n that e c o l o g i c a l s o c i a l systems do not operate well without redundant and exaggerated r e l a t ionship p r i n c i p l e s which can account f o r changing r e l a t i o n s h i p s over time. As a r e f l e c t i o n on the psyche or the society consistent and perpetual order i s coercive. people.  Rules of conduct are only rules of thumb when dealing with  Ordered r e l a t i o n s between people can be maintained because other  spontaneous r e l a t i o n s h i p s are possible.  S i m i l a r l y , perception of physical  order of an International S t y l e b u i l d i n g i s made more t o l e r a b l e by the d i s order which r e s u l t s among them in the c i t y .  Without t h i s c l a s h , as in a  u n i f i e d International Style urban scheme of considerable s c a l e , a l i e n a t i o n i s gross. High design has h i s t o r i c a l l y resorted to the p u r i t y and s i m p l i c i t y of p r i mary geometric forms, e s p e c i a l l y i n A r c h i t e c t u r e . (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 o n 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 t h e r system be  lacking in some way, or should the r e s o l u t i o n 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p s h a l l become d i s o r d erly.  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 r e s u 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 t h i s need f o r order  to represent disorder. (2)  "Only a c o n t r o l l e d d e s c r i p t i o n , 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 nature, l o c a t i o n , and o r i e n t a t i o n of the contending forces and thereby show t h e i r lack of i n t e r r e l a t i o n . " (3) Disorder i s not subject to empirical proof independent of the value system describing i t , despite the e f f o r t s of Information Theorists.  Should a de-  s c r i p t i o n of phenomena be congruent with organizational p r i n c i p l e s one holds, i t might be concluded that the phenomena are ordered.  Should r e l a t i o n s 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 d e f i n i t e . Ambiguity, i n f l e c t i o n , and redundancy can be t o l e r a t e d , e s p e c i a l l y i f the primary structure i s strong. (4)  The designer must r e a l i z e that a d i s o r d e r l y  arrangement i s an arrangement none-the-less.  Taken to an extreme, t h i s r e -  a l i z a t i o n i s t h a t , as the old truism says, "there i s no such thing as chaos, there i s only undiscovered order." are not synonymous.  This suggests that chaos and disorder  Chaos i s a state^of raw p o t e n t i a l order, while f o r  Arnheim, disorder i s "a clash of uncoordinated orders."  (5)  Despite voicing an i n t e r e s t in disorder (6) we can assume commentators on design are r e a l l y mistaken in t h e i r choice of words, and should have expressed an i n t e r e s t in e i t h e r chaos or complexity.  This conclusion i s r e g r e t t -  able since a case can be made f o r d i s o r d e r , but not i n physical design.  Dis-  order can serve as a very useful learning t o o l ; the best commentary on t h 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 c u l t u r a l maturation, which, Sennett b e l i e v e s : " . . . 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 b e t t e r t r a n s p o r t , better f i n a n c i n g , and the l i k e ; they are the human ones of providing a place where men can grow i n t o a d u l t s , and where adults can continue to engage in t r u l y s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e . " (7) Designers are understandably short on answers f o r the metastructure because of the demands put on them to deal with the i n f r a s t r u c t u r e .  But there i s a  more p a r t i c u l a 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 r e f e r r i n g to disorder through physical form, f o r that i s a d i s c u r s i v e function and not a symbolic one.  Although Arnheim  claims "A b u i l d i n g cannot a f f o r d to be disorderly'.' (8), that i s very much the s p i r i t of some of V e n t u r i ' s r h e t o r i c .  I t would simply be more accurate  to say "An a r c h i t e c t c a n ' t a f f o r d to be d i s o r d e r l y " , otherwise his s e l f - c o n scious r o l e would be l o s t . "A d i s o r d e r l y object can act as a symptom of disorder but not as a symbol or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t . If a b u i l d i n g i s d i s o r d e r l y i n i t s e l f , i t makes no statement about the e x i s t i n g d i s o r d e r , but merely compounds i t . " (9) Even the work of a group such as S i t e Inc. which seems to make the most i d iomatic statements about urban disorder by means of t h e i r asphalt covered buildings and cars positioned in Best Products' parking l o t s are, perhaps more powerfully than others, making r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( i . e . order). quotation can also be seen to r e l a t e to the dealt with elsewhere in t h i s paper.  The above  Paradox of Metaphors of Order  In that case we saw that we cannot  create order through symbolizing i t , while in t h i s case we f i n d we cannot symbolize disorder by creating an analogue of i t .  62.  FOOTNOTES 1. Rudolf Arnheim, The Dynamics of A r c h i t e c t u r a l Form, (Berkeley: Universi t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1977), p.169. 2. I b i d . , p.177. 3. I b i d . 4. I b i d . , p.180. 5. I b i d . , 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, p.130. 8. Arnheim, 1977, p.178. 9. I b i d .  63.  1970),  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 obj e c t p r e d i c t i v e l y into account. the designer.  The object must f i r s t become conscious  Consciousness must by nature be consciousness  for i t is objective.  The world and normal consciousness  making of space f o r new objects and new consciousness.  to  of some o b j e c t ,  tends to r e s i s t the Consequently i t would  seem to be very natural to turn to an e t h e r e a l , 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 cons t r u c t i o n s in time, space, and c u l t u r e .  However, the creation must eventually  be made common i f i t i s going to be communicated.  What i s communicated i s  information, and information i s anything that makes a d i f f e r e n c e . i s the r e s u l t of novelty in a chain of events.  Difference  Once novelty or d i f f e r e n c e i s  subjected to s t r u c t u r a l assessment i t becomes a d i a l e c t i c a l evaluation because of the p o l a r i z i n g nature of our language.  The prism that i s our language  the l i m i t i n g of our thought to oppositions and symbols. and r e l a t i v e symbol systems  is  Paired opposites  e s p e c i a l l y give r i s e to paradoxical t h i n k i n g ,  f o r the focus of ordinary thought s h 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  f o r the f a c t that (a) science has t r i e d to state absolutes, and (b) i d i o s y n c r a t i c humans tend to spend a great deal of time attempting to transcend the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h e i r communicational c a p a b i l i t i e s ( i . e . t h e i r verbal  processes).  Science, because i t deals with absolutes, does not have much relevance to design process except as a h e u r i s t i c . human d i s a s t e r .  S c i e n t i f i c success seems to be leading to  The complexity of e c o l o g i c a l problems i s of a d i f f e r e n t 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 i n s o l u b l e in experimental terms are simply rejected as u n r e a l . "  On the contrary, designers attack i n s o l u b l e  problems - - the design process cannot be r e p l i c a t e d because learning cannot be reversed, and the nature of the problem and consumption of the s o l u t i o n 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 i m 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 d u l l e r task i f man did not lose  his o b j e c t i v i t y by taking up the o b j e c t .  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 r e l a t i o n of human being and abstract system i s such that the human being generally f e e l s most complete when he can give himself u t t e r l y to the b e l i e f formulated in the symbolic system. He only gains his l i f e by l o s i n g i t , as the B i b l e t e l l s us in many d i f f e r e n t ways. The ultimate dest i n y of the human being in search of meaning i s thus paradoxi c a l l y the t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s e l f with the o n c e - a l i e n , the loss of the s e l f in a merging with a system together with others involved in the same l o s s . " (2) Transcendent, o r g a s t i c , or e c s t a t i c i n t e n s i t y i s a state that cannot be readi l y communicated, l e t alone be completely r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y described.  The  reason f o r t h i s i s the contradictory experiences of time and space that r e s u l t from not being aware of differences in these dream-like s t a t e s .  Yet  paradoxically we feel that communication i s i t s most complete at these moments of communion, assShands c a l l s them. (3)  And moments they are, even  though a sense of timelessness t y p i c a l l y p r e v a i l s . This h e l p l e s s , b l i s s f u l state i s achieved through ignorance, or at l e a s t  65.  through a suspension of b e l i e f in the r a t i o n a l l y held.  This state of com-  munion can be methodically developed through the c o n t r o l l e d a p p l i c a t i o n of apparatus that helps one lose c o n t r o l , as evidenced in much Eastern t r a n s cendentalism.  Such attempts to lose a grasp on the world through d i s c i p l i n e  contradicts the greatest developments in Western thought, which have emphas i z e d the development of new methodologies to integrate the objective world. I t i s understandable that a person who invests heavily in mastering the obj e c t i v e world f o r the long run w i l l not adjust e a s i l y to the suspension  of  his mastery f o r the sake of a very short period of communion. The act of creating pursues  a void which i s o s t e n s i b l y c h a o t i c .  i t i s chaotic by conventional standards.  Certainly  I t would seem to be discomforting  to c a l l the creative void a chaotic s t a t e , f o r t h i s would have to disturb any t y p i c a l Western human being (who i s threatened even by the loss of his g r i p on the world suggested in the innocence of c h i l d - t y p e ' 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 , f o r i t  suggests the l i m i t a t i o n s 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 t a t e , knowledge of which we gained throu normal o b j e c t i v e d i f f e r e n t i a l s .  This i s not p o s s i b l e .  We can only create  order and d i s o r d e r , that i s , things that we know; we cannot r a t i o n a 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 f e r e n c e , space or time - - dimension less chaos meets i t s match. cate chaos.  I t i s paradoxical that we should t r y to communi  I t i s easy to see why chaos i s confused with d i s o r d e r , which i s  a man-made s t a t e .  66.  Since there i s a long t r a d i t i o n behindigathering everything that i s  unknown  under a s i n g l e r u b r i c , God, i t would seem appropriate that we stop t r y i n g to be objective about chaos and give i t back to him.  In t h i s way c r e a t i v i t y  could once again become a state of grace, and designers could become high p r i e s t s of transcendence, where they belong, and form could have r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e , 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 c r e a t i v e i t can be appreciated that created form i s a talisman of the sacred a c t , c r e a t i o n .  In ancient c u l -  tures where s t a b i l i t y was based on c o n t i n u i t y and denial of change, the r e l a t i v e l y rare acknowledgement of novelty or creation also required, f o r oppos i t e reasons, the highest l e v e l of r e l i g i o u s sanction.  We can only imagine  the trauma of i n t e r n a t i o n a l trade to a society based on coherence and s t a b i l i t y : American Indian c u l t u r e s , 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 r e e - t r a d e , c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s must learn to absorb a secular form of creation - - that form which can be shipped to your door prec i s e 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. I b i d . , p.23. 3. I b i d . , p.140. 4. Torn' F. F r a t t o , "Undefining A r t " , D i a l e c t i c a l Anthropology, v o l . 3 , no.2, 1978, p.129.  68.  CHAPTER SEVEN  THE PARADOX OF LANGUAGE The emergence of an International Style i n design was t r u l y a p r o p i t i o u s , event in h i s t o r y .  It was a very o p t i m i s t i c event because anything that can  purport to change a mode of operation at an i n t e r n a t i o n a l scale i s exceptional - - that i s , i t i s exceptional outside of the f i e l d of the sciences.  The  sciences have t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r claim to u n i v e r s a l i t y and to common language, otherwise, i t i s unusual to f i n d a language of meaning that i s  cross-  cultural . A famous a r c h i t e c t u r a l landmark, the Tower of Babel, symbolizes the d i s p a r i t y ( i f not a c t u a l l y causing i t ) among languages.  Languages, while being  mankind's most d i s t i n g u i s h i n g feature and i t s greatest communications t o o l , are reputed to have confounded t h i s e a r l y a b i l i t y to inter-communicate ever since that l a t e great b u i l d i n g enterprise which l i t e r a l l y was planned to achieve apotheosi's through technological v i r t u o s i t y .  We might, f o r that reason,  c a l l the Tower the f i r s t b u i l d i n g in the International S t y l e .  Whatever the  success of the Tower, a lesson f o r design underlies the various l e v e l s of i m p l i c a t i o n in the discussion of tongues. The Paradox of Language arises when we consider that man's primary communications tool i s one of the most deyisive forces between groups. speech i s u n i v e r s a l , language i s p a r o c h i a l .  Although  Further, language i s a unifying  force w i t h i n a group, while segregating and d i v i d i n g d i f f e r e n t groups.  (1)  The importance of a p a r t i c u l a r language to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and coherence of a given group cannot be underestimated.  And at the level of aggregated  groups no more d i v i s i v e force comes i n t o play than a d i f f e r e n c e in language.  69.  Where speech i s to design as language i s to s t y l e , the Modern Movement s t a r t lingly  occasioned  universal acceptance of a s i n g l e design language.  Osten-  s i b l y the reason t h i s could come about i s that the International Style was a c t i v e l y 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 " s c i e n -  t i f i c advancement" synonymous with "progress", so i t i s n ' t science per se ( reduction!'sm and r a t i o n a l i s m ) "progress".  that i s u n i v e r s a l l y appealing, but rather  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 t y l e , then, because i t symbolized progress through i t s association with technology and science.  And in r e l a t i o n  to the Paradox of Language, design broke i t s conformity to the p a r a l l e l , because t h i s s i n g l e s t y l e broke i t s parochial chains and claimed u n i v e r s a l i t y , claimed to a c t u a l l y be innate to the a r t (or in t h i s case, the science) of design.  Promises of economic p r o s p e r i t y , technological s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , b e t t e r  standards of l i v i n g , and aesthetic a c t u a l i z a t i o n were concomitent to the u n i versal promise of the International S t y l e . Great promise would also accompany a universal s t y l e of speech.  Esperanto i s  one language that has been p r o f e r r e d , but s e r i o u s l y entertained by only a few. Given the unifying power of language w i t h i n 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 a n t step to preventing war and assorted other i n t e r - s o c i e t a l i l l s .  It  i s possible to lament the lack of a universal language today because of the scale of the global problems we are preoccupied w i t h .  Local d i a l e c 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 f a c t that a l o c a l language idiom has c u l t u r a l and  emotional t i e s beyond the i n t e l l e c t u a l suggests that groups are not about to give up t h i s source of i d e n t 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 s u r p r i s i n g that l o c a l 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 i d e n t i t y maintenance needs as would language.  At the scale of  a r c h i t e c t u r e , in f a c t , fundamentally s t a t i c and p h y s i c a l l y anchoring forces abide space and form with p a r t i c u l a r place and time.  It has not yet been  shown through p r a c t i c e t h a t , whatever the dynamism of s o c i a l exchange, a r c h i tecture i s not the proverbial immutable monument.  Contemporary claims that  a r c h i t e c t u r e should be spontaneous responses to changing economic conditions  (2)  compete with a growing retrenchment that i s indeed the creation of symbolic physical e d i f i c e . (3)  Should the International Style turn out to be, given  the f u l l n e s s of time, a f i f t y year aberration in the h i s t o r y of form, we could view i t as an experiment in universal language.  A f t e r a l l , s e n s i t i v e as they  are, designers have seemingly always been enchanted by a polyglot of s t y l e s , forms and materials.  Local " c o l o r " , p r o v i n c i a l  and c l i m a t i c or c u l t u r a l responsiveness era or sketchbook in hand.  c a p r i c e , indigenous  detail,  have always drawn the designer, cam-  Yet much of t h i s was given up f o r the sake of a  very narrow notion of f u n c t i o n a l i s m , f o r the look of a s p e c i f i c sort of imported f u n c t i o n .  And the look of f u n c t i o n , of a few selected f u n c t i o n s , 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 l o g i c a l form of r a t i o n a l i s m i s a b s t r a c t i o n .  71.  The generally discussed lack of success of the Modern Movement, t h i s e x p e r i ment i n a universal s t y l e , suggests that perhaps a universal verbal language would not achieve the a n t i c i p a t e d r e s u l t s of greater global harmony, understanding, and achievement.  This conclusion I use as a b r i e f and anecdotal  p o s i t i o n that could be greatly amplified by a d d i t i o n a l 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 r a t i o n a l progress reaches an apogee, i f f o r 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 r e l a t e ; or more p a t h e t i c a l l y , where r a t i o n a l progress a t t a i n s inherently contradictory s c a l e s , under which, f o r example, nuc l e a r 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 Language i s that heterogeneity seems to be a fundamental s u r v i v a l strategy f o r 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 a t t i t u d e which permits fashion to be disseminated by a small c o t e r i e of persons who have highly abstracted the general issues.  While the fashion to  wear pants may be a reasonable option f o r a l l people despite the climate in which they l i v e , an overcoat does not have the same universal a p p l i c a t i o n . Yet s o c i a l forces could induce e i t h e r garment to be worn in any s i n g l e place. The i d i o s y n c r a t i c and the conformist forces may in f a c t have to unite to cause a dweller of the t r o p i c s to wear an overcoat.  72.  Such an act would create an  i d e n t i t y puzzle, the coat wearer would be strange but not a stranger.  The  conformity would be non-conformity, f o r i t i s e n 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 l o c a l  level.  I t i s t h i s 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 i n d the degree of v a r i a b i l i t y and uncertainty required to create new s i g n i f i c a n c e . The paradox of language i s resolved by abstracting to the point of f i n d i n g the universals in a l l languages, and from there i n t e r a c t i n g with the indigenous elements of each l o c a 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 l o c a l language i s put in question.  Consequently i t i s more important for the designer to under-  stand r e s i l i e n c y : "a measure of the persistence of systems and of t h e i r a b i l i t y to absorb change and disturbance and s t i l l maintain the same r e l a t i o n s h i p between populations of state v a r i a b l e s . " (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 e q u i l i b r i u m state a f t e r a temporary disturbance; the more r a p i d l y i t returns, and the less i t f l u c t u a t e s , 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 t h i s  i s to compare many insect populations to something l i k e the North American Bison.  The homogeneous environment i n space and time ensured low f l u c t u a t i o n s  and therefore low r e s i l i e n c y f o r the Bison.  Insect populations on the other  hand are capable of high f l u c t u a t i o n s to take advantage of temporal and spati a l heterogeneity, and are also the l e a s t human influenced eco-systems.  73.  The search f o r e q u i l i b r i u m , balance, steady-state, and s t a b i l i t y in ecologi c a l systems may be highly misleading as models f o r s o c i a l management.  The  e q u i l i b r i u m brought about by a s i n g l e language would be counter to the nonhomogeneous domains of nature.  Greater p r e d i c t a b i l i t y i s obtained through  an e q u i l i b r i u m model: of management f o r only a very short p e r i o d , since the boundaries of open systems cannot be completely c o n t r o l l e d .  Paradoxically  the pursuit of an e q u i l i b r i u m model w i l l l i k e l y increase the chances of ext i n c t i o n according to e c o l o g i c a l 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 n c t i o n between a " n a t u r a l " language  and a " f o r m a l " language, the formal languages being l o g i c a l constructs i n capable of representing themselves, while the natural languages can represent not only o b j e c t s , but also themselves. (8)  This self-transcendence of nat-  ural languages i s e s s e n t i a l l y the theory of the l e v e l s of language o u t l i n e d by Watzlowick, by way of R u s s e l l , Wittgenstein, Carnap, and T a r s k i . (9)  It  i s the theory of l o g i c a l types (whatever involves a l l of a group must not be one of the group) (10) o u t l i n e d by R u s s e l l .  Extended to the domain of lang-  uages we see each statement in a natural language to be in e f f e c t only i n t e r pretation of what i s being s a i d . This i s a valuable analogy for the designer, f o r 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 o n ; there i s no boundary between the information and the i n s t r u c t i o n , between the mate r i a l and the programme, f o r i t i s a unity.  Form alone i s equivalent to a  l o g i c a l l y i s o l a t e d 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 i s derived through analogy.  74.  A design  process  analagous to natural language would design not through analogy but through homology, through the r e l a t i v e connotations of p o s i t i o n , s t r u c t u r e , value, or proportion.  This i s possible because the natural system uses g e s t a l -  ten integrated functional u n i t s , 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 openness of natural systems.  This openness cannot be disposed of in an unambig-  uous f a s h i o n , which suggests that misunderstanding w i l l always be a p o s s i b 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 p r e d i c t a b l e .  Consequently  the future i s not predictable. If i t were the gap would be closed and the f u t u r e , 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 e s t a b l i s h i n g who he i s , and through him, who the user i s .  For t h i s  he must be s t r u c t u r a l l y open - - the d e f i n i t i o n of new function requires i t . But the designer must also have a p r e - e x i s t e n t language, f o r t h i s p r e s c r i p t i v e s o c i a l construct f u l f i l l s the task of s e l f - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , i t compliments structure with form.  Creation and i n d i v i d u a t i o n could not come about  i f the p r e s c r i p t i o n i s manipulative or s t i f l i n g , hence the importance of the open s t r u c t u r e . 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 c a l products are form, they must f a l l out of time because they are not cont i n u a 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 a r t i s not an i m p o s i t i o n , i s not a  75.  c o n s t r a i n t on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s freedom to access s t r u c t u r e .  Such a r t form  may only have a sensate value, and be both universal in i t s appeal and i n dividual.  Once form i s imbued with purpose freedom i s constrained, the de-  sign becomes a guidance system representing p a r t i c u l a 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 has value. form.  purpose  Without the purpose the designed form may become merely an a r t  In t h i s sense a l l designed form i s technology, i s not u n i v e r s a l , and  must be recreated ( i . e . i t s purpose must be recreated).  Even " a r t f o r a r t ' s  sake" i s a technological construct, f o r the purpose of such a r t must be cont i n u a l l y recreated.  76.  FOOTNOTES 1. Arthur Koestler, Janus, (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), p.17. 2. Manfredo T a f u r i , Architecture and Utopia, (Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press, 1976). 3. Denise Scott Brown, "On A r c h i t e c t u r a l Formation and Social Concern", Oppositions, No. 5, (1976), pp.99-112. 4. K o e s t l e r , 1979, pp.23-98. 5. S.C. H o l l i n g , " R e s i l i e n c e 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. I b i d . 7. I b i d . , p.82. 8. Walter Pankow, "Openness as Self-Transcendence", Evolution and Consciousness , E. Jantsch and C H . Waddington, eds. (Reading, Mass: AddisonWesley, 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 r e d N. Whitehead and Bertrand R u s s e l l , P r i n c i p i a Mathematica, (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1913). 11. Pankow, 1976, p.18.  77.  CHAPTER EIGHT  THE PARADOX OF INFORMATION A system may become the environment f o r a sub-system in one context, while being i t s e l f a sub-system to a larger system in another context. communicate with t h e i r environment in an e f f o r t to f u l f i l l  Systems  purpose.  Any  communication that i s e f f e c t i v e , that i s any exchange which measurably a l t ers the r e l a t i o n s h i p , i s 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 t e r n a t e l y , i s ignored. Such a threshold i s c a l l e d a system's channel capacity. The v a r i a t i o n s between input/output and system/environment r e l a t i o n s model a great many s o c i a l and psychological events.  For example, an output c o r r e s -  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 r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Adaptation i s of two kinds according to Piaget: a s s i m i l a t i o n i s the action of a system on i t s environment, while accommodation i s the action of the environment on the system.  In l i v i n g systems the channel capacity i s  not f i x e d , because l e a r n i n g , deutero-learning (2) ([learning how to l e a r n ) , and adaptation i s not only p o s s i b l e , but mandatory. signers i s that the system becomes educated  to the d i r e c t i o n and value of  design only upon completion of the design e x e r c i s e .  78.  A common lament among de-  The moral must be that  the design process must not be turned o f f and on.  I f we acknowledge the  complimentarity of in-house designing ( a s s i m i l a t i o n ) and planning which accounts f o r 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 a t t e n t i o n to accommodation (learning) in addition to the t r a d i t i o n a l a s s i m i l a t i o n (planning): "When you say that the true i n t e n t i o n of design i s the t r a n s formation of the people involved, you s h i f t the i n t e n t i o n away from the product and onto the process of design. That does not mean b u i l d i n g or chairs are any less important, i t j u s t means they are now playing a d i f f e r e n t r o l e in design... I think we are a l l motivated by transformation. Another way of saying that i s that we are most e n t h u s i a s t i c , most i n s p i r e d , most self-transcendent when we are growing, l e a r n i n g , discoveri n g , going beyond old patterns, concepts, ways of working."(3) This approach i s counter to the system as machine metaphor, the human engineering school of behaviorism orientation.  or the planning as a b l u e - p r i n t f o r change  Business management, f o r  example, i s normally dedicated to  planning f o r a s s i m i l a t i o n , to optimizing standard system/environment and to avoiding any need to plan f o r accomodation, f o r absorbing resources or markets.  exchanges,  changing  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 t h i s paper) a l l the time.  In f a c 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 ively. An adaptive open system can avoid the trauma of information overload by d i s t o r t i n g the input to some degree.  Semiotics has to do with the abstracting  and re-packaging of information, a process of d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t i v e l y , through  79.  the use of signs and symbols so as to a f f e c t greater channel capacity.  One  type of input can be substituted in code f o r another as long as s t r u c t u r a l 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 i s more complex then, than the notion of i n f o r mation exchange suggests, hence the l i m i t a t i o n of information t h e o r e t i c models. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of information as a measure of difference that i s achieved between systems does not take into account behavior.  A s i g n - v e h i c l e may carry  a small amount of information, but i t may have a v i o l e n t impact on the behavi 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 l a t e n t implications f o r the s t r u c t u r a l makeup of a system.  Conse-  quently we may say that information which challenges the order of an e n t i r e system has an implicate order (4), i t has i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r other orders. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , a very small amount of information may make a very big d i f f e r ence.  The accommodation function i s e s p e c i a l l y impaired when the system has  no procedures and categories of response to handle novel implicate order. A s s i m i l a t i o n functions w i l l s u f f e r as well because i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t to t r a n s l a t e such input into c o n t r o l l e d output, i n t o consciously c o n t r o l l e d behavior. The problem arises that an i n t e r n a l order may be developed that w i l l t o l e r a t e a l l implicate order.  Hardened procedures and categories w i l l i n t e r p r e t a l l  stimulus in prescribed patterns and a l l output w i l l be p r e d i c t a b l y rote.  This  i s p r e c i s e l y the problem with older people who are unable to experience novelty: the learning process, directed at increasing a d a p t a b i l i t y , i s terminated. formation with implicate order ( i t s sign-vehicles)  80.  In-  are read through only one  abstracting apparatus, one s t a t i c s t r u c t u r e , such that implicate order e f f e c t i v e l y disappears since a l l stimulus i s treated h a b i t u a l l y as 1imi ted d i f f erence. We can compose t h i s dilemma as a double bind (''double bind theory i s concerned with the e x p e r i e n t i a l component in the genesis of tangles in the rules or premises of h a b i t . " )  (5):  1. Information i s a d i f f e r e n c e that has been communicated. 2. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , a very small amount of information may lead to a pathological d i f f e r e n c e . 3. To become t o l e r a n t of a l l differences i s to lose an a b i l i t y to d i f f e r e n t i a t e , that i s , to receive f u l l value information. The double bind i s a "Catch 22" s i t u a t i o n where the obvious r e s o l u t i o n to the paradox seems to lead to f u r t h e r c o n t r a d i c t i o n . The s o l u t i o n to the double bind seems to be to e i t h e r accept c o n t r a d i c t i o n or to be w i l l i n g to question your habits.  The second s o l u t i o n i s by f a r p r e f e r -  a b l e , f o r the f i r s t s o l u t i o n only helps the function of accommodation. I t i s useful to be able to t o l e r a t e ambiguity and c o n t r a d i c t i o n in the environment f o r there i s , i f we choose to admit i t , a great deal of disorder. order i s of the greatest i n t e r e s t to the c r e a t i v e act.  This d i s -  However, tolerance  of disorder does not i t s e l f help with a s s i m i l a t i o n , f o r t h i s i s a generative function which i n i t i a t e s action i n t o the environment.  It i s important f o r  children to accommodate c o n t r a d i c t i o n , since the young expend greater energy in accommodating the environment than in purposefully changing i t . has noted that p r i m i t i v e people accepted c o n t r a d i c t i o n . ( 6 )  Levi-Strauss  This c h i l d - l i k e  t r a i t seems to l i m i t a p r i m i t i v e person's effectiveness i n Western society  81.  where a s s i m i l a t i o n i s so important, where the environment on the most sens i t i v e l e v e l s 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 t h e i r dated habits in a modern environment.  The  effectiveness of the c h i l d in surmounting dilemmas l i k e the double bind i s that he not only t o l e r a t e s c o n t r a d i c t i o n but has a vast capacity f o r learning - very l i m i t e d investment has been made in habits and he i s always w i l l i n g to examine the context of t h e i r formation.  When the c h i l d asks "why?" the adult  may become impatient with the lack of appreciation e x h i b i t e d f o r the u l t i mate economy a v a i l a b l e through forming good habits.  But the designer w i l l  appreciate in the c h i l d not only a w i l l i n g n e s s to l e a r n , but a w i l l i n g n e s s to combine c o n t r a d i c t i o n with examination of context. The importance of adding c o n t r a d i c t i o n to examination of context i s appreciated 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  thinking compares to "primary process" or unconscious t h i n k i n g .  process" 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 i n t o fantasy or play one must be able to discriminate t h e i r boundary, be context conscious, but at the same time must give up the concept of the " u n t r u e " , must become unconscious of c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  This l o g i c a l anom-  aly of play i s t r a n s i t i v e , has p e r i o d i c value, and i s a valuable tool to the designer f o r the access to dream states i t a f f o r d s .  During "blue sky" sess-  ions the designer must suspend normal sanctions in order to reap the b e n e f i t 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: B a l l a n t i n e Books, 1972), p.169. 3. Charles W. Rusch, "Transformational Design", Journal of A r c h i t e c t u r a l Education, v o l . 3 1 , no.4, 1977, pp.24,25. 4. David Bohm, "Quantum Theory as an Indication of a New Order in P h y s i c s " , Foundations of Physics, v o l . 3 , no.2, 1973, pp.139-168. 5. Bateson, 1972, p.276. 6. Claude Levi-Strauss, see "Psychoanalysis and S e m i o t i c s " , 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 i n e v i t a b l e progression of the universe towards a state of homogenization i s described as an increase in entropy, that i s , as i n c r e a s i n g l y less order and s t r u c t u r e .  However there are a great many natural and c u l t u r a l phenomena  which would seem to suggest that negentropy i s on the increase. t i o n of some very complex systems i s continuing. organization i s becoming more and more elaborate.  The evolu-  Technology as a form of Assuming that t h i s  progres-  sion does not necessarily lead to s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n , an apparently a p p l i c a b l e law of physics does not apply in the natural and human realm, the realm of open systems. The b u i l d i n g up of complex s o c i a l structures has not been well explained; the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of highly developed s o c i a l structures i s apparently e a s i e r to s c r u t i n i z e .  For example, anthropology has become a reputable science do-  ing j u s t that — Levi-Strauss  suggests entropology would be a better t i t l e  than anthropology f o r the study of disappearing c u l t u r e s . (1) The term " e n tropy" i s in f a c t a l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n of " e v o l u t i o n " into Greek.  While the  Second Law of Thermodynamics may be synonymous with the P r i n c i p l e of Entropy in the hard sciences, other a p p l i c a t i o n s require s c r u t i n y of the d e r i v a t i v e conclusion that homogenization as evolution i s increasing. on death and new b i r t h and not j u s t death and r e b i r t h .  Evolution i s based  Thus the d e f i n i t i o n of  entropy as "the p r i n c i p l e that the universe i s passing from c e r t a i n less probable to c e r t a i n more probable s t a t e s " i s open to some r e - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Namely, that c e r t a i n forms of order are more probable than c e r t a i n countervalent forces which would see them eroded away.  84.  The c o n t r a d i c t i o n perceived in the p r i n c i p l e of entropy i s resolved by acknowledging a " p r i n c i p l e of s i m i l i t u d e " , in which i t i s observed that forces on a system vary in power, and as the systems vary in s i z e , the forces vary themselves, i f not in a f f e c t then at l e a s t in e f f e c t . p a r t i c l e s in a body, .While radiant energy does not.  Gravity acts on a l l Mechanical p r i n c i p l e s  apply in the gross physical world, while c a p i l l a r i t y , osmosis, and absorpt i o n act at minute organic l e v e l s . forces are active in s t i l l  E l e c t r i c charges and inter-molecular  l e s s e r worlds.  I t cannot be determined that the  outcome at a mechanical l e v e l i s completely r e f l e x i v e with the action at a molecular l e v e l , and vice versa.  Both the systematic s c i e n t i s t and the sys-  tematic designer have mistakenly presumed that an abstraction at one l e v e l w i l l adequately describe i n t e r a c t i o n at a l l l e v e l s .  This i s e s p e c i a l l y over-  s i m p l i f i e d when we consider the v a r i e t y of human and physical forces relevent to something l i k e a r c h i t e c t u r e .  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 i n v a l u a b l e , f o r i t explained how matter, however d i f f e r e n t on the surface, was the same underneath.  D i v e r s i t y and differences  have been considered almost as aberrations in c l a s s i c a l sciences ever since the P l a t o n i c Solids were used to explain the orderly geometrical of the universe.  underpinnings  I t has only been in the l a s t twenty years that more organic  paradigms have ascended, placing b i o l o g i c a l richness and heterogeneity w i t h in our r a t i o n a l constructs. The "mutual causal r e l a t i o n s " of the newly d i f f e r e n t i a t e d 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 i n t e r a c t i o n , and that i t takes more information to describe the f i n i s h e d patterns than to describe the generating r u l e s , and that i t i s often impossible to i n f e r the generating rules from the f i n i s h e d p a t t e r n s . " (2) This astonishing new formulation was p a r t i c u l a r l y useful in e s t a b l i s h i n g l o g i c a l constructs that explained increasing complexity.  P r e v i o u s l y , information  theory had been invoked to suggest that complex organisms occurred because s u f f i c i e n 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 r e b i r t h eventually led to the s u r v i v a l 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 t e r death can be much more v a r i e d , complex and heterogeneous than i t s predecessor, which in the end i s the measure of s u r v i v a l - - and i t i s , a f t e r a l l , a matter of the survival of the f i t t e s t , and not of the strongest. At s o c i a l l e v e l s of i n t e r a c t i o n the evolution of symbiotic and heterogeneous structures would seem to be e s s e n t i a l in order to keep pace with rapid change, despite c o u n t e r - v a i l i n g pressures which force homogenization through s p e c i a l i z a t i o n 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 c h "Communications Era" i s not moving, i t i s generally conceded, towards McLuhan's Global V i l l a g e , but towards a new balkanization of communities of i n t e r e s t . This d i v e r s i t y and richness i s a transcendent emotional experience because i t i s a . t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y based revolution which i s gaining what has never been  86.  achieved through s o c i a l s t r u c t u r i n g ( i . e . through p o l i t i c s ) , and not because of lack of e f f o r t among s o c i a 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 u l t i m a t e l y 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 f o r order." (3) To r e a l i z e that Marx advocated movement towards Anarchy (and we must appreci a t e that Anarchy as a p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n i s based on i n d i v i d u a l b i l i t y , and not on lawlessness)  responsi-  i s d i f f i c u l t in the l i g h t of the h i s t o r y of  communism in the Twentieth Century! We have, in t h i s discussion, come f u l l c i r c l e as the r e s u l t of the of the words we have used.  looseness  The importance of doing so i s to i l l u s t r a t e once  again the astonishing s e l f - d e c e p t i o n that pervades the t o p i c .  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  e v o l v i n g , most obviously in s o c i a l realms, where change has f a r outstripped the p r e - s o c i e t a l b i o l o g i c a l progression of e v o l u t i o n . at w i l l with many b i o l o g i c a l systems.  Man can now i n t e r f e r e  And yet s o c i a l progress has been def-  ined as a tolerance and s h i f t towards d i s o r d e r , not only by the l i k e s of Herbert Marcuse, but also by the l i k e s of Karl Marx.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , we have  discussed that recent advances in r a t i o n a l 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 i n c i p l e to a v a r i e t y of l e v e l s of i n t e r a c t i o n .  What applies in physics may not be a  v a l i d metaphor f o r what applies in biology or in s o c i e t y . The p a r t i c u l a r paradox which we f i n d in communism, where Marx's goal of greater tolerance of disorder seems to have led to structure on a tremendous s c a l e ,  87.  can be explained through a discussion of a number of contradictions in soci a l i s t practices.  Noteworthy here i s Sennett's r e s o l u t i o n to the irony in  the a p p l i c a t i o n of organization on a large s o c i a l scale in the mistaken bel i e f that free'dom from routine order can then be achieved at the scale of the individual.  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 s u c c e s s f u l l y we could face adulthood without fearing freedom. (4) It i s t h i s adolescent fear of disorder which seems to a r i s e when i n d i v i d u a l s are given r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r freedom - - which has led us to the s t a t i n g of a double bind, namely t h a t , a f t e r a l l , s o c i a l discourse should i d e a 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 i n c i p l e of entropy a p p l i e s , and disorder increases.  But man dominated evolution  seems to move in the other d i r e c t i o n , with both s o c i a l organization and t e c h nological organization increasing - - negentropy increases.  However, respect-  ing s o c i a l organization, leading advocates believe that personal freedom should be maximized at the expense of s o c i a l order, suggesting that s o c i a l evolution paradoxically observes the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i . e . s o c i a l order should decrease. While anthropology might better be c a l l e d entropology because i t deals with c u l t u r a l organization in an archaeological manner, i t has no d i r e c t r e l a t i o n to the problem of designing or planning (new c u l t u r a l discourse).  That i s ,  the t r a d i t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n stands between the a n a l y t i c a l sciences and the synthetic e f f o r t s of design; the s k i l l of designing does not a p r i o r i require an a n a l y t i c a l component, r a t h e r , i t i s the desire to achieve relevance and  88.  meaning in the r e s u l t of a design e f f o r t which requires the a n a l y t i c a l component.  Consider that the arts are not e s s e n t i a 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 v e r b a l l y 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  i s not, then, a p r e r e q u i s i t e 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 i s variously d i s cussed as reaching up to 80%) which makes i t such a c r e a t i v e communications medium.  To continue L e v i - S t r a u s s '  metaphor, where entropology i s the pursuit  of structure with which to i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k c u l t u r e together, negentropology would be the pursuit of development, mutation and transformation. Negentropology would seem to c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l Post-Modernist design.  Post-  Modernist design i s not as concerned with using a r t as a source of d i s c o n t i n u i t y as i t i s with using h i s t o r y as a source of ambiguity. even in the short run.  This i s a mistake  Radical d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s of the t r u l y revolutionary  kind detach themselves from t h e i r immediate past by revealing that past as a s h i f t i n g ideology, much in the Marxian view of achieving greater freedom a f t e r each r e v o l u t i o n .  As noted, the communist problem has been that the f r e e -  dom of the revolution ended once the large scale order was put i n t o place, because i n d i v i d u a l freedom i s not nurtured under e x t e r i o r c o n t r o l , but rather under corresponding i n t e r i o r c o n t r o l .  89.  While Post-Modernism does escape the  threat of achieving even less freedom through large scale s t r i c t u r e s , i t does not r i s e above confusing h i s t o r i c a l concerns (not to mention h i s t o r i c i s m , i . e . revivalism) such as i n f l u e n c e s , consistency, and t r a d i t i o n with the more contemporary s t r u c t u r a l i s t i n t e r e s t s such as axioms, c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s , j u x t a p o s i tions and invariance.  Post-Modernism i s not concerned p r e c i s e l y with the  s e n s i b i l i t y of past s t y l e s , schools, or designers, nor with the i n t e r p l a y 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 e c l e c t i c i s m . . Even w i t h i n the non-revolutionary d i s p l a c e ments and transformations of the movement there i s the promise of more. C e r t a i n l y the humanities over the l a s t twenty years have achieved more using the notions of r e - a c t i o n and substructure which Post-Modernism i s now adopting. For example, i t would seem that the p a r t i c u l a r character of an object or of a b u i l d i n g could be created using these s t r u c t u r a l i s t t o o l s .  Notions of r e -  sumption and deep s t r u c t u r e , of i n t e r n a l coherence and rupture, of langue and parole, of remenence (residuals)  and a d d i t i v i t y are extremely worthwhile  f o r the synchronic programming of a f u n c t i o n , an i n s t i t u t i o n , a need, or a c l i e n t personality.  But there has been very l i t t l e i n d i c a t i o n so f a r that  the nature of p a r t i c u l a r types, the nature of p a r t i c u l a 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 i m i t a t i o n s of Modernism which s t i f l e the e s s e n t i a l opportuni t i e s f o r change.  For example, i n d i v i d u a l b u i l d i n g s t i l l  over i t s existence as a type of b u i l d i n g .  takes precedence  Serge Chermayoff l e f t the American  I n s t i t u t e of A r c h i t e c t s as a personal statement condemning the  profession's  continued w i l l i n g n e s s to perform f o r a marketplace that asked f o r i n d i v i d u a l 90.  buildings to dominate t h e i r urban context.  While t h i s egocentrism of arch-  i t e c t u r a l design is only part of the story, behind our ignominious urban des i g n , i t i s a part w i t h i n 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 b u i l d i n g i n t o a synchronous cont e x t , but are used to applique d e r i v a t i v e ornamentation in the b e l i e f that communicability or meaning i s enhanced. The models on which the methodology of Post-Modernism i s based are not nece s s a r i l y in e r r o r , i t i s the a p p l i c a t i o n at a diachronic and s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l that i s in e r r o r .  There i s no more than a statement about decoration to be  made in t r a n s f e r r i n g past motif i n t o present discourse.  The methodology would  better be applied to transforming present modes of discourse i n t o h i s t o r i c a l motif.  Even within the tenets  of non-revolutionary Post-Modernism there  e x i s t s the opportunity to l e t s o c i a l and psychological acts define the design, instead of l e t t i n g the design freeze a s o c i a l and psychological a t t i t u d e . The obvious conclusion i s that there are no absolute forms, and yet we c o n t i n 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 e a r l y 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 f u r t h e r separates people and things.  We should be f a r more suspicious  of the f a c t that Le Corbusier grew to d i s l i k e portions of his early work ost e n s i b l y because i t seemed to suggest a f i r m causal l i n k between form and behavior.  But form i s created in order to allow people to create and respond  to an environment.  The form i s not the g o a l , i t i s the o b j e c t i v e or the means  91.  with which thedesigner mediates the environment.  The existence of forms i n -  dexing the h i s t o r y of a c u l t u r e n e c e s s a r i l y enrich the possible creations of environment i n a given s e t t i n g .  I t i s questionable whether Post-Modern-  ism's referencing of a n t i q u i t y in middle American i s any c o n t r i b u t i o n to t h i s truth.  The Robert Venturi synchronic!'ty of approach in referencing the ugly  and ordinary i s more to the p o i n t , i t ' s j u s 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 p r i n c i p l e s of choice beyond f u n c t i o n a l i s m , c o n t r u c t i v i s m , and s c i e n t i s m , as well as beyond h i s t o r i c i s m .  These p r i n c i p l e s were a breath of fresh a i r because they  freed us from the lineage of r a t i o n a 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 is s t i l l  the sovereign method of design.  Anthropology as entropology i s the  search f o r d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s of o r g a n i z a t i o n , tending to turn c u l t u r e i t s e l f , a f t e r c o r r e l a t i o n , s t r u c t u r i n g , a n a l y s i s , d e l i m i t a t i o n , decipherment, and p o s t u l a t i o n , i n t o an o b j e c t . logy become the product.  These instruments of the science of anthropo-  The actual l i v i n g throbbing c u l t u r e 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 c u l t u r e , but receives documentation of culture as highly abstracted m a t e r i a l i t y . The methodological revolution must surely be in the d i r e c t i o n of freeing the act of design from the tyranny of the t r a d i t i o n a l organization of h i s t o r y . This means more than freedom from the r e v i v a l of s t y l e or motif, i t means the freedom of s t y l e and motif.  Modernism pursued freedom from r e v i v a l i s m ,  92.  but did not accomplish freedom of s t y l e as i t offered a new homogeneous corpora of motif. i n t o new tenets  The intended freedom of s t y l e in Modernism merely evolved of good t a s t e .  Note that freedom from s t y l e i s not the i s -  sue, and i t c e r t a i n l y i s not the issue in designing.  Style as "an index of  form" w i l l necessarily appear vf h i s t o r y i s to tabulate d i a c h r o n i c a l l y human a c t i o n .  The methodological problem that presents i t s e l f i s to create  a "general h i s t o r y " of a r c h i t e c t u r e as opposed tosa " t o t a l h i s t o r y " , to use an opposition verbalized by Michel Foucault.  (6)  At the heart of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n has been the Modernist's be unitary control over the b u i l t environment.  i n t e n t i o n that there  This i s the abstract and i n -  genuous s o l u t i o n to the problem lamented by Serge Chermayeff.  It i s not  Modern but r a t i o n a l , rooted in the c l a s s i c a l superimposition of e x t e r i o r o r der which i s the European ideology.  Despite many attempts to revive Marx  as a humanist, his c h a r a c t e 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 r a t i o n -  a l i s m , Le Corbusier's V i l l e Radieuse proposals are as eloquent but starker than c l a s s i c i s m .  New York c i t y represents the reverse; an extremely p l a s t i c  i n f r a s t r u c t u r e i s the l e a s t functional imposition upon the freedom of the i n dividual b u i l d i n g . Endlessly changeable, the plan permits maximum productive initiative.  The genius of the Declaration of Independence i s embodied in the  lack of design at the urban scale of t h 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 c a p i t a l of the New World Utopia into a der i v a t i v e of European r a t i o n a l i s m . (7)  We continue to struggle with the l i n g -  ering suspicion that the grand plan w i l l provide c u l t u r a l i f not metaphysical  93.  depth, that comprehensive planning w i l l provide e f f e c t i v e production i f not machine e f f i c i e n c y .  The success of New York as the modern cosmopolis vouch-  es f o r something less than grand and comprehensive instrumentation as the means f o r urban discourse.  We must acknowledge that i d e o l o g i c a l approaches  to design applied at a large scale r e s u l t in formal proposals, and once the form i s in place the end (as f a r as physical design i s concerned) has a r r i v e d . The end becomes the means.  C l e a r l y 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 f o r ideologies of design i s a phenomenon of the " t o t a l theme.  history"  To s l i c e the environment along t h i s dimension i s to be concerned with  the o v e r a l l form of discourse, the p r i n c i p l e s which give i t cohesion, the s p i r i t u a l laws, and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i t s material production, in order to circumscribe the e n t i r e society w i t h i n the plan - - i t i s i n c l u s i v e .  The  theme of a "general h i s t o r y " 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 t o r y , 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 p u l l within the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the parts i s a.much stronger basis f o r order . than imposed zoning by-laws. i  It i s of the nature of ideology that i t does not deal e a s i l y with negentropy. Ideology requires concerted or reduced general models of a c t i o n , and a society in f l u x o f f e r s no harbour f o r tying  94.  up the ship of reformist p r i n c i p l e s .  Mod-  ernism has existed w i t h i n such a s o c i e t y , even sought to mirror such a soci 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 c a l mould.  The f a c t that Post-Modernism i s based on p o l -  i c y rather than ideology scores points f o r increased i n d i v i d u a l freedom. However we cannot a t t r i b u t e t h i s c o r r e c t i o n of the design process to i n c r e a s ed s o p h i s t i c a t i o n in the philosophy of design methods as much as we can a t t r i b u t e i t to the domination of market forces.  On the one hand the i n i t i a -  t i v e of c a p i t a l i s t s as both the reason and object of design subsumes p h i l o sophical r e f l e x i o n ^  On the other hand the v a r i e t y 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 a r t s . From t h i s conclusion we gain support f o r the p o s i t i o n that the design function i s very much to react to s o c i a l change rather than to generate i t , to be adaptive and to provide comfort and convenience, to be expressive and to i n t e grate the sacred and the profane.  Social evolution i s progressing  greater negentropy, but not through negentropic i n s t i t u t i o n s .  towards  That i s , soc-  i a l discourse i s not more ordered today because of the technology of organi z a t i o n , 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 t w e r e s t i l l man against the i n e l u c t a b l e j u n g l e , r a ther than man against his own constructions.  Ecology, p o l l u t i o n , food, and  energy issues are the r e s u l t of organizational constructs.  The designer has  always been in a p o s i t i o n to appreciate t h i s f a c t because he has been c l o s e r to the material world than those who would merely e x p l o i t i t .  95.  The Modernists,  however, expressed and adopted p r e c i s e l y these notions of large scale s t r u c t u r a l issues through t h e i r maxims of universal design, r e s u l t i n g in equivalent types of ecological breakdowns in urban design, automobile design, housing, or what-have-you.  On t h i s inheritance Post-Modernism has made some  new investments in e c l e c t i c i s m , but being responsive rather than generative i t must wait f o r the uncertain s o c i a l developments to consolidate f i r s t . For s o c i a l evolution to maintain the progressive course towards greater negentropy, towards greater order, i t cannot r e l y on l a r g e - s c a l e technology which we have seen leads, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , to severe d i s o r d e r , but must r e l y on the f e l t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the autonomous and free i n d i v i d u a l , an i n d i v i d u a l whose freedom must be maintained despite the residue of l i m i t e d problem s o l ving modes of design.  I t remains to be seen how Western society w i l l free  the i n d i v i d u a l from that other a l i e n a t i n g c o r o l l a r y of technology, the s u r f e 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 s o c i a l organization have not accorded unredeeming h e l l to s i g n i f i c a n t m i n o r i t i e s .  Mid-Century  was fond of r e c a l l i n g the glory of Rome, but not i t s oppression.  Fascism The f a c t  that Napoleon chose an h i s t o r i c a l example l i k e Rome while S t a l i n did not does not i n d i c a t e , however, which caused the greater oppression.  The problem  l i e s with any v i s i o n of s o c i a l greatness through s t r u c t u r e .  Imperialist  Utopians and e g a l i t a r i a n r e v o l u t i o n i s t s share a desire to r i d society of oppression, only to f i n d the paradox that "great i n j u s t i c e seems to a r i s e when a c e r t a i n pain and disorder i n s o c i a l l i f e i s consciously avoided."(10) only means a v a i l a b l e f o r maintaining j u s t i c e i s to mete out some pain.  The Because  pain cannot be experienced by an o r g a n i z a t i o n , the f u r t h e r a structure i s  96.  from i n d i v i d u a l human touch the greater the i n j u s t i c e that w i l l p r e v a i l . There are even i n d i v i d u a l s who f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to experience pain; unfortunately such people become i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d and removed from the mainstream, f o r they see.pain only as an "operating cost" much as an organization would. The presence of p a i n , one i n d i c a t i o n of disorder in the system, can be seen to be e s s e n t i a l in the learning process and in the a b i l i t y f o r one party to empathize with another.  For such a reason the i n d i v i d u a l must be r e l i e d  upon as the basic organizing p r i n c i p l e of s o c i e t y , f o r he alone can deal with i t s benefits in the l i g h t of the f a c t that disorder w i l l necessarily be present.  Design has waited f o r s o c i a l recognition of the place of the i n d i v i d -  ual in s o c i e t y , which has been b u i l d i n g since the turmoil of the 1960's. It i s a minor aberration that the 1970's should i n t e r p r e t the trend as "the 'me' decade" and e x p l o i t i t s s y b a r i t i c  potential.  But having to contend  with commercialization remains the most dominant l a r g e - s c a l e s t r u c t u r a l impediment to further s o c i a l progress.  For example, Broadbent states matter-  of-factly: "An a r c h i t e c t w i l l use a because glass and steel ordered - - the overtones planning and commercial  c u r t a i n wall f o r an o f f i c e b u i l d i n g feel c o l d , impersonal, precise and of methodical business, r a t i o n a l t r a n s a c t i o n s . " (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 t e r Mies van der Rohe. Where Mies could apply his universal space to housing, the place of the i n d i v -  97.  idual in society can no longer t o l e r a t e domestic design univalence - - the i n d i v i d u a l i s no longer at one with s o c i e t y , rather society i s at s p e c i f i c s with i n d i v i d u a l s .  The house in a r c h i t e c t u r e , the analogue of the i n d i v i d -  ual in s o c i e t y , i s r e a l i z i n g a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n to judge from the comments of the j u r y f o r the 27th annual Progressive  Architecture Awards:  " A l l of the large projects lack a c e r t a i n q u a l i t y . Certain of the b u i l d i n g types were r e a l l y d i s a p p o i n t i n g , u n i n t e r e s t i n g , 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 q u a l i t y of excellence in the public and commercial sectors i s j u s t not up to that of some of the other work, mostly the housing. P r e c i s e l y the way to view a l l of the houses i s as very perso n a l , p r i v a t e , a r t i s t i c statements. To look f o r universal q u a l i t i e s , as we might tend to do because of our professional backgrounds, i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e . " (11) And i t i s not to be assumed that the house always breeds a celebration of the l i f e q u a 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 t h i s jury remarked, in r e l a t i o n 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 r e n t i a t i o n  at the scale of the i n d i v i d u a l i s t o l e r a t e d conceptually as order, and therefore, the perceptual order follows.  In the commercial realm the perceptually  s t e r i l e b u i l d i n g does not symbolize order, simply because there i s so l i t t l e conceptual order in these organizations  to r e f e r t o , but rather a large a-  mount of highly concentrated d i s t r e s s on the ecology as the r e s u l t of such a concentration of s p e c i a l i z e d resources.  I t would be better to c a l l the s t e r -  i l e commercial b u i l d i n g a symbol f o r absent order.  To quote another j u r o r :  "The important question f o r me,.then, i s why i s t h i s the case. I imagine i t ' s because the l a r g e r projects usually j u 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 f o r Futures Research", Futures, October 1973, p.436. 3. Richard Sennett, The Uses of Disorder  (New York: Vintage, 1970), p.xiv.  4. I b i d . 5. Linda Groat and David Canter, "Does Post-Modernism Communicate?" Progressive A r c h i t e c t u r e , December 1978, pp.84-87. 6. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), p.72. 7. Manfredo T a f u r i , A r c h i t e c t u r e 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 A r c h i t e c t u r e : A Summary," A r c h i t e c t u r a l Design, vol.47, no.4, 1977, p.266. 11. "The 27th P/A Awards", Progressive A r c h i t e c t u r e , January 1980, p.87. 12. I b i d . 13. I b i d .  99.  CHAPTER TEN THE PARADOX OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE Rudolf Arnheim invokes the P r i n c i p l e of the Excluded Middle to refute the defence of disorder in Robert V e n t u r i ' s w r i t i n g s , who i s , he claims, mistaken "out of ignorance or oversight or f o r a misguided purpose ... One i s in e r r o r i f one asserts that something e x i s t s and does not e x i s t at the same time." (1) signer. far.  Obviously, the behaviorist  Arnheim has never been a de-  Further, he has taken the c l a s s i c a l d i a l e c t i c s of l a b e l l i n g too  However, Arnheim's concern i s well placed when he finds V e n t u r i ' s l o -  gic l a c k i n g , f o r Venturi along with most t h e o r e t i c a l a r c h i t e c t s are notorious f o r f a i l i n g to d i s t i n g u i s h between the psychic e f f e c t s 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 s e n t i a l l y interested in matter as a visual stimulus, i s not concerned with the f a c t that the psychic balance of a perception may require the s y n e r g i s t i c congruence of seemingly contradictory tendencies.  We must be  very c l e a r in i d e n t i f y i n g these two c l a s s i c a l p o s i t i o n s , the denotative and the connotative.  While we can r e c o n c i l e the argument, we cannot hope to r e -  c o n c i l e the two types of mind which have developed in divergent ways.  Arnheim  would claim that man cannot be both angel and d e v i l at the same time, because something cannot be both black and white under the same conditions. (2)  Ven-  t u r i would maintain that we are ambiguous, both a b i t of the d e v i l and a b i t of the angel at the same time, and should divide things in two so that h a l f can be white and h a l f can be black. c i p l e d positions are forced  The paradox a r i s e s when these two p r i n -  into a confrontation  which occurs because man  turns i n t o a d e v i 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 c l o s e r  100.  one approaches r e a l i z a t i o n of the a n t i c i p a t e d end.  J a r v i e , in an essay en-  t i t l e d "Utopian Thinking and the A r c h i t e c t " , mentions four c r i t i c a l  arguments  directed against Utopian t h i n k i n g : f i r s t l y , the future i s unknowable,  secondly,  U t o p i a i s f a n c i f u l and inconsiderate of real l i m i t a t i o n s , t h i r d l y , because Utopia  i s so, we become morally and imaginatively trapped in the u n r e a l i z -  able, and l a s t l y , Utopias are s e l e c t i v e and e x c l u s i v e . (4)  Its true that  we have very poor tools f o r thinking about undivided wholes but can i s o l a t e l i s t s such as the above which seem to enumerate s t r a t e g i c errors i n the d i a l e c t i c a l manners we do have.  But b e t t e r , i d e n t i f y i n g 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 u n i v e r s a l , became entrapped in the above snares to a dramatic degree. It i s misleading.to think of the "excluded middle" as any less s p e c i f i c than the poles of an opposition.  In an analogue of the denotative-connotative  opposition, namely f a c t - t h e o r y , we might t r y to define a middle ground.  In  t h i s opposition the c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s p r i m a r i l y f e l t i n terms of the hardness of f a c t and the softness of theory.  What i s factual i s nominally what i s  immovable,, while the t h e o r e t i c a l i s highly p l a s t i c .  However the Latin root  of f a c t 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 e x i s t independently, but are the r e s u l t of t h e o r e t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . (5)  Theory f o r i t s part must,  a f t e r the language of Piaget, accommodate f a c t to be u s e f u 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 adj u s t . (6)  Assimilation is reciprocal.  The presence of a c o n f l i c t i n g element  could be dealt with by e i t h e r pole, given that i t i s w i l l i n g to adjust to  101.  cause the a s s i m i l a t i o n .  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 between components of wholes.  We are more f a m 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 i s the denial of the order which u n i f i e s , in t h i s case, f a c t with theory.  In p a r t i c u l a r the i l l u s i o n of the independence of f a c t can be  a t t r i b u t e d to inductive t h i n k i n g , 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 f o r our confusion i s that we are: " t r a i n e d to think and argue i n d u c t i v e l y from data to hypotheses, but never to t e s t hypotheses against knowledge derived from deduction from the fundamentals of science or p h i l o s ophy." (8) The dichotomous and independent l i f e of facts i s a good example of a part being awarded the s t r u c t u r a l value of a whole.  In t h i s mode the wholes are  not r e a l . Le Corbusier, in the manner of a l l great a r c h i t e c t s , i s a master of sentiment to a degree even greater than his mastery of form (and t h i s i s not c y n i c a l , or paradoxical, but e s s e n t i a l ) .  Of teaching students he s a i d :  "Facts are f l u i d and changeable, e s p e c i a l l y nowadays, so I would teach them to d i s t r u s 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 f a r behind when he stated that " t r u t h i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of f a c t s " , where t r u t h i s " . . . a r e l a t i o n which touches the essence of the time . . . " (10)  Both a r c h i t e c t s acknowledged the diachronic adjusta-  b i l i t y of f a c t s , so the c o n t r a d i c t i o n must.lie in t h e i r celebrated pursuit of universals in terms of design theory.  102.  To w i t Le Corbusier contradicted t h i s  progressive d e f i n i t i o n of f a c t and reverted to the immutable  image when he  claimed that "the universal f a c t i s revealed to a l l , i s within the reach of a l l " in reference to Modernist design theory. (11)  I t i s by v i r t u e 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 s o f t 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, commented on the general tendencies of Modernists ( a l l designers are as g u i l t y ) to i n s i s t on t h e i r own version of f u n c t i o n , s t r u c t u r e , or construction instead of f i r s t l y learning about b u i l d i n g , 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 a r c h i t e c t u r a l profession.  They do not face f a c t s , they fake f a c t s . " (12)  The honesty of design i s surely in question when the Modernists, those who proclaimed the immutable f a c t of b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l s , construction techniques, and geometric s i m p l i c i t y are c a l l e d fakers.  But what does i t matter?  To  say that a designer does not have the i n t e g r i t y of the engineer i s r e a l l y only to say that the engineer does not include the excluded middle.  Both  theory and f a c t are s o f t i f they pertain to any human domain, and where they meet in the middle says nothing about t h e i r q u a l i t y (or else Le Corbusier would not be quotable). The p r i n c i p l e of the excluded middle i s extremely important to the understanding of paradox i t s e l f because i t i s so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of conventional thought. It has been the d e l i g h t of metaphysicians down through the ages to confound  103.  t h 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 f a c t strung out between two poles, operating as a d u a l i t y whose character i s one of degree, not d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n .  According to the Kybalion:  "Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has i t s p a i r of opposites; l i k e and unlike are the same; opposites are i d e n t i c a l in nature, but d i f f e r e n t in degree; extremes meet; a l l truths are but h a l f - t r u t h s ; a l l paradoxes may be r e c o n c i l e d . " (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 f e 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 P l a t o n i c mould i s very capable of dealing with q u a n t i f i a b l e , m a t e r i a l i s t i c , and.persistent phenomena.  In t h i s world of delimited matter  a category, a word, a l a b e l , i s i n v a r i a n t , i t always has the same meaning. Should one sign be replaced by another s i g n , the r e f e r e n t , the phenomenon being referred t o , w i l l remain the same because the signs are considered to be s u b s t i t u t a b l e .  But consider the inverse of t h i s , where the s i t u a t i o n i s  s u b s t i t u t a b l e and the word remains the same: t h 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" i s treated from a p a r t i c u l a r synchronic viewpoint that makes d e s c r i p t i o n possible - - the continuous sequence i s halted to compare a previous with a present s t a t e , such that the change i s a measure, a category of increment.  But t h 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 t u a t i o n s of t o day, where the rate of change i s r a p i d , i s continuous, and i s becoming the expected and comfortable s t a t e .  The single easiest example of the condition  of the excluded middle i s t h i s very contemporary f e e l i n g of a perpetually moving, f l u i d universe where energy and matter seem to be meeting in d a i l y  104.  life. There have always been a great many experiences of the mind which cannot adequately be translated into the s e m i o t i c , attempts usually r e s u l t i n g in conf u s i o n , not to say c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  Such a word as " r e l i g i o u s " i s not a suc-  cessful label in the conventional sense i n that i t i d e n t i f i e s no-thing - something that cannot be otherwise s p e c i f i e d .  Of course i t may be an extreme-  l y s i g n i f i c a n t personal experience which i s c a l l e d r e l i g i o u s , but i t i s in the s o c i a l realm that we use the term - - i t i s very l i k e l y that the i n d i v i d u a l would f i n d s p i r i t u a l , metaphysical, profound or any number of s i m i l a r a d j e c t i v e s more s u i t a b l e .  Our culture uses the r e l i g i o u s in t h i s case to r e f e r  to the f a i t h or b e l i e f of the i n d i v i d u a l in something s i g n i f i c a n t beyond faith.  So i t i s that r e l i g i o n s themselves are constructions which channel  and specify the types of personal experiences p o s s i b l e ,  o c c a s i o n a l l y to the  point where r i t u a l i s used pervasively to control even the most mundane act i v i t i e s , thereby l i m i t i n g any opportunity f o r personal exploration of change. The prospect that experiences presently "beyond words" w i l l ever be communi c a b l e may appear to be a f r u i t l e s s and even undesirable c o n t r a d i c t i o n to pursue, but the work of t h e o r e t i c a l and experimental physics and psychology i n c r e a s i n g l y deal with metaphysical phenomena.  Nothing could be more l o g i -  cal i f science i s i n t e r e s t e d in t r u t h , f o r the t r u t h i s forever becoming, a moving r e l a t i o n s h i p between doing and d e s c r i b i n g .  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 r u t h . " . . . t h e scepticism against precise s c i e n t i f i c concepts does not mean that there should be a d e f i n i t e l i m i t a t i o n f o r the  105.  a p p l i c a t i o n of r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g . But the e x i s t i n g s c i e n t i f i c concepts cover always only a very l i m i t e d part of r e a l i t y , and the other part that has not yet been understood i s i n f i n i t e . " (14) This quote of Heisenberg's  I take as an i n d i c a t i o n that i t i s not paradoxi-  cal but s i l l y to perpetually pursue physical t r u t h alone, f o r 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  t h i s i n f i n i t y , surely the payoff w i l l be r e a l i z e d in seeking to understand that r e a l i t y which complements the impressive physical world which we already know.  S i m i l a r l y any measure of success in design seems to be s t a t i n g today  that systematizing, r a t i o n a l i z i n g , or e m p i r i c i z i n g any more of the physical design issues i s at best a very marginal return.  I t would be preferable f o r  designers to render the environment i n c o n s i s t e n t l y , f o r seemingly tent statements r e a l l y are the most consistent.  inconsis-  Our s t r i v i n g f o r 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 d e f i c i e n c i e s of the s i t u a t i o n at that time, and are not able to expose the q u a 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 i g u r a t i v e language c h a r a c t e r 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 c a t e g o r i c a l , the other has been technological and s y n t a c t i c a l , d i r e c t e d at transcending elementals.  The  former movement was surmounted by the succession of Hegel by Marx which deployed the d i a l e c t i c a l into s o c i a l discourse. lectic  The importance of t h i s d i a -  to c r i t i c a l understanding i s immeasurable, f o r without i t recent  106.  .social evolution would not have been seen as a process of revolving i n t e r nal tensions, but as a succession of contradictory j u x t a p o s i t i o n s .  The  l a t e r movement has grown out of deductive t r a d i t i o n s 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 oppos i t i o n binding the subject of transcendent semiotics, which i s  parts-wholes.  These two streams, d i a l e c t i c s and systemics, provide the context w i t h i n which paradox can be discussed, f o r they provide a communicational viewpoint beyond the boundaries of objective c a t e g o r i z a t i o n .  The p a r t i c u l a r relevance of d i -  a l e c t i c s i s that the paradox of the excluded middle occurs not in s p i t e 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 r e s u l t of emphasis on the d i f f e r e n t -  i a l of the d i a l e c t i c , rather than on the constant f l u x w i t h i n i t s c a t e g o r i cal framework.  A d i a l e c t i c i s r e a l l y appositional and not o p p o s i t i o n a l , an  understanding which i s meta to the d i a l e c t i c , f o r as Wi1 den says "No communication can be properly defined or examined at the level at which the communication occurs."  (15)  Conventional systematic l o g i c i s paradoxical because i t s consistency makes i t inconsistent.  D i a l e c t i c a l thought i s paradoxical because i t s  ency makes i t consistent.  (16)  107.  inconsist-  FOOTNOTES 1. Rudolf Arnheim, The Dynamics of A r c h i t e c t u r a l Form, (Berkeley: Universi t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1977), p.163. 2. I b i d . 3. Arthur K o e s t l e r , Janus (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), p.78. 4. I.C. J a r v i e , "Utopian Thinking and the A r c h i t e c t , " i n Planning f o r D i v e r s i t y and Choice, Ed. S. Anderson, (Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1968), p.11. 5. David Bohm, Foundations of Physics, v o l . 3 , no.2, 1973, p.141. 6. I b i d . p.140. 7. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind  (New York: Ballantyne, 1972),  p.72. 8. I b i d . , p.23. 9. Le Corbusier, " I f I had to Teach You A r c h i t e c t u r e , " i n The R a t i o n a l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.80. 10. Mies van der Rohe, in "Mies van der Rohe," by Peter Carter, in The Rational i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), P.71. 11. Le Corbusier, "Twentieth Century L i v i n g and Twentieth Century B u i l d i n g , " in The R a t i o n a l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.76 (emphasis added). 12. Ove Arup, in,The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Review, no.993, November 1979, p.62. 13. The Kybalion (Chicago: Yogi P u b l i c a t i o n S o c i e t y , 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: U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan Geographi c a l P u b l i c a t i o n No. 15, 1975), p.164.  108.  CHAPTER ELEVEN  THE PARADOX OF AESTHETIC CONTRADICTION S i s t e r Mary Francis S l a t t e r y in a book e n t i t l e d Hazard, Form and Value (1) develops an analogue to the discussion of c o n t r a d i c t i o n , although she never uses that term.  Her thesis i s most i n t e r e s t i n g f o r i t reveals the c o n t i n -  ued i n e f f a b l e r o l e c o n t r a d i c t i o n plays in the a r t i s t i c realm even i f i t As not t o l e r a t e d in the s c i e n t i f i c one.  I t i s not the cognition of a r e l a t i o n -  ship that we f i n d e x c i t i n g , even of a novel one, but rather the divergence, the span, the hazard: " F a m i l i a r i t y reduces hazard to c o g n i t i o n . " (2)  Hazard  she defines as the difference that spans between two e n t i t i e s , and the hazard i s the more " a f f e c t i v e " the greater the gap: vastness,  immenseness,  great  differences in time (very old people, t h i n g s ) , great odds, large differences i n e x c e l l e n c e , authority or s t a t u s , or the r a d i c a l combinations of terms in a metaphor a l l e x c i t e the imagination. (3)  Some negentropic types of s t r u c -  ture also e x c i t e hazard, such as complex or intense order whose perfection in the face of great odds i s e x c i t i n g .  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 f o r inopart by a lack of pattern or d i f f e r -  e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e , wherein one r e l a t i o n s h i p leads to expectancy of another, as awareness grows in i n t e n s i t y .  Even in quite deviant and complex structure  the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of elements can achieve an interrelatedness such that cont r a s t s and contradictions can be made, leading the imagination.  Disorder  cannot promote the level of awareness required to b u i l d up an a f f e c t i v e hazard.  Gombrich described t h i s hazard as w e l l , in his terms great a r t occurs  when the t r a d i t i o n a l pattern or decorum i s breached. (4) There i s also order and structure whose p r i n c i p l e of organization i s only con109.  notative - - t h i s i s an a e s t h e t i c c o n s t r u c t i o n .  For S l a t t e r y a e s t h e t i c r e -  l a t i o n s h i p s 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)  Paradoxically,  the mind i s excited by aesthetic order because of the i n f i n i t e p o t e n t i a l f o r difference as well as by the p o t e n t i a l f o r other reasons why the r e l a t i o n ships might e x i s t .  Aesthetic form gains meaning through the hazardous con-  d i t i o n of i t s order, which a c t i v e l y threatens less tense s t a t e s .  This de-  s c r i p t i o n helps us to understand the profound aesthetic experiences f e l t by mathematicians, who value the tenseness of precise t h e o r e t i c constructions. We can also f i n d in t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of aesthetics an a d d i t i o n a l reason f o r s t a t i n g that design deals in paradox.  The inherent c o n t r a d i c t i o n to order  of an aesthetic object i s very close to the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n to order of a paradox.  The designed object compounds the aesthetic by drawing a t t e n -  t i o n 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 a t t r a c t s notice i t s purely functional existence i s threatened.  That i s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , once you draw a t t e n t i o n to one object  in a group, or one element of a whole, i t s functional r o l e i s enhanced.  For  example, placing or shaping a window on a e s t h e t i c considerations i s to give greater emphasis to the fenestration than p o s i t i o n i n g i t as a standard funct i o n a l unit among many.  Or consider the f i r s t attempts by Modernists  s i m p l i f y domestic b u i l d i n g s , which t r a d i t i o n a l l y possessed wings, and o u t - b u i l d i n g s .  to  porches  To design a house as a f l a t - r o o f e d block was to adhere  to c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s of functional ism, but to b u i l d such a house in a t r a d i t i o n a l neighbourhood was to c a l l a t t e n t i o n to i t as an a e s t h e t i c object.  110.  History has born out that the e f f e c t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e of the house was aest h e t i c and not f u n c t i o n a l , f o r we do not consider such a house functional today, nor would Socrates who established few demands  "...The most pleas-  urable and the most b e a u t i f u l house i s that in which the owner can f i n d pleasant r e t r e a t in a l l seasons (of the year) and can also protect his possessions..."  (6)  Engineers and peasants had been i d e n t i f i e d in 1909 by Adolf Loos as the greatest of functional formgivers.:(s7)  Within a dozen years, despite the ag-  ony of t h e i r b a t t l e for Modernism, technical form and p r i m i t i v e form were being used as sources f o r a r t i s t i c handicraft - - functional k i t s c h had set in.  Al though ..Loos accepted c r e d i t f o r i t in 1930, "I  have freed, mankind  from superfluous ornament", the crime of ornament i s not banished.  In f a c t  according to the above paradox i t i s impossible to banish i t , f o r ornament i s the resolution to the paradox of a e s t h e t i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n : ornament helps to keep diverse things together, or conversely, helps to keep l i k e things apart.  According to S l a t t e r y : "The greater the sum of a l l that i s not common to terms that have something in common, and hence the greater the obstacle or hazard to t h e i r union, the more e x c i t i n g or e f f e c t i v e the apprehension of t h e i r union; or, the more unrelatedness there i s , the more e x c i t i n g 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 r e s o l u t i o n to the paradox without recourse to decoration.  This i s a tempting prospect, but  at the l a r g e r scale of s o c i a l meaning the p o s s i b i l i t y breaks down.  The func-  t i o n a l object w i l l i n e v i t a b l y become a decorative object with time (see The Paradox of Environment).  For the sake of resolving t h i s proposition of para-  dox we do not have to resort to another, however.  111.  The example from the fam-  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 f o r a hockey g o a l i e .  I t i s true  that the i n i t i a t e d i n d i v i d u a l may appreciate t h i s object undecorated, but at what point would i t become decoration?  The universal value of the wine  b o t t l e as pure form f o r Purism i s the same universal value which decorates inumerable window s i l l s .  In l i k e manner any f u r t h e r reading of Nelson's  book may cause school c h i l d r e n to demand goalie masks to match t h e i r other s u r v i v a l gear, t h e i r backpacks and h i k i n g boots.  The point i s that t h i s  phenomenon of functional purpose transmuting into a e s t h e t i c appreciation i s the greatest boon to good design imaginable, f o r 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, funct i o n a l ism i t s e l f i s a red herring and i t s persistence i d e o l o g i c a l l y amazing. Modernism as r a t i o n a l i s m 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 r e d u c t i v i s t doctrines as functionalism or r a t i o n a l i s m work contrad i c t t h e i r very motivation.  Some objects of very l i m i t e d purpose (and thus  l i m i t e d assumptions)  such as s u r v i v a l gear, may a t t a i n something other than  a provisional s t a t e .  But i t i s not the form which i s t i m e l e s s , u n i v e r s a l ,  proper, purposeful, or f u n c t i o n a l , i t i s the purpose of man which i s tent in any object considered to be determinant. radox in his amazing but unpresumptuous  consis-  David Pye claimed t h i s pa-  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 " f u n c t i o n a l " i s usually applied when  112.  the term "economical" i s meant. (11) stance refers to the job done.  Function  as o p i n i o n , s t y l e or moral  Only in describing the r e s u l t of the design  in action can form be separated from function - - otherwise observation and p r a c t i c e do not separate form from f u n c t i o n .  I f an object provides no r e -  s u l t in action then i t i s only form without function (otherrthan a e s t h e t i c ) , and becomes an appendage to the environment based s o l e l y on function - - i . e . i t becomes decoration i n the sense discussed above.  The Modernists sought  an environment that was so economical (of mass, m a t e r i a l , shape, ornament, e f f o r t ) that nothing would be extra] would be decorative of the absolute minimum c o n d i t i o n .  This i s an attempt to c o n t r a d i c t the nature of aesthet-  i c s , and i n e v i t a b l y f a i l s .  Human e f f o r t i t s e l f mitigates the economical.  The automobile s t a r t e d out as a functional machine, but every e f f o r t expended on improving i t s function has made i t more of a formal a e s t h e t i c .  The  most u t i l i t a r i a n o b j e c t s , surfaces, and shapes have great e f f o r t expended on them.  Indeed the problem today i s 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 r u p t i o n , discomfort, wear, and break-down, f o r d u r a b i l i t y i s u t i l i t a r i a n . One f u r t h e r comment on the complexity that i s added to economical objects by t r y i n g to make them more f u n c t i o n a l : however economical the shape, there seems to be a required correspondence between the deep s t r u c t u r e , f o r Arnheim the " i n n e r o r d e r " , and the external form, or " o r d e r l i n e s s " . (12)  Now the i n t e r n a l  order of an object would seem to r e l a t e to t h i s very human purpose which a l ways provides a form with a f u n c t i o n .  And because external form i s merely a  r e f l e c t i o n of t h i s i n t e r n a l order, whatever our desire f o r structure or order, we can f i n d i t where ever we wish.  I n t e r e s t i n g l y Louis H. S u l l i v a n in  113.  Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings used " f u n c t i o n " to mean something quite mystical about the perfect expression of an i n t e r n a l order, s t r i v e d f o r but never a t t a i n e d . (13)  Function has served valuably f o r the Modernists in that  i t was seen as a l i m i t a t i o n at a l l l e v e l s ; l i m i t a t i o n s are of the essence, f o r they produce the maximum e f f e c t with the minimum of means, or f o r Jean Labatat "Knowledge of l i m i t a t i o n s i s the only way to acquire freedom of o r ganization and expression." (14)  To award f u r t h e r e t h i c a l properties to  function i s to create the doctrine of functional ism and to lose the power of the paradox - - there i s no freedom without l i m i t a t i o n --;.by getting bogged down in the purpose of f u n c t i o n a l i s m , as opposed to the purpose of f u n c t i o n . But, as we have s t a t e d , expending uneconomic e f f o r t on functional designs, does not, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , make them less f u n c t i o n a l i s t . " T h e more reasons f o r each a r c h i t e c t o n i c form, the better the composition, those reasons being of tangible and i n t a n g i b l e nature." (15)  I.A.  Richards has commented that the  lack of human q u a l i t i e s in the products of the engineer i s important to his success - - he can ignore so much, f o r his mandate i s l i m i t e d . (16)  In summ-  ary, the designer must not confuse his purpose - - f u n c t i o n , d e l i m i t a t i o n , economy - - with his form, f o r he w i l l come to believe that his form i s his ideology.  Accordingly those who would presume to engineer the environment  w i l l c o n s t r i c t l i f e by a most pernicious confusion of ideologies of economy with a e s t h e t i c s .  114.  FOOTNOTES 1. S i s t e r Mary Francis S l a t t e r y , Hazard, Form and Value  ( D e t r o i t : Wayne  State U n i v e r s i t y , 1971), 2. I b i d . , p.21. 3. I b i d . , p.13. 4. E.H. Gombrich, "On Physiognomic P e r c e p t i o n " , i n Meditation on a Hobby Horse (London: Phaidon Press, 1963), p.58. 5. S l a t t e r y , 1971, p.31. 6. Socrates, quoted in "The Rational and the F u n c t i o n a l " , Geoffrey Broadbent, in The R a t i o n a l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, Ed. (London: A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p. 145. 7. Reyner Banham, "Adolf Loos: Ornament and Crime", i n The R a t i o n a l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.33. 8 . S S l a t t e r y , 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 t a , 1964), p.12. 11. I b i d . , pp.10-13. 12. Rudolph Arnheim, quoted i n "On Rudolph Arnheim's Entropy and A r t " , by Frank McCarthy, Journal of Aesthetics and Art C r i t i c i s m , vol.32, no.2, 1973, p.270. 13. Louis H. S u l l i v a n , Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings Wittenborn, 194771  (New York: George  14. Jean Labatut, "An Approach to A r c h i t e c t u r a l Composition", Modulus (University of V i r g i n i a , School of A r c h i t e c t u r e ) , v o l . 9 , p.62. 15. I.A.  Richards, "Structure i n Communication", in Structures i n 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 a r b i t r a r y conventions which have been learned.  Special learning i s required in order to  compose or i n t e r p r e t nominal models because t h e i r orderliness 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 p a r t i c u l a r l y adept at the generation  of nominal models through language.  Basic knowledge of language i s so u b i -  quitous i t led Chomsky to suggest that there e x i s t s a genetic order, a deep structure w i t h i n the human equipment which enhances language  capabilities.(1)  Further abstraction into logico-mathematical languages are more hypothetical and require more l e a r n i n g , but the verbal o r i e n t a t i o n 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 p r i m a r i l y v i s u a l , could be kinest h e t i c or haptic.  These models r e l y on the physical resemblance of form, space,  or motion for representation.  Our society i s highly oriented to nominal comm-  u n i c a t i o n , as in the printed word, to a degree that visual l i t e r a c y r e l a t e d to i c o n i c modeling i s considered more p r i m i t i v e in some fashion.  A concomitant  f a c t i s that the consumer of i c o n i c models i s not as l i k e l y to be a producer, while everyone i s expected to produce in the language.(2) The o r i e n t a t i o n of the creator of d i s c u r s i v e verbal or w r i t t e n models i s very much the same as the l i s t e n e r 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 i n d i v i d u a l or p a r t i c u l a 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, e s p e c i a l l y during diachronic communication.  116.  The  o r i g i n a t o r 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 i n r e a l - t i m e dialogues as both p a r t i e s create the s i n g l e communications act. By contrast the o r i e n t a t i o n of the creator of presentational graphic or threedimensional models i s not the same as that of the audience.  Our society has  by and large a t t r i b u t e d the r o l e of i c o n i c model making to s p e c i a l i s t s , f o r the i n d i v i d u a l does not a s s i m i l a t e as much as merely accommodate the visual productions through consumption.  Craft and amateur a r t a c t i v i t i e s , not to men-  t i o n gardening, generate form and are highly therapeutic a c t i v i t i e s aimed at ameliorating t h i s s i t u a t i o n .  Recent technological developments are i n v o l -  ving more people in the generation of graphic images.  However, such techno-  logy as photography may r e i n f o r c e the mechanical r e p l i c a t i o n of icons, of standards of consumption, as much as permit the creation of new visual form. Once the c h i l d has created his physical world to a point which p a r a l l e l s his expert mastery of oral and w r i t t e n language he j u s t might never generate another o r i g i n a l i c o n i c model in his l i f e .  Other than the mundane day-to-day  arranging of the physical environment the i n d i v i d u a l i s divested of the r o l e of i c o n i c model generator in that the aesthetic i s separated from the functional.  The functional world i s not considered a e s t h e t i c a l l y or s u b j e c t i v e -  l y as much as i t i s a b s t r a c t l y and economically.  The aesthetic and subject-  ive become somewhat suspect, and because of t h e i r a f f i n i t y with i c o n i c models in p a r t i c u 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 d e n t i f i e d which subsumes t h i s poorly understood "black box" a c t i v i t y of i c o n i c model making.  117.  Even though the perception and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of models in space i s much lower in the evolutionary scale than the development of abstracted f i n e - g r a i n language systems (3) the emergence of i c o n i c s t r u c t u r a l i s m (or we could use' the term "language" here as w e l l ) has lagged.  P r i m i t i v e cultures which op-  erate in a much more w h o l i s t i c symbolic world  do have i c o n i c languages  with which each member can create representation.(4) ment of the i c o n i c as i d i o s y n c r a t i c  Our contradictory t r e a t -  imagery i s well documented by Arnheim.(5)  P a r a d o x i c a l l y the s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of d i s c u r s i v e nominal models i s equally open to both generation and reception,however a base-line a b i l i t y to consume i c o n i c 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 i s a system in a synthetic mode.  Therefore the d i f f e r e n c e between a nominal mo-  del and an i c o n i c model i s not the d i f f e r e n c e of analysis / s y n t h e s i s .  Con-  sequently t h i s paradox i s not an equation in which analysis contradicts synt h e s i s , but in which p r a c t i c e contradicts c a p a b i l i t y .  I f we were to spend  twelve years in public school to learn the syntax of i c o n i c form i t i s  likely  we would approach a general f a c i l i t y in i c o n i c modeling at l e a s t equal to our a b i l i t i e s in the three r ' s :  reading, w r i t i n g and a r i t h m e t i c .  I t i s very  l i k e l y that the syntax of language and of visual form would a c t u a l l y merge, that l i n g u i s t i c and physical symbols would merge, much as the p r i m i t i v e s ' environment i s created so that a s p i r i t can l i v e in every t r e e .  In our comm-  unications age the equivalent r e s u l t a n t i s suggested when every object i s clothed in information rather than in form, when the environment i s  filled  with slogans, or when every thing i s merely an economical version of an o r g i i n a l which i s never known.  The nominal dissolves the i c o n i c .  118.  The e f f i c i e n c y of l i n g u i s t i c s as a communicational model i s envied by designers who would wish to structure i c o n i c modeling as a communication event. A communication as an experience i s more highly abstracted than a perception, and i s valued over perception f o r the currency i t gives semi o t i c exchanges in addition to exchanges of stimulus.  The i n t e r e s t of the public in f u n c t i o n -  al and operational considerations i s a good s t a r t i n g point f o r introducing a semiotic of form because the u t i l i t y of structured r e l a t i o n s h i p s which are c l e a r l y l a b e l l e d i s r e a d i l y apparent.  To move semiotics f u r t h e r into sub-  j e c t i v e 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 i n t o the development of syntax that rules the arrangement of parts and wholes in the i c o n i c realm, using the model of communications as the e s s e n t i a l paradigm to create the s o - c a l l e d languages of form. The i d i o s y n c r a t i c perceptual problems of creating physical form have t r a d i t i o n a l l y preoccupied designers once functional considerations have been handled. While perception w i l l always be highly i n d i v i d u a l , the designer i s interested in packaging perception and i n c o n t r o l l i n g i t .  Science i s a s s i s t i n g by resear-  ching the physiological aspects of perception, even of aesthetic perception at one end of the s c a l e , and by s t r u c t u r i n g behavioral i m p l i c a t i o n s even at c u l t u r a l l e v e l s , at the other.  (pragmatics),  While the gap remains between science  and design, design f o r i t s part has used the strength of e x i s t i n g nominal modeling c a p a b i l i t i e s found in l i n g u i s t i c s to formalize the area in design c a l l e d programming.  Because t h i s area  i s d i s c u r s i v e and a n a l y t i c a l i t lends  i t s e l f to semiotic development, i t i s communicable.  119.  That i s , many people  can be involved in creating the meaning found t h e r e i n , when done properly the context i s well structured, and the actual text or form to be concretized i s described to the l i m i t s of d i s c u r s i v e a b s t r a c t i o n .  This development has  paradoxically bifurcated the act of designing rather than enhanced the communication 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 s p e c i a l i z e in the d e f i n i t i o n of design issues and those who would s p e c i a l i z e in the c o n c r e t i z a t i o n of those issues in physical d e f i n ition.  The proverbial problem which i s h a l f solved when well defined becomes  a problem that i s so well defined i t w i l l never be solved.  Many of the r e a -  sons f o r t h i s goes beyond our lack of an e a s i l y communicated semiotic of phys i c a l form, and some of these are discussed throughout t h 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. E n t w i s l e , Iconic Communication: An Annotated Bibliography (Baltimore: John Hopkins U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1974). 3. E.J. Gibson, "The Development of Perception as an Adaptive Process", American S c i e n t i s t , v o l . 5 8 , 1970, pp.98-107. 4. Mary Douglas, P u r i t y and Danger(New York: Praeger, 1966), pp.140-159. 5. Rudolph Arnheim, Visual Thinking (Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1969). 6. D.E. Berlyne, Structure and D i r e c t i o n i n Thinking (New York: John Wiley, 1965), pp.22-25.  121.  CHAPTER THIRTEEN  THE PARADOX OF PROGRAMMING The s e c u l a r i z a t i o n process must come to an end once the consumption of mate r i a l creation i s complete.  Material creation i s : (a) that extant s t o r e -  house of form indigenous to l o c a l h i s t o r y ; i t i s the v a r i e t y which the earth provides through i t s a b i l i t y to o f f e r d i f f e r e n t environments, c l i m a t e s , topography, e t c . , and (b) i t i s the actual material v a r i e t y a v a i l a b l e in nature or through human i n t e r v e n t i o n .  The modernists r a p i d l y accelerated  the consumption of material c r e a t i o n .  From the ostensible c o n t r i b u t i o n of  A f r i c a n 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 w i t h i n the secular a r t experience a l l extant material c r e a t i o n .  This process was an e s s e n t i a l com-  plement to the contiguous e f f o r t s to promote universals i n Modernism, most often through t h a t ubiquitous metaphor of a "machine age".  An i n t e r e s t i n g  compounding of the two streams occurred in Purism, which attempted to promote " t y p i c a l " objects such as wine b o t t l e s 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 f o r the four corners of the world to s a t i s f y an i n s a t i a b l e appetite f o r novelty at home, to the instantaneous media coverage of selected events today, p o t e n t i a l novelty in form without substance has also been s h r i n k i n g .  This process evinced McLuhan's aphorism that the medium  became ' t h e content.  Or to put i t another way, the form which we consume in  a medium itself.  i s not form as found in the photograph, i t i s the form of the medium This e v e n t u a l i t y marks the terminus of the process of the consumption  of material c r e a t i o n , and i t i s concluded l o g i c a l l y in that a medium, especi a l l y a highly technological one, i s a material c r e a t i o n , and t h e r e f o r e , must  122.  f a l l into the consumption c y c l e . The subsequent l e v e l s of evolution are characterized by d e m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n . The d e m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n takes place through the f u r t h e r abstraction of the end in form which becomes a means of exchange.  That i s , the ends become  means i n 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 l e a s t the work of Saussure (1916).(1)  Although  Saussure's "semiologie" dealt •••only ..with the world of i n t e n t i o n a l and a r t i f i c i a l s i g n s , a more comprehensive formulation of phenomenon as semiotics was established by Peirce in 1931: "By semiosis I mean an a c t i o n , an i n f l u e n c e , which i s , or i n v o l v e s , a cooperation of three subjects, such as a s i g n , i t s object and i t s i n t e r p r e t a n t , t h 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 p a i r s . " (2) With the work of P e i r c e , semiotics became less anthropomorphic, less t i e d to the l i n g u i s t i c analogy, and generally a p p l i c a b l e to any system of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , to the point where a modern t h e o r i s t such as Eco would claim that " . . . s e m i o t i c s studies a l l c u l t u r a l processes as processes of  communication."(3)  And by "process of communication" he means an information t h e o r e t i c one, such that the s o c i a l sciences and the hard sciences have merged in t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of phenomena in a doctrine of communications. In the f i e l d of psychiatry as e a r l y 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 p h y s i c a l , i n t r a p e r s o n a l , i n t e r p e r s o n a l , and c u l t u r a l aspects of events w i t h i n one system." (4) The post-war developments i n science in general included information theory, cybernetics, systems theory, automation, b i o l o g i c a l behavioralism, game theory  123.  as well as communications theory.  The s o c i a l transformation preceded "the.  t h e o r e t i c a l formulation judging from modernist a r t 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 i n c l u d i n g s t r e e t theatre, demonstrations, and l i b r a r i e s . (6)  When c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s which  are stationary patterns,such as 1 i b r a r i e s , a r e considered media along with ad-hoc and t r a d i t i o n a l events such a s . . p o l i t i c a 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 f e r e n t forms of organization w i t h i n the s i n g l e r u b r i c of communication.  The value  of the communication metaphor i s that i t permits us to deal w i t h : " p e r p e t u a l l y transforming patterns which depend on people's w i l l and choice. It i s a t r a n s i t i o n between types of t r a n s i t i o n s . This can be c a l l e d a m e t a t r a n s i t i o n . " (7) Maruyama goes on to i s o l a t e a p a r t i c u l a r danger in t h i s communications c u l t u r e , which must: " . . . prevent the i n d i v i d u a l from d e l i v e r i n g himself to pure fantasy. It must encourage the i n d i v i d u a l to develop new methods f o r new types of r e a l i t y t e s t i n g . It must stimulate r e a l i t y - d i r e c t e d inventiveness in the i n d i v i d u a l . " (8) We can think of no b e t t e r goal f o r design, f o r t h i s i s the context i n which design must work.  But i t i s doubly d i f f i c u l t today to bring about new o b j e c t -  ive consciousness when the i n d i v i d u a l tends to d e l i v e r himself up to pure fantasy. truer:  The comments of Ruesch and Bateson on perception have never been "In as much as i t i s impossible to f i x at any one moment our p o s i t i o n  as observers, we are never quite sure of that which we purport to observe."(9) What sureness e x i s t s comes from the construction of t h e o r i e s , of working hy-  124.  potheses which compensate f o r human l i m i t a t i o n s of perception. (10)  These  are helped by the nature of the brain which i s characterized by "connecti v i t y " (11), e s s e n t i a l in the ordering of the differences perception d e t e c t s , which i s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o information according to the l e v e l of n o v e l t y . i n the d i f f e r e n c e .  In short the a r c h i t e c t u r e of the mind, a s t r u c t u r i n g of i n -  formation b i t s , i s analogous to the e x t e r i o r world of shape, form, and substance, with the d i f f e r e n c e that physical r e a l i t y i s always i n 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 f u r t h e r ordered by language  as a behavioral and storage modifier.  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the greater the adher-  ence to the structure of language, the, greater the freedom gained to manipul a t e concepts.  The other paradox here i s one mentioned by Piaget, namely  that concepts have a " c o r r e c t i n g 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 i n t e r e s t i n language i n t h i s age  of communications, f o r i t not only helps to structure the way we conceive, but i t controls the awarding of s i g n i f i c a n c e to perceptions (which i s the concern of s e m i o t i c s ) .  The i n t e r n a l i z e d 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 o f 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 a m 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 . mature . gramming.  But f u r t h e r , the paradox of programming i s that the  person f e e l s free having submitted himself to severe i n t e r n a l proMan endlessly explores and re-establishes the landmarks of t h i s  inner map, much as an animal enjoys s n i f f i n g , touching, t a s t i n g , and watching  125.  i t s physical environment. A useful p a r a l l e l can be drawn with the notion of programming as used in design.  A very t i g h t 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 i n t h i s  sense i s much more than s t a t i s t i c a l a b s t r a c t i o n s , but the complete s t r u c t u r a l base f o r 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. uage i s going to be i s the problem of designing.  Just what t h i s lang-  As discussed elsewhere in  t h i s paper there i s no such thing as a problem s o l u t i o n through design. Up to t h i s point the language used in programming f o r design has been conforming to ascendant paradigms of scientism.  To be in vogue has implied that one  must formalize one p a r t i c u l a r type of explanatory behavior f o r abstracting the inner symbolic world map, namely some type of empirical p o s i t i v i s m .  This  type of explanatory behavior appears in design through s o c i a l science dominated e f f o r t s , such as the Environmental Design Research A s s o c i a t i o n ton, D . C ) ,  (Washing-  which holds conferences with t i t l e s l i k e "Bridging the Gap"  (Vancouver, A p r i l 1976).  The gap appears once the designer can no longer  s n i f f , touch, t a s t e , or see what the programme i s based on.  The s t a b l e , s t a t i c ,  and conceptually smug programme must move i_n the d i r e c t i o n .of less, abstraction rather than greater abstraction through continued r a t i o n a l i z e d methods. To s i m p l i f y , we can p i c t u r e the programme as one l i n k in a chain of events - a design methodology. I t ' s ing.  an odd s o r t o f chain in that the l i n k s keep chang-  In f a c t , the one pre-ordinate q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r being a l i n k in t h i s  organic chain i s that s t a s i s must never be permitted to set in — f o r the  126.  chain w i l l f a l l apart.  No organic chain i s benign and balanced, nor can any  of i t s sub-sets become s t a t i c .  The myth of the balanced e c o l o g i c a l systems  i s presumably^ a hold-over from mechanistic t h i n k i n g . 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 b e t t e r d i r e c t i o n . The information t h e o r e t i c explanation i s s t r a i g h t forward: an organic system i s not bounded, i t i s an open system, and therefore a system of negentropy. A n a l o g i c a l l y , each stage i n a design methodology cannot be e n t r o p i c , 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 i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r p r e t e r of t h i s information to t h i s discussion i s to enter the f i e l d s e m i o t i c a l l y , at which point we must note that information i s not a concrete or even subjective occurence i n communications theory; i t i s codeable novelty which may give r i s e to another type of actual occurence, words, which when put, i n t o discourse adopt expressive functions.  At t h i s  l e v e l of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n we move from denotative sign-functions to what the semiotic t h e o r i s t Hjelmslev c a l l e d .Connotative Semiotics. (14) Issues of Pragmatics, such as whether or not a person grasps various connot a t i o n s , or codeable r e a l i t i e s , are long standing concerns o f designers.  Now,  a word l i k e " r e a l i t y " i s already ambiguous - - does one mean what a c t u a l l y i s , what i s seen to be t r u e , or what one thinks i s f a c t ?  Connotative semiotics  acknowledges perceptual ambiguity, a p a r t i c u l a r sign may mean, may even denote a " f l o w e r " , but i t also connotes " s p r i n g t i m e " .  Eco even goes so f a r as to  c a l l semiotics "the d i s c i p l i n e studying everything which can be used i n 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 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of each thing seems, acc-  ording to t h i s "theory of the l i e " , to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r something e l s e .  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 c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the task at hand.  The best that can occur i s that we a l l  agree to disagree, but f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons: some people w i l l disagree with the s o - c a l l e d problem d e f i n i t i o n , some with the problem s o l u t i o n .  In the  past we have t r i e d to replace the s o - c a l l e d problem with a q u a n t i t a t i v e model. I t would be c l o s e r to the t r u t h to say that we t r i e d to replace the design process with a q u a n t i t a t i v e system, and a q u a n t i t a t i v e e n t i t y i s only a pers p e c t i v e , at best a model, of the issue and by no means a s o l u t i o n .  On the  contrary, to replace a s o - c a l l e d problem with a q u a n t i t a t i v e model i s to turn a s o - c a l l e d problem i n t o an actual problem. This point can be c l a r i f i e d f u r t h e r by viewing the programming process, i n deed the e n t i r e design methodology * as h e u r i s t i c .  The d e s c r i p t i o n above, r e -  l a t i n g the paradoxical process of s t r u c t u r i n g a symbolic inner world i n order to obtain a degree of conceptual freedom, i s a precise rendering of the working of a h e u r i s t i c .  T r a d i t i o n a l l y designers use such h e u r i s t i c s as: modularity,  diagrammatics, scenario-framing, symbolism, vocabulary or pattern  language,  s i t u a t i o n a l uniqueness, h i s t o r i c a l s o l u t i o n s , systematics, growth systems, e t c . . These h e u r i s t i c s are e f f e c t i v e l y metaphors of method, they infuse the design process with an abstract v i s i o n of a r e l a t i o n a l type.  Note that systematics,  r e f e r r i n g to q u a n t i t a t i v e and algorithmic models i s only one of many r e l a t i o n a l 128.  modes that can be used.  The i n s i d i o u s nature of the q u a n t i t a t i v e mode i s  t h a t , while appearing to be highly ordered, i t does not have anywhere near the amount of structure required, s e m i o t i c a l l y speaking, by a "squishy problem" l i k e design.  Note that d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n 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 bett e r we are served by adding "squishy" "problem". (17)  to the shop-worn but seemingly endemic  The r e a l i z a t i o n that q u a n t i f i c a t i o n could not provide the  desired order f o r organic processes or open systems occurred to planners in the grossest forms: f a s c i n a t i o n during the 60"s with computer simulation prompted huge inductive q u a n t i t a t i v e modelling attempts, such as J.W. D e t r o i t study or the B.C. Lower Mainland Computer Simulation Model.  Forresters In both  these examples the incremental s t r u c t u r i n g 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 quantities.  Ordering p r i n c i p l e s are required to e s t a b l i s h progressively  s t r a c t e d categories.  ab-  Mathematicians appreciate that i t i s f a i t h which keeps  t h e i r t a u t o l o g i c a l system together, to w i t Bertrand Russell  said:  "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 t o g ether, except f o r one l i t t l e corner of Geometry, while order reigns more and more supreme." (18) As noted throughout t h i s paper, order (as well as disorder) i s a fundamentally human c r e a t i o n . The prominence of systematic h e u r i s t i c s in Modernist methodology i s a r e s u l t of the o n t o l o g i c a l point of view: what we know i s a function of what e x 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 f e c t i v e experience of modern technology) e s t 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 -  t u i t e d structure of sense and f e e l i n g , which they attempted to render in absolutes.  For the Post-Modernist the experience of the communications age  renders knowledge of structured sense and f e e l i n g , which endures a l t e r i n g events.  process  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h i s i s possible only because c l a s s i c a l  scientism was able to " p u 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 i n s t e i n ' s Theory of R e l a t i v i t y c o n t r a d i c t the t r a d i t i o n of absolutism from which they emerged.  Not only are facts not absolutes, but  as Godel showed, l o g i c i s not absolute, f o r i t cannot prove a l l true s t a t e ments to be so.  E a r l i e r in the century, A l f r e d North Whitehead and Bertrand  Russell a t t r i b u t e d the lack of proof f o r true statements to inadequacies of language, not of l o g i c .  According to Wittgenstein in his summation of  Tractatus: "The r i g h t method of philosophy would be t h i s . To say nothing except what can be s a i d , 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 meaning to c e r t a i n signs in his propositions. This method would be u n s a t i s f y i n g to the other - - he would not have the f e e l i n g 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 l u c i d a t i n g in t h i s 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 t e r he has climbed up on i t . ) He must surmount the p r o p o s i t i o n s ; then he sees the world rightly. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be s i l e n t . " (19)  130.  Besides c o n t r a d i c t i n g his own argument,these words would seem to c o n t r a d i c t the v a l i d i t y of any subjective human communication.  However, such t h i n k i n g  i s f a r too c l a s s i c a l l y d i a l e c t i c a l ^ a n d a b s o l u t i s t , f o r i t o v e r - s i m p l i f i e s the nature of human communication which i s both o b j e c t i v e and s u b j e c t i v e . And the function of language i s to quantify q u a l i t y (to o b j e c t i f y s u b j e c t ivity).  On t h i s basis we can accept Wittgenstein more e a 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 r e s u l t s in our symbolic inner world which i s  t h e i r real purpose.  Wittgenstein was r e a l l y grappling with t h i s other pro-  blem, that part of the programmed inner world which cannot be communicated through language, that which i s m y s t i c a 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 c e r t a i n t y in an uncertain  universe",(20)  f o r he was most d e f i n i t e l y i n t e r e s t e d in c e r t a i n t y to suggest that the p h i l osopher should forego metaphysics and concentrate on natural science in o r der not to mislead his f e l l o w s .  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 t h 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  f a c t that science has gone i n t o 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, " p e r s i s t e n t , deep-rooted and well organized c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of ways of p e r c e i v i n g , t h i n k i n g and behaving", (21) and i s a very important tool to Piaget in his d e s c r i p t i o n of i n t e l l e c t u a l development.  Such mind maps are f u n c t i o n a l , m o d i f i a b l e , a l i v e ,  h i e r a r c h i c a l , and d i v e r s e , (22) in short, the map changes f a s t e r than the  131.  territory.  The map, schema or programme of the mind i s an important concept  f o r the designer, f o r i t suggests something about c u l t i v a t i n g and communicat i n g 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 e n t material to vary; i t must possess at l e a s t one s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e ; and i t must be simple."(23) This suggests that the design programme i n the mind must possess u n i t y , focus, and capacity.  The point i s t h a t the opportunity e x i s t s to s p e c i f i c a l l y create  t h i s i n t e r n a l programme f o r a p a r t i c u l a r design task. preconceived schema w i l l be used.  If i t i s not created,  This i s the inherent danger in concentra-  t i n g on e x t e r i o r objective models of the design divorced from i n t e r n a l symb o l i c constructs.  The a r c h i t e c t u r a l programme as a systematic q u a n t i t a t i v e  model does not automatically convey, develop, or enfold a schema - - in f a c t 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 t h i s the danger of systematic h e u r i s t i c s .  The h e u r i s t i c  must be s u f f i c i e n t l y i n v o l v i n g of the a f f e c t i v e mind to influence the d e v e l opment of an inner schema (a way of viewing rather than a view).  The a r c h i -  t e c t u r a l programme i s not schematic without t h i s creation f o r the mind.  Dif-  ferent people have various established schema, but t h 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: " A r c h i t e c t u r e i s a conception of the mind. I t must be conceived in your head, with your eyes shut. Only then can you r e a l l y v i s u a l i z e your design. Paper i s only the means f o r s e t t i n g down the idea . . . " (25) He i s not suggesting that design i s metaphysical, "Whereof one cannot 132.  speak",  f o r i t must be communicated, and he i s not saying that design i s created out of a v o i d , accessed and r e a l i z e d by:shutting one's eyes.  That design i s de-  pendent on a programme was fundamental to Le Corbusier's r a t i o n a l 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 f o r organizational p r i n c i p l e s which could be adopted by the mind.  He also said " A r c h i t e c t u r e i s organiza-  t i o n . " (26) . Le Corbusier embodies the paradox of the programme, which r e quires that the designer be s t r i c t in his d e f i n i t i o n s of the issues in order to gain freedom through the structure of the schema. I t i s not t y p i c a l today that the design student should be taught when to shut his eyes and what to do when they are c l o s e d , f o r developing a.visual i s the preoccupation.  language  I t was a part of Le Corbusier's romantic methodology that  he claimed " A r c h i t e c t u r e , an exalted a r t , i s a function of the n o b i l i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l . " (27)  By and large the Modernists were viewing a r c h i t e c t u r e  as a communal a r t form: Mies van der Rohe, much in the manner of Gropius, said "I (28)  believe that a r c h i t e c t u r e belongs to the epoch, not to the i n d i v i d u a l . "  This e v e n t u a l i t y reinforces the importance of the r o l e of the h e u r i s t i c .  The h e u r 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 i n t o focus f o r each p a r t i c i p a n t .  For Mies van der Rohe, "since a b u i l d i n g i s a work  and not a notion, a method of work, a.way.of doing should be the essence of a r c h i t e c t u r a l education." (29)  Whatever method of work i s devised i t cannot  ignore the r o l e of the schema in providing the freedom to a c t u a l l y make a design d e c i s i o n .  The a r c h i t e c t u r a l programme cannot of i t s e l f provide the de-  signer with the freedom to make choices.  133.  While t h i s was appreciated by both  the great Modernists quoted above, t h e 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 h e i r r a t i o n a l 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 r a t i o n a l does not mean to give up i n t e r n a l freedom,  that i s to be mechanical.  The machine metaphor r e l a t e s to the product of de-  sign envisaged by the Modernists, not to t h e 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. P e i r c e , quoted in Umberto Eco, A Theory of SemioticsIndiana University Press, 1976), p.15.  (Bloomington:  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, v o l . 25, no. 2, Spring 1975, pp.93-97. 7. Magoroh Maruyama, "Human F u t u r i s t i e s and Urban P l a n n i n g " , AIP J o u r n a l , September 1975, p.346. 8. I b i d . 9. Ruesch and Bateson, 1951, p.7. 10. I b i d . , p.25. 11. I b i d . ,  p.56.  12. Jean Piaget, quoted by Harley C. Shands i n The War With Words,. (The Hague:. Mouton, 1971), p.66. 13. A l f r e d Korzybski, Science and Sanity.-, ( L a k e v i l l e , Conn: I n s t i t u t e of General Semantics, 4th E d i t i o n , 1958). 14. Eco, 1976,  p.55.  15. I b i d . , p.7.< 16. A l f r e d Korzybski and Marshal McLuhan, quoted by Terence P. Moran, in "The Limits of My Media", ETC., v o l . 31, no. 1, March 1974, p.31. 17. Ralph E. Strauch, " ' S q u i s h y ' Problems and Quantitative Methods", Pol icy Sciences, v o l . 6, no. 2, 1975, pp.175-184. 18. Bertrand R u s s e l l , "Mathematics and Metaphysics", i n The World of Mathematics , 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., v o l . 31, no. 1. 21. M.D. Vernon, in John Parry, The Psychology of Human Communication x (New York: E l s e v i e r , 1968),  p.98.  22. I b i d . .23. Parry, 1968, p.101. 24. I b i d . , p.103. 25. Le Corbusier, " I f I had to Teach You A r c h i t e c t u r e " , in Dennis Sharp, ed. The Rationalists., (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.83. 26. I b i d . 27. Le Corbusier, "Twentieth Century L i v i n g and Twentieth Century B u i l d i n g " , in Dennis Sharp, e d . , The R a t i o n a l i s t s , (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.77. 28. Mies van der Rohe, quoted by Peter Carter, "Mies van der Rohe", in Dennis Sharp, e d . , The R a t i o n a l i s t s ^ (London: The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, 1978), p.71. 29. I b i d . ,  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 i n g e r on i t p r e c i s e l y when he s a i d : " A r c h i t e c t u r e 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 i n t e r e s t i n g forms or with personal whims." (1) This i s most true of a r c h i t e c t u r e but has broader i m p l i c a t i o n s .  The Romantic  Movement was the resu!t of the emergent i n d u s t r i a l environment, and f u n c t ioned to change the old natural environment i n t o a r t form.  The Modernist  Movement was the r e s u l t of the emergent communications environment, and-funct i o n e d to change the old machine environment i n t o an a r t form.  As McLuhan  explains it,"When an environment i s new, we perceive the old one f o r the f i r s t time." (2)  The confusion prevalent today r e s u l t s from our attempts to  f i n d the threshold of our l a t e s t environment by turning the communications environment i n t o an a r t form, f o r that i s 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 u n t i l the antecedent communications environment becomes a mature a r t movement at a cultural scale.  The c u l t u r a l schemas, j u s t l i k e any i n d i v i d u a l ' s mind con-  s t r u c t s , are the r e s u l t of past experience, such that the urgency of the task today r e s u l t s from the i n s t a n t a n e i t y of communications media.  The present  goal of the a r t i s t i c must n e c e s s a r i l y be the transformation of propoganda and information from content i n t o form.  Only then w i l l we be able to perceive  where we are now. In his i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of t h i s paradox McLuhan claims: 137.  " t h a t 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 r e f e r r e d . " (3) A great deal of confused posturing on the roles of the arts and the media could be dispensed with i f t h i s issue was squarely faced.  But i t has been  o b l i q u e l y r e f e r r e d to by the l i k e s 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, i s t O i b e ^ s t a t e d ' a s j t h e (result of jDubpS' observation, namely that we r e a c t ' 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 t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y circumscribed.  Each new t o o l , i n s t i t u t i o n ,  o r g a n i z a t i o n , 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 r y i n g to f i l l  a need.  Each  new environment uses the o l d environment f o r content, as i n 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 w i t h -  out n o t i c i n g the e f f e c t of TV, the actual environment, impinging on sense and sensibility.  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , f o r McLuhan  ten percent of our a t t e n t i o n i s  given to the actual environment because of our preoccupation with i t s content, the past.  While ninety percent of our s o c i a l problems are the r e s u l t of the  d i s t r e s s caused when coming to grips with the environment. The r e s o l u t i o n to t h i s paradox i s the construction of an anti-environment, whose job i t i s to o r i e n t and t r a i n 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  c u l t u r e s , where the whole environment operated as an anti-environment, that i s , as a construct oriented to a s s i m i l a t i o n .  138.  Our schools are meant to be a n t i -  environments but are today e s s e n t i a l l y preoccupied with f o l k l o r e .  Where  they once offered t r a i n i n g in the emergent environment of p r i n t they now o f f e r i t s h i s t o r y in an environment of communications media.  Mo new i n s t -  i t u t i o n has been b u i l t as an anti-environment to e l e c t r o n i c media, ensuring that society has needless d i f f i c u l t y in adopting i t . Inevitably a r t has taken on a major r o l e 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 r o l e in the western world in increasing the d e f i n i t i o n and i n t e n s i t y 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 a r t was established as we know i t .  The a r t 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 h i s t o r y of ancient s k i l l s such as stone s c u l p t i n g or pot throwing dominates our a r t education, to the detriment of another component, the a r t a t t i t u d e which seeks to transform present technology i n t o current perception. Modern a r t of t h i s l a t e r type i s not "taught" in our school system, f o r 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 f o r i n s t i t u t i o n s to operate in a culture of rapid change as the anti-environment, as the emergent p r a x i s , because they are too caught up in t h e i r own preservation. This s i t u a t i o n makes i t very d i f f i c u l t f o r design which i s commissioned by ... the p u b l i c or by i n s t i t u t i o n s to p a r t i c i p a t e in the creation of the a n t i environment.  The s t a t i c q u a l i t i e s of environmental design are inherent to  i t s s c a l e , but a d d i t i o n a l l y , as C. Northcote Parkinson commented: " I t i s now known that a perfection of planned layout i s achieved  139.  only by i n s t i t u t i o n s on the point of collapse During the period of e x c i t i n g 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. P e r f e c t i o n , we know, i s 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 expressing the past than the future.  This i s not as bad as i t sounds when you con-  s i d e r that the future cannot be defined anyway, f o r the future cannot be f u l f i l l e d , only i t s expectations can be r e a l i z e d .  There i s , however, also a  c y c l i c a l aspect to the f u t u r e : "the f a r t h e r 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 C h u r c h i l l phrased i t . (6)  The era of i n s t a n t information means the era of i n s t a n t h i s t o r y as  well - - perhaps that i s whywe l i v e so much f o r the future today, we have never seen the past so c l e a r l y .  This paradox of the future prompted V i c t o r  Ferkiss to claim that: " A l l of t h i s poses the danger that when the future a r r i v e s no one w i l l recognize i t . Or, more s e r i o u s l y , t h a t , although things w i l l happen and time w i l l pass, the future may in f a c t be prevented from ever coming i n t o being." (7) A future o r i e n t a t i o n does not necessarily help bring the anti-environment i n t o sharper focus.  It's  true that the f u t u r i s t s tend to d i v e r t a t t e n t i o n  away from the day-to-day problems, of the o l d and waining environment, but the danger i s that an o r i e n t a t i o n to what i s to come may r e s u l t in the c r e ation of the"myth of the over a n t i c i p a t e d " r a t h e r 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 i e n t a t i o n may simply leap-frog t h i s c r i t i c a l adaptive process.  Effectively,  we are at the point already where the future has a r r i v e d and we don't r e c ognize i t , we are too busy peering i n t o the distance.  140.  The prime example of  t h i s i s the plethora of technological tools a v a i l a b l e to us f o r which we have so l i t t l e purpose.  "Technology i s changing so f a s t we c a n ' 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, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i s not to dreamers about the f u t u r e , but to dreamers about the a c t u a l , dreamers about how we can make people-actually , award-significance to newly e x i s t i n g phenomena not yet appreciated. The designer as packager of c u l t u r e i s a user f a t h e r than an o r i g i n a t o r of technological innovation.  -=  The t r a d i t i o n a l design methods as well as more  recent process developments prepare the designer well f o r the r o l e of dreamer 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 i d e n t i f y ends.  The designer,  rather than f i n d i n g a form appropriate f o r any purpose i d e n t i f i e d , may now turn his a t t e n t i o n to f i n d i n g purposes f o r 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 a u t h e n t i c i t y or s i n c e r ety i n a s o c i e t y t h a t consumes d i f f e r e n t forms at every repast, but rather i t implies unconscious hypocrisy or even e l i t i s m when adhered to. c o n s i s t e n t l y . (9)  The m u l t i p l i c i t y of t h i s age cannot any longer be countered by a  simpleness of form, since form i s the r e s u 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 o f f e r i n g a l i n k between form and purpose - - the designer must simply be more conscious of creating purpose rather than form. I n t e r e s t i n g l y t h i s discussion of-how design might respond to the Paradox of the Environment c o r r e l a t e s with the method f o r Modern Philosophy established by Charles Peirce as e a r l y as 1878.  P e i r c e ' s Pragmatism i s e f f e c t i v e l y a  141.  concern f o r the precise communication of issues rather than f o r the s t r u c ture of great t r u t h , and i t has come to form one of the e s s e n t i a l foundations of modern semiotics as the science f o r c l a r i f y i n g communications.  He  says: "Consider what e f f e c t s , that might conceivably have p r a c t i c a l bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these e f f e c t s i s the whole of our conception of the o b j e c t s . " (10) The emphasis on the purpose of form or structure i s p r e c i s e l y to have in mind t h e i r e f f e c t s .  The depletion of form does not proceed before or a f t e r ,  but hand-in-hand with the communications environment, which deals with purpose and e f f e c t  in any form you please.  Just as information i s only a  means to achieve meaning, so form i s only one of the means used by the designer to gain e f f e c t .  As e a r l y as 1927 Hilberseimer was suggesting, accor-  ding to T a f u r i , that: " . . . T h e - a r c h i t e c t as producer of objects had indeed become an inadequate f i g u r e . I t was now no longer a question of g i v i n g form to single elements of the c i t y , nor even to simple prototypes. The real unity of the production cycle having been i d e n t i f i e d in the c i t y , the only s u i t a b l e r o l e f o r the a r c h i t e c t was as organizer of that c y c l e . " (11)  142.  FOOTNOTES 1. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "Mies van der Rohe," by Peter C a r t e r , i n The R a t i o n a l i s t s , Dennis Sharp, ed. (London: A r c h i t e c t u r a 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. I b i d . , pp.132, 133. 4. Rene Dubos, Man Adapting, (Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1969). 5. C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson's Law and Other Studies i n Administration (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1957). 6. Winston C h u r c h i l l , quoted by Jamie Lamb, in "In Search of F a i t h " , The Sun, "Towards 2001" s e c t i o n , February 9, 1980, p.22. 7. V i c t o r C. F e r k i s s , Technological Man (New York: Mentor Books, 1970), p. 23. 8. Art S i n c l a i r , quoted by Kaspars Dzeguze, i n "TV or Not TV?" Vancouver Calendar Magazine, February 1980, p.35. 9. see Charles Jencks, The Language of Post-Modern A r c h i t e c t u r e (New York: R i z z o l i I n t e r n a t i o n a l , 1977). 10. Charles Sanders P e i r c e , P h i l o s o p h i c a l W r i t i n g s , Jv Buchler, ed. (New York: Dover, 1955). 11. Manfredo T a f u r i , A r c h i t e c t u r e 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 f a s c i n a t i o n of the Modernists with f u n c t i o n , or r e a l l y with economy, was f u e l l e d by a b e l i e f that t r a d i t i o n a l form was not a p p l i c a b l e to a new age, the p a r t i c u l a r beauty of which was i t s p r e c i s i o n in use.  The Modernists be-  l i e v e d that aesthetic content could be t i e d d i r e c t l y to the u t i l i t y of opera t i o n , to use.  But i t i s fundamental that aesthetic meaning i s d i f f e r e n t  from useful meaning.  Acts of use can be very a e s t h e t i c , but the useful i t s e l f  i s not an analogue of:the a e s t h e t i c , in f a c t the patently useful has very o f ten been considered below aesthetic consideration.  I t has also been t r a d i t -  ional f o r a r t objects not to reveal the a c t s , the processes, the stages i n - • volved in the production.  Whatever was put to use in the production of a r t  was not indicated in the f i n a 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 a r t f u l n e s s , 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 t o o l s , methods and procedures, to construct a world that looks as i f i t were a r t l e s s . The artlessness of a r t consists in the f a c t that the a r t product can be experienced without recourse to knowledge of methodology, t e c h nique, procedures, on the part of the a r t consumer. Thus a major ingredient in a r t i s to be at the same time highly conscious of one's technique while concealing from the audience the f a c t that technique i s used." (1) The paradoxical "artlessness of a r t " marks a d i s t i n c t i o n between the creator of a r t 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 a r t 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 i n d i r e c t the a r t i f a c t .  144.  The more the a r t i s t  i s w i l l i n g to e x h i b i t his self-conscious n e r i s t , or romantic i s the r e s u l t .  indulgence the more baroque, man-,  The consumer i s o b l i v i o u s to the a r t i s t ' s  consummately technical approach because of a d i r e c t , sensate, natural perception of the a r t i f i c i a l . The structure of t h i s paradox of a r t would seem to apply today to a middleof-the-road notion of a r t .  The i n i t i a t e d contemporary a r t consumer i s so  immersed in a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e that the natural appreciation of a r t i s considered somewhat naive.  The creation of a r t i s today inseparable from the  c r i t i c i s m of a r t , the dominant experience of a r t i s academic and not n a t u r a l . (2)  The r o l e of a r t c r i t i c i s m c o n f l i c t s with the r o l e of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t  creation in that c r i t i c i s m seeks to oppose the methods, t e c h n i q u e s a n d e f f ects which the a r t i s t was i n t e n t 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 a n a l y t i c 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 f o r many consumers they were l e f t to experience the a r t 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 r u e , but i t must be seen that f o r the  a r t i s t i t was in the creation of a r t and f o r the consumer in the creation of an a r t i s t , or more c r a s s l y , in the creation of monetary value. Much Post-Modern a r t i s concerned with the boundaries of a r t as a d i a c r i t i c a l discourse.  Action p a i n t i n g , Happenings,  I n s t a l l a t i o n s , Environmental Pieces,  and so on are attempts to force the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of consumers to a degree which breaks down the old r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  S i g n i f i c a n t l y a completely natural  experience has not yet been recovered by the avant-garde, they have simply  145.  become t h e i r own best c r i t i c s .  But there are a few instances today where an  audience seems i n t e r e s t e d i n a spontaneous and d i r e c t involvement in the a r t i f a c t as natural o b j e c t , where d i s b e 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 n e 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 d i s s e c t i n g the image - - an example being a black velvet painting of a nubile nude, the. viewing of^which,.is"-a largely J 1  r  symboHc/expertence.as .opposed to an exercise in semiotic a n a l y s i s . Art forms which manifest the naturalness, the sense of play, of fantasy, of suspended d i s b e l i e f which once characterized painting and sculpture are now in the realm of media.  Movie makers hide t h e i r techniques from the viewer  in order to enhance the naturalness of the a f f e c t - - the ultimate a r t i f i c e being to take chances in " s p e c i a l e f f e c t s " which give the i l l u s i o n of a l i e n encounters of various kinds.  The most s o p h i s t i c a t e d techniques of today do  not provide the naturalness, the equivalence of an a l t e r n a t e r e a l i t y , such as occurred from the i n i t i a l introduction of cinema technology. one..  For example,  ..architectural educator.; has r e l a t e d the story of one of his f i r s t jobs  in an a r c h i t e c t ' s o f f i c e during the era of s i l e n t movies, an example which speaks to the immediacy or naturalness extended to the e a r l y moving p i c t u r e s . (3)  The design task was a s l i g h t renovation to an orchestra pit.which housed  the l i v e i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t s , and down to which the f l o o r of the theatre sloped. Apparently a curb was required to provide a gutter f o r urine, since the patrons were u n w i l l i n g to leave the action on the screen in order to r e l i e v e 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 s t r u c t u r a l models.  A l l models are  contrivance in that they are approximations, but they are not necessarily 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" f o r a  simulation which i s not genuine i t s e l f , that i s , f o r something that models a deception rather than something s t r a i g h t forward.  In t h 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 n a t u r a 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 t h i s to the s c i e n t i f i c method which o s t e n s i b l y has no contrived message in i t , i s ingenuous, and i s d i r e c t e d at presenting a record of the generative act rather than a record that i s an e f f e c t of the generative act. A model i s a formulation which may be a r r i v e d at r e f i e x i v e l y , i n d u c t i v e l y , or c r e a t i v e l y .  The e f f e c t of the model may be n a t u r a 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 experienced 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 i s that formulation of the contemporary avantgarde whose purpose i s to question i t s e l f , and not to provide sensate experience.  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 o v e r a l l goal of denying i t s own c r i t i c a l  purpose.  A r c h i t e c t u r a l models represent a most complex simulation in t h e i r need to be i n c l u s i v e of natural and s c i e n t i f i c modeling.  Large buildings are p h y s i c a l l y ,  o p e r a t i o n a l l y , and econometrically modelled i n 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, symbolically and d i r e c t l y . A b u i l d i n g may be predominantly expressive of i t s natural modeling - - a typi c a l suburban bungalow i s an example of t h i s , f o r i t i s pragmatic, unselfcon-  147.  scious, c o n t r i v e d , and people gain a d i r e c t response as to i t s c u l t u r a l , i t a r i a n , and i n t e l l e c t u a l p o s i t i o n .  util-  Buildings which adhere to the a r t i s t i c  modeling process are often c a l l e d experimental f o r t h e i r a f f i n i t y to the s e l f c r i t i c a l a r t a t t i t u d e , and f o r t h e i r questioning of status quo d e f i n i t i o n s of architecture.  On the whole the b u i l t environment i s n a t u r a l l y but poorly  modeled form where the a r t i f i c i a l i t y shows through - - the p u b l i c i s not that c r i t i c a l in i t s m a t t e r - o f - f a c t acceptance of K i t s c h , poor t a s t e , and cosmetic decorating.  Big business distinguishes i t s e l f by d i s p l a y i n g a l i t t l e more  s c i e n t i f i c v i r t u o s i t y , while p u b l i c structures make symbolic gestures in any d i r e c t i o n consonant with p o l i t i c a l undercurrents at the time - - a " n a t u r a l " thing to do. The value of the above terminology of models i s to d i s t i n g u i s h a way of worki n g , an e s s e n t i a l h e u r i s t i c in various s o c i a l streams which are independent of i n t e l l e c t u a l approaches.  N a t u r a l , s c i e n t i f i c , and a r t i s t i c modeling can be  c a l c u l a t i n g and a n a l y t i c a l or synthetic and c r e a t i v e . i t i o n a l to a l i g n inductive modes' thesis.  In science i t i s t r a d -  with analysis and deductive modes with syn-  Their d i s t i n g u i s h i n g feature i s therefore a t t i t u d i n a l rather than  intellectual.  And i t i s the tolerance of a l l these a t t i t u d e s at once which  prompts us to c a l l Post-Modernism e c 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 a t t i t u d e s c u t t i n g across a l l modeling methods at the l e v e l of paradigm, and one of these i s s e l f - c r i t i c i s m . This general i d e n t i t y c r i s e s appears to a f f e c t contemporary thought because the old c a t e g o r i c a l techniques - - p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s , manifestoes, service c l u b s , -isms in the arts and sciences, family t r a d i t i o n s , or job descriptions do not have the same permanence in a communications age.  148.  The paradox of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t does not play the r o l e i t did because a r t has adopted the new s e l f - c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e .  Art has always aligned i t s e l f  with the progression of i n t e l l e c t u a l development, and s t i l l does by adopting thiis general c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e which means that at t h i s time i t does not want to be a part of the entertainment industry.  And the paradox of t r a d -  i t i o n a l a r t 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 v e l y d i s t i n g u i s h themselves from entertainment and decor a t i v e arts by t h e i r s e l f - c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e which views the paradox of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t as somewhat dishonest - - a r t i f i c e i s reaffirmed as a pejorative term, a d r i p painting must unselfconsciously look l i k e drippedopaint.  On  the other hand when a t e l e v i s i o n network runs a p i l o t TV show up the f l a g pole to t e s t the a i r waves i t i s looking f o r people to forget themselves, not f o r people to reappraise t e l e v i s i o n . Paradoxically Post-Modern avant garde a r t i s d i r e c t e d at s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , at challenging the immediately preceeding accepted order.  E l e c t r o n i c 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 i p a t i o n in the act of creation has resulted in the act of creating something being f a r more important than the r e s u l t a n t 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 l o g i c a l conclusion of conceptual a r t in a communications age —  the d i s s o l u t i o n of a r t i n t o the media, f o r a r t i s not then even the  residue of a concept, but merely the act of conception.  Examples of t h 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 p e r s o n a l i t i e s l a r g e r than the story t h e y ' r e on; or the a r t i s t himself,  149.  despite t r y i n g to be oriented to creating experience f o r others, becomes the thing c o l l e c t e d , being the only reasonable object around. Since concepts precede percepts creation has always been deductive in a r t and science. nature. unknown.  The a r t i s t showed us how to view nature, he did not capture  The s c i e n t i s t imagined a solveable problem, he did not solve the Therefore, c r e a 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 i e s with a r t i f a c t s .  Continued technological  developments  w i l l o s t e n s i b l y compound f u r t h e r 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 t e , by a r t , and f a c e r e , to do).  (5)  A l l object oriented a r t has already been demoted to decoration or e n t e r t a i n ment, (6) suggesting that contemporary imagery i s p r i m a r i l y c r i t i c a l / c o n c e p tual rather than a r t i s t i c / p e r c e p t u a l . The designer must heed the implied changes f o r semiotics of the s h i f t i n a t t itudes towards the c r i t i c a l / c o n c e p t u a l , f o r he comes from c r a f t t r a d i t i o n s which are a r t i s t i c / p e r c e p t u a l .  Semiotics i s important to the designer f o r he  i s interested in communicability, while the a r t i s t may not be. asks—  society w i l l often ask the designer to answer.  When the a r t i s t  The answers today w i l l  obviously have to be in the media as well as in the physical environment.  It'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 .  R e a l i t y e x i s t s 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 between 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, s e m i o t i c s , the world of signs  finds i t r e l a t i v e l y easy to dominate the p h y s i c a l .  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 t o r t e d through the mediation process.  Man's semi o t i c cap-  a c i t y propels him f a r and f a s t , but i t does not a s s i s t the task of the physi c a l designer who requires users responsive to the physical consequences of t h e 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 -  i c a t i o n despite the l i v i n g of the p u b l i c i n a mediated world much of the time. There i s a point at which the designer cannot adopt the contemporary c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e , the s e l f - d e p r e c a t i n g stance of the a r t i s t .  According to Panofsky:  "To perceive the r e l a t i o n of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i s to separate the idea of the concept expressed from the means of expression. And to perceive the r e l a t i o n of construction i s 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 f a r as, they express ideas separated from, y e t r e a l i z e d by, the process of s i g n a l l i n g and b u i l d i n g . " (8)  151.  FOOTNOTES 1. Joseph Bensman and Robert L i l i e n f e l d , C r a f t and Consciousness•» (New York: John Wiley, 1973), p.19. 2. I b i d . , pp.18-21. 3. Henry E l d e r , personal communication, Vancouver, 1973. 4. Bensman and L i l i e n f e l d , 1973, p.24. 5. The L i v i n g Webster Encyclopedic D i c t i o n a r y - ( C h i c a g o : The English-Language I n s t i t u t e of America, 1971), p.57. 6. Joseph Kosuth, " A r t A f t e r Philosophy", Studio I n t e r n a t i o n a l , October 1969. 7. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind^ (New York: B a l l a n t i n e Books, 1972), pp.244-270. 8. Erwin Panofsky, quoted i n R i t u a l and Response in A r c h i t e c t u r e , Malcolm Q u a n t 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 r e f e r to anphysical model as an i c o n i c sign of some end construction.  However a physical model of the type  an a r c h i t e c t would use i s not p r e c i s e l y an icon i f the b u i l d i n g does not yet exist.  That i s an icon cannot be f u l l y an isomorphic symbol f o r something  that i s not yet formed.  The model i s severely l i m i t e d in the number of as-  pects that can be congruent with the ultimate c o n s t r u c t i o n . model i t s e l f i s purpose b u i l t .  Further, the  Working models are often only prototypes of  models, or are c e r t a i n ways of modeling, the r e s u l t a n t .  The isomorphism in  such a case can be so abstract that the value of c a l l i n g the model an i c o n i c 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 r e s u l t a n t , a model of a model.  A sign i s only a sign by v i r t u e of the f a c t that i t connects two  d i s s i m i l a r e n t i t i e s - - and unless the sign i s an i c o n i c sign the types of e n t i t i e s are themselves d i f f e r e n t .  Models are c l o s e r and c l o s e r approxima-  tions of an ultimate e n t i t y , but are they r e a l l y signs of the b u i l d i n g 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 f o r 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 f o r a c t i o n , f o r i t would incorporate the value, s i g n i f i c a n c e , and purpose of some end in view.  The model would be t e l o s , a  means to that end, and chosen with something else in mind.  Rather than be-  ing merely a technique, an instrument that a s s i s t s our imaginative and i n 153.  >  t e l l e c t u a l c a p a c i t i e s , a model can be viewed to be a mode of doing that establishes d i r e c t i o n and therefore f u t u r e .  Now since action i s only i n the  present, the model works on the future by being a continuous c a l l to a c t i o n , . eliciting:  a w i l l to e x i s t which d i r e c t s the leading edge of time in a c a t -  e g o r i c a l imperative a l a Kant.  We are dealing with the notion of " t h i n k i n g  makes i t s o " , only in t h i s case the model as means presents innumerable poss i b i l i t i e s to s i g n i f y the "making i t s o " , to p h y s i c a l l y indenture the ideas, to "hard programme" a way of thinking so as to a f f e c t one of the most powerf u l chains to l i n k us to the future. Such a model produces tremendous pressure f o r conformity in the emergent present.  The model i s highly valued because i t represents the r e s o l u t i o n of  choice, or i f you l i k e , i t i s de facto aligned with progress because v a r i e t y i s reduced.  Out of a l l the possible d i r e c t i o n s to be taken any action w i l l  appear to be a d e c i s i o n .  The model i s normative when the d i r e c t i o n taken ac-  t i v e l y opposes some e x i s t i n g pattern.  This i s d i f f i c u l t to avoid, since any  physical action i s m a t e r i a l l y r e s i s t e d by the environment.  The designer v a l -  ues a model p o s i t i v e l y because i t does not duplicate what e x i s t s , but rather embodies s e l e c t i o n s that are preferred to what e x i s t s . In t h i s l i g h t the designer produces a model as created f u t u r e , 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 f u t u r e " .  The notion  of "model as created f u t u r e " escapes a paradox found in the other approaches to the model.  A model as created future i s a present s i t u a t i o n as l a t e n t  with f u t u r a b i l i t y as p o s s i b l e .  It i s not merely a p r o j e c t i o n in the present  of past performance, nor i s i t a present tense f a b r i c a t i o n of something we  154.  could t r y to put into e f f e c t some time in the f u t u r e .  Rather i t i s so preg-  nant with our b e 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 e d .  To think that the future can be created, or that  the future i s knowable  in the present i s not p a r a d o x i c a l , but contradictory.'  (at l e a s t w i t h i n the bounds of normal sensory perception). We might better say that the teleology of the model i s a future b u i l d i n g , 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 r e a l i z a t i o n or a c t u a l i t y , but indeed a p o t e n t i a l ity.  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 s e m i o t i c a l l y , and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e must be the f u t u r e , while the physical model, plan, map, drawing or formula i t s e l f s i g n 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-  i e t y reduction has occurred; the meaning of the modeling process i s that a unique s o l u t i o n w i l l r e s u l t .  You w i l l notice the profound importance of t h i s  d i s t i n c t i o n to design - - a model constitutes a conjecture while modeling constitutes a test.  Progressing  through successive evaluations the s c i e n 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 v a r i e t y reduction. H i l l i e r and Leaman have stretched the analogue f u r t h e r by claiming that the two stage process of language conforms to the two stage process of conjecture and t e s t common to both science and design.(3)  That i s , the langue, the gen-  eral s o l u t i o n , the s t r u c t u r a l system of semantic units a v a i l a b l e , i s the f i r s t  155.  step in v e r b a l i z a t i o n .  The parole, the s p e c i f i c s o l u t i o n , the actual speech  a c t , i s a second step and constitutes a t e s t of the s a y a b i l i t y of the f i r s t abstract s t r u c t u r i n g of the speech problem.  The f i r s t modeling of speech  goes from a statement of the problem to a general s o l u t i o n ; the secondary ir model goes from the general s o l u t i o n to a p a r t i c u l a r s o l u t i o n .  However t h i s  analogue contradicts the mapping of the modeling process o u t l i n e d above, where i t was claimed that the p a r t i c u l a r model was the f i n d i n g which was t e 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 p a r t i c u l a r model would be a t e s t of the more general modeling process.  These two versions are a l t e r n a t e s t r a t e g i e s in the same  basic t r i a l and e r r o r process, as admitted by H i l l i e r and Leaman, (4) however i t i s important which strategy dominates. In general i t makes l i t t l e d i f f e r e n c e whether the general theory i s tested by the s p e c i f i c instance, or the s p e c i f i c instance i s tested by the general theory.  In both cases the t o t a l abstract i n f r a s t r u c t u r e of the d u a l i t y comes  i n t o play f o r 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  s p e c i f i c instance are w i t h i n 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 d e s c r i p t i o n was adequate to explain design "in local time".  Over longer time spans they noticed that change occurred des-  p i t e the choices made during t r i a l and e r r o r sequences, but they did not have a suggestion f o r how to r e l a t e " l o c a l " and " e v o l u t i o n a r y " periods of design. (5)  I believe the notion of modeling o u t l i n e d above, where modeling i s  t e l e o l o g i c a l , surmounts the l i m i t a t i o n s in H i l l i e r and Leamans "Sketch f o r a  156.  Theory".(6)  Modeling i s a p p l i c a b l e to a l l sizes of systems, thereby r e s o l v -  ing the contradictions inherent in t h i n k i n g of design-as only aslarge and a small temporal system - - presumably the gradation of time periods relevant to design could be more f i n e l y graded than t h a t , i f i t were required. We have noted that modeling prefers to approach t r i a l and e r r o r as the s t r a t egy of "modeling t e s t i n g models" (analogous to theory t e s t i n g f i n d i n g , and not f i n d i n g t e s t i n g theory).  It i s necessary that the act of modeling t e s t  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 t e l e o l o g i c a l process from i t s residue, therefore i t won't do f o r the designer to t e s t his method with his product.  That i s , the design  methodology cannot be evaluated on the basis of i t s r e s u l t s , rather the r e s u l t s must be evaluated on the basis of the methodology.  This p o s i t i o n con-  t r a d i c t s a good deal of common design p r a c t i c e , and i t distinguishes from s o c i a l organization f i e l d s l i k e design.(unfortunately,  science  i t does not d i s -  t i n g u i s h science from s o c i a l science). The s c i e n t i f i c method according to Popper i s based on negation of the a b s t r a c 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, f o r i t i s deductive; the r e f u t a t i o n of the conjecture i s the essence, and i t i s i n d u c t i v e .  The emphasis in science has been c l e a r -  l y on the use of a f i n d i n g to negate the (temporary) theory.  In t h e i r paper  "How i s Design Possible? A Sketch f o r a Theory" (8), H i l l i e r and Leaman are r e g r e t f u 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 t h i s stage,"  (9) f o r they  personify the s c i e n t i f i c strategy which requires that the f i n d i n g 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 i s to f i n d a s c i e n t i f i c framework in which such a formulation would become 'nearly o b v i o u s ' . " formulation they wish to:.make obvious? er's  (10)  And what i s the  Namely to "(argue) that the design-  ' p r e s t r u c t u r e s ' were not at a l l an undesirable epiphenomenon, but the  very basis of design." (11)  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the new emphasis on the p r e s t r u -  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 n a l irony i s r e a l i z e d when we note that H i l l i e r and Leaman come from the "RIBA I n t e l l i g e n c e U n i t " , the research group of B r i t i s h a r c h i t e c t s . This epiphenomenon, the prestructure of the designer, i s analagous to the i n f r a s t r u c t u r e supporting any modeling process, even though H i l l i e r and Leaman do not again take up the notion that the prestructure of the designer as expressed in his methodology i s meta to the p a r t i c u l a r model.  I attribute  t h i s oversight to t h e i r eagerness to be s c i e n t i f i c , r e s u l t i n g in "A Sketch f o r 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 p o s i t i v i s m t w i s t i n g the a l l too serious predicament r e s u l t i n g , from r a t i o n a l 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 a s c r i b able to an extreme concern f o r the state of the environment rather than to an e f f o r t by a r c h i t e c t s 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, c o l o r s ,  s c a l e , 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 c o n d i t i o n .  Alexander Tzonis strong-  ly refutes the claim that design as such e i t h e r creates or overcomes  oppress-  ion: "Improvements in methodology can therefore be measured only by reference to i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the e l i m i n a t i o n of oppression of man by man. The desire ' t o improve the e n v 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 f o r granted." (12) The basic mistake i s to extend causal inference to p r a c t i c a l discourse, to confuse p r a c t i c a l reasoning with practices of t h e o r e t i c a l reasoning, to claim that precepts could precede concepts, to deny human action as a t e l e o l o g i c a l a c t i v i t y and to give i t a mechanistic rendering.  According to Marx,  "What distinguishes the worst a r c h i t e c t 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 r e s u l t that already existed in the imagi n a t i o n 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 e x i s t in t h e i r body ( i n the model).  The model  i s an approximation of an ideal object in the mind, not of a future construct i o n whose status as object i s non-existent. r e l a t e s to the objective world through a c t i o n .  The model l i v e s in the mind and The methodology of the design-  er i s the only means by which the creation can be r e l a t e d to the environment,  159.  and the environment does not act on the designer in turn - - only the designe r ' s own semi o t i c can do that. I f an understanding of modeling, or i f you p r e f e r , designing, i s more r e l evant to our problems today then any f u r t h e r pursuit of the design as knowledge, one may be prompted to ask what r o l e the h i s t o r y of design can c o n t i n ue to have.  I t i s c l e a r that h i s t o r y i t s e l f must not be suspect, even where  i t i s a creation of the present.  But a h i s t o r y which c r i t i c i z e s or assigns  meaning to i n d i v i d u a l a r t i f a c t s long a f t e r the design event i s a very l i m i t e d academic pursuit even i f i t i s e n t e r t a i n i n g . the threads which l i n k the a r t i f a c t s , of meaning.  History must s t r i v e to unwind  must s t r i v e to define the conditions  One of the great services that h i s t o r i a n s could perform would  be to so r a d i c a l i z e 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 i n other f i e l d s .  Grey claims that s t y l e can neither be defined nor s t u d i e d , (14) and E l l i s maintains " . . . t h e concept of s t y l e . . . h a s no usefulness uage and l i t e r a t u r e . " (15)  in the study of lang-  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 r e l a t i o n s among them, but s t y l e i s not an entelechy, f o r i t also deals with r e l a t i o n s that might have been.  Therefore  s t y l e i s not j u s t about choice, i t i s not that f r e e , i t i s heavily influenced by context, even to the degree that as contexts change, so does s t y l e . statement was not so obvious j u s t a few years ago when the Modernists still  This could  claim that s t y l e had been delimited i f not abolished, which i s to say  that time was not a c o n t e x t u a l i z e r - - the Modern was timeless.  Additionally  the formal and functional elements of the Modern were deemed appropriate f o r  160.  a p p l i c a t i o n to a l l c l i m a t i c , c u l t u r a l , and s o c i a l a p p l i c a t i o n s - - universal non-contextual ism.  The l a s t couple of decades have attempted to redress  t h i s p u r i t a n i c a l union of a very s i m p l i f i e d a r c h i t e c t u r a l language with contemporaneousness  through q u a s i - s c i e n t i f i c s i t u a t i o n a l v a r i a t i o n .  Since  I960 we could i l l u s t r a t e the d i v e r s i t y of form sponsored by d i f f e r e n t cont e x t s , among many labels are: megalopolitan, consumer modern, n e o - f a s c i s t , adhocist, biomorphic, pop, service state anonymous, or what-have-you.  In  an a l l too t y p i c a l example of how semiotic considerations i n design are preceded , by developments in l i n g u i s t i c s , we might consider the term " c o l l o c a tion".  C o l l o c a t i o n i s the concept that the meaning of words derives from  t h e i r contexts, and i s one of F r i t h ' s ideas, who dominated the London School of L i n g u i s t i c s during the years 1930 to 1960.(16)  The term "contextualism"  i s used in the "New C r i t i c i s m " movement to r e f e r to the tendency to imbed form in i t s p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n and not in larger contexts.(17)  Linguistic  and l i t e r a r y t h e o r i s t s ' concern f o r context ci's^more f u l l y aware of the mult i - l e v e l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the d i c t a t e s of s t y l e versus the d i c t a t e s of context than are design t h e o r i s t s .  This might be the r e s u l t of the r e l a t i v e l y  i n e r t response of the environmental scale to small c u l t u r a l s h i f t s . a r c h i t e c t u r a l design i t s e l f can occur i n rather f i c k l e c y c l e s .  However  Neo-Greek  :-  s t y l e s have p e r i o d i c a l l y recurred since the e a r l y Renaissance and have been a p p l i e d - r a t h e r u n i v e r s a l l y , as i f they were "good f o r . y o u " , regardless of contexts of s c a l e , c l i m a t e , f u n c t i o n , or material - - the imperialism of c l a s s i cism predated the imperialism of the International S t y l e .  The "emigration of  s t y l e s must i t s e l f symbolize epistemic f o r c e s , a missionary z e a l .  I t was ex-  pected that in an epistemological manner the user of c l a s s i c a l buildings would become more l i k e the ancient Greeks, a basic ideal f o r white;.men. The expor-  161.  t a t i o n of the International s t y l e was manifestly designed to cause an unrel i a b l e world to conform to e s s e n t i a l l y the Greek tenets', of j u s t i c e , t r u t h , and beauty.  But above a l l these two s t y l e s symbolized that context which  surmounted a l l temporal, r e g i o n a l , s o c i a l , . o r functional contexts, namely rationalism.  Purveyors of these s t y l e s came to view any other p o s i t i o n as  i r r a t i o n a l and f o r that reason p r i m i t i v e (the Greek Period i s p r e c i s e l y that era which we feel for the f i r s t time shed a mantle of p r i m i t i v i s m through i t s rationalism).  The sensory dimensions in c u l t u r a l expression have always  been suspect to r a t i o n a l i s m because of t h e i r primitiveness.  We can only con-  clude that Post-Modernism i s p r i m i t i v e in i t s e r o t i c use.'' of whimsically der i v a t i v e elements.  But i t i s better to conclude that i r r a t i o n a l i s m has_ r e -  turned to our permissable cognitive behavior, no matter what the r e s u l t a n t form i s .  I t i s a l l too t y p i c a l of the design professions  to a t t r i b u t e the  i r r a t i o n a l i s m to the form instead of to the designer - - t h i s provides us with a b i t of distance from our r e s u l t s , f o r we f i n d i t much more acceptable to be accused of p e r i o d i c i r r a t i o n a l behavior than to a c t u a l l y be found to be i r r a t i o n a l people. Although the slower, more complacent realm of design w i l l never a t t a i n the same level of conceptual ism divorced from action a v a i l a b l e to the arts in a communications media age, the inherent p r i m i t i v i s m of the media w i l l a f f e c t design j u s t as i t i s a f f e c t i n g a l l aspects of s o c i e t y .  I t i s more accurate  to say that i t w i l l a f f e c t designing, because i t i s methodology which w i l l be i r r a t i o n a l , f o r that i s the f i e l d of behavior f o r the designer.  Design  as the physical a r t i f a c t w i l l not be r a t i o n a l or i r r a t i o n a l , f o r the terms do not apply to the behavior of m a t e r i a l s .  162.  The behavior of persons i s as  a v a i l a b l e s e m i o t i c a l l y as i s the behavior of m a t e r i a l s , so l e t us analyse the r h e t o r i c of the designer i f indeed material form i s not the sole archaeology, 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 H a l l o r a n ' s raison d ' e t r e of modern r h e t o r i c , " t o discover a man in his words." (18)  These non-rational r e l a t i o n s are the substance  of what s t y l e has always been about, and they should now be employed to f i n d 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 o r i e n t a t i o n provides the meaning in our behavior.  163.  FOOTNOTES 1. Marx Wartofsky, "Telos and Technique: Models as Modes of A c t i o n " , in Planning f o r D i v e r s i t y 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 P a u l , 1963). 3. B i l l H i l l i e r and Adrian Leaman, "How i s Design Possible?  A Sketch f o r a  Theory", DMG-DRS J o u r n a l , v o l . 8 , no.1, 1973, p.45. 4. I b i d . , p.46. 5. I b i d . , p.45. 6. I b i d . , p.40. 7. Popper, 1963. 8. H i l l i e r and Leaman, 1973, p.40. 9. I b i d . , p.46. 10. I b i d . , p.40. 11. I b i d . 12. Alexander Tzonis, Towards a Non-Oppressive Environment (Boston: i Press, 1972), p.15. 13. Karl Marx, Capital (New York: International P u b l i s h e r s , 1967), v o l . 1 , p.178. 14. Bennison Grey, " S t y l e : The Problem and i t s S o l u t i o n " , S t y l e , v o l . 5 , Spring 1971. 15. J.M. E l l i s , " L i n g u i s t i c s , L i t e r a t u r e , and the Concept of S t y l e " , Word, vol.26, A p r i l 1970, pp.65-89. 16. James R. Bennett, "A S t y l i s t i c C h e c k l i s t " , S t y l e , vol.10, no.3, Summer 1976, pp.356i 374. 17. I b i d . , p.359. 18. S.M. H a l l o r a n , "On the End of Rhetoric; C l a s s i c a l and Modern", College E n g l i s h , vol.36, February, 1975, pp.621-31.  164.  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN  THE PARADOX OF DESIGN AS A SYSTEM Many of the issues reviewed in t h i s paper suggest that the notion of a design 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 i g n i f y that there i s an e r r o r i n the system, f o r according to L.S. Stebbing, mutual c o m p a t i b i l i t y of constituent components i s the minimum cond i t i o n without which there i s no system.(1) The paradox i s resolved in t h i s case by avoiding the misapplication of the term "system" which gave r i s e to the s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t o r y p o s i t i o n .  Providen-  t l y i t i s also possible to dispense with the term "problem" as i t r e l a t e s 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 a r i s e s to lend c r e dence to i t s pernicious accomplice, system. The e x e r c i s i n g of a systems approach begins by i s o l a t i n g so c a l l e d problems, and soon the problem mentality i s so pervasive that problems appear under every stone upturned.  By and large these problems could be b e t t e r described  as needs, or c r i t e r i a , or in some s t i c k y s i t u a t i o n s characterized as d i f f i culties.  Presumeably there i s some s t r a t e g i c s o c i a l gain to be found in a  designer claiming that he can solve a "problem", prompting him to re-define environmental and c u l t u r a l requirements as technological " s t i c k y w i c k e t s " . To the degree that he can master environmental and c u l t u r a l needs, the designer can invest the world with meaning; to the degree that he i s mastered by systems, problems determine his own self-image. ;  Public r e l a t i o n s in de-  sign have been d i r e c t e d towards increasing the p u b l i c ' s demand f o r problem-  165.  solvers in order to sustain the investment in the self-image. Technological society supports the image of designer as problem-solver because i t complements i t s own pursuit of programmed tools as a replacement f o r human i n i t i a t i v e s .  Ivan I l l i c h i s i n the f o r e f r o n t of commentators who  are outspoken in t h e i r concern f o r not only our growing dependence on systems but of our d e f i n i t i o n of dependence on systems, organizations, and i n s t i t u t i o n 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 i g h t to c o n v i v i a l work; 3. Over-programming of man f o r the environment and consequently deadening his c r e a t i v e imagination; 4. Large scale production which does not permit the r i g h t of p a r t i c i p a t o r y p o l i t i c s ; 5. Enforcing obsolescence through a defined need to produce threatens the r i g h t to t r a d i t i o n and precedent; 6. Pervasive f r u s t r a t i o n which grows out of a compulsory and engineered s a t i s f a c t i o n , inherent in the engineered environment.(2) Viewing the r o l e of design from t h i s c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n , the transformation of design methods i n t o design systems p a r a l l e l s the " t r a n s l a t i o n of values i n t o technical tasks."  (3)  Should s o c i e t y value technology  i t i s appropriate that design should render i t in form.  It has always been  the r o l e of design to embody and g l o r i f y the values which give a c u l t u r e i t s significance.(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 i n d u s t r i a l production/consumpti o n , i t s e l f devaluing the very m a t e r i a l i t y i t claims as i t s goal.  Systematic  design compliments t h i s g o a l , replacing the w e l l - s u i t e d s o l u t i o n which i s now 166.  only the means by which the system gets exercised. An analogous occurence took place in Western h i s t o r y when beauty underwent an apotheosis.  The profane world became a g o a l , as opposed to the r e l i g i -  ous world, as man's ego grew in p a r a l l e l with technological mastery of nature.  Man came to d e i f y his own i n t e l l e c t and his own c r e a t i v e powers as  r e f l e c t e d in the emerging secular dominion of science.  Beauty, which had  long been a property of sacred things, was conscripted to enhance the products 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 o f grace, and took the form of praise to forces l a r g e r than l i f e . The s o - c a l l e d problems which the designer i s c a l l e d in to solve we s h a l l c a l l "design i s s u e s " .  The reason why we normally think of these issues as i f they  were problems i s to detract from the real problems, f o r an acceptable s o c i a l facade requires the denial of the real problems your very r o l e creates.  The  designer becomes what Watzlawick et al c a l l a t e r r i b l e ; . s i m p ! i f i c a t e u r , . ,(;5) one who presents a "party l i n e " , who wears a mask so as to keep hidden fundamental issues which would pose uncomfortable questions and thereby undermine the personas adopted to permit o r d e r l y , e f f i c i e n t s o c i a l discourse.  Two conse-  quences f o l l o w from the denial that problems e x i s t at t h i s l e v e l : 1. anyone who reneges on his s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to keep the facade i n t a c t i s considered mad or bad, and 2. the continued denial of a problem causes other problems.  The r e s o l u t i o n 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 d e a l t 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 u n t i l his tasks involve issues  167.  l a r g e r 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 system i s a boundary, so that s e t t i n g 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 t h i n k i n g i s of course unacceptable to design, although i t may be permissable in engineering.  Designers may not so represent themselves to the  public in a l i t e r a l way, f o r they are by nature concerned with issues which implicate everything outside of t h e i r operational f i e l d .  The designer sim-  p l i f i e s his issues f o r 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 personifications.  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 l e a s t one of the main objects i s given at the s t a r t , but to the a r c h i t e c t i t i s not given."  (6)  Inventing the c l i e n t has become common enough in a r c h i t e c t u r a l programming, even among those who would abandon the programme in favour of various p a r t i c i p a t o r y design approaches.(7)  The requirement which o r i g i n a l l y prompted  movement toward p a r t i c i p a t o r y design was the r e a l i z a t i o n of the uncertainty of design.  Therefore greater or less p a r t i c i p a t o r y design i s a n u l l issue  as f a r as the uncertainty quotient goes, f o r an organization i t s e l f e x i s t s in a turbulent f i e l d , ( 8 ) only to compound the c o n f l i c t i n g requirements of a b u i l d i n g design.  A b u i l d i n g i s not the d i r e c t r e s u l t of requirements, i t i s  more d i r e c t l y the r e s u l t of a r b i t r a r y decisions necessary to r e a l i z e the com-  168.  promise of requirements.  This s i t u a t i o n i s r i d d l e d with s o c i a l expectations  which make the end seem so obvious when in f a c t the process i s so a r b i t r a r y . Consider f o r example the actual u t i l i t y in workmanship - - every b u i l d i n g r e quires the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a labour force i n i t s design through a r b i t r a r y discretion.  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 l a s t e r smoother, any of these considerations extending beyond function and i n t o the realm of f r i v o l i t y . ( 9 ) When a systems t h e o r 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 s o l u t i o n . " we must reassess our pragmatics.  The involvement of s p e c i a l i s t s i s deemed  to be expedient but l i m i t i n g , f o r the tendency of d i s c i p l i n e s to d i s t o r t s o c i a l problems so as to conform to t h e i r perspective of the issues (as problems) makes i t questionable whether the solutions they o f f e r are any s o l u t ion at a l l .  There would seem to be every good reason to ensure that design  does not harden even f u r t h e r 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 n a r y as a n t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y .  And t h i s does not mean that designers  cannot be d i s c i p l i n e d 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 r a d i t i o n a l science where " O b j e c t i v e e s c i e n t i f i c methods confront soluble problems - - p r o b l e m s insoluble in experimental terms are simply rejected as ' u n r e a l ' . " (11) Zadeh's concept of "fuzzy s e t s " (12), R i t t e T ' 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.  169.  The consensus i s that  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 s o l u t i o n .  The appar-  ent u n s o l v a b i l i t y of s o c i a l problems i s perpetuated by t h i s type of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of thinking which f i r s t l y admits a f a i l u r e to f i n d i n g a s o l u t i o n to s o c i a l issues and secondly admits a l i m i t to systematic ways of t h i n k i n g . The assumptions  are t h a t : 1. solutions can or should be found to s o c i a l  iss-  ues, 2. r a t i o n a l .thinking should be applied to s o c i a l i s s u e s , and 3. problems have to be s y s t e m a t i c a l l y defined in order to gain a s o l u t i o n . assumptions  s u f f e r from confused  A l l of these  presuppositions.  The f i r s t assumption, that we should be on the look out f o r s o l u t i o n s , i s a r e s u l t of the second assumption, that we should apply r a t i o n a l thinking to s o c i a l problems, which implies i n turn that s o c i a l practices that are not r a t i o n a l are prejudiced, c a p r i c i o u s , s u p e r s t i t i o u s , and u n c o n t r o l l a b l e .  The  s o l u t i o n syndrome i n e v i t a b l y becomes t a i n t e d by Utopianism, which although not r a t i o n a l i t s e l f , focuses theory and p r i n c i p l e on an ultimate r e a l i t y which when r a t i o n a l l y organized can orchestrate the necessary resources to a t t a i n a f i n a l end.  But there i s no f i n a l s o l u t i o n to the housing issue, and i f  r a t i o n a l e had much to do with i t everyone would be superbly housed - - appare n t l y people prefer t o " d w e l l " i n some other ideal v i l l a :  As f o r the t h i r d  assumption, we discussed above that one of the troublesome c h a r a c t e r 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 solution.  And yet these very things that are c a l l e d solutions e x i s t e d  long before they were married to problems. Housing was provided before i t was framed as a s o c i a l problem, in f a c t 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 r a t i o n a l i s m of Bacon and Descartes to the present, "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 t h e . 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  f o r a l l knowledge. "But r a t i o n a l i s m came to r a i s e 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 i n t e r a c t i o n which had previously been thought wholly dependent upon personal t a l e n t : 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 g r e a t e i c o n o c l a s t i c p o l i t i c a l  theorists,  the fundamental e r r o r in r a t i o n a l thinking i s to regard a s i n g l e aspect of method - - the means - - a s  i f i t were the whole.  But the ends p r e - e x i s t , even  though r a t i o n a l i s m believes that we can abstract from present ends in order to a t t a i n new non-existent ends through i t s means, systems.  The housing was  the issue and w i l l be the future i s s u e , 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 f o r a problem that w i l l ^ r e i n f o r c e our p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to ends, the s o l u t i o n must comfort our p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r y .  Oakeshott framed t h i s in his well known  formula "the pursuit of an i n t i m a t i o n " : "The arrangements which c o n s t i t u t e 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 o n s or laws or diplomatic d e c i s i o n s , are at once coherent and incoherent; they compose a pattern and at the same time intimate a sympathy f o r 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 convincing demonstration that now i s the appropriate moment f o r recogn i z i n g i t . " (17) 171.  I f t h 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 s k e p t i c a l once design or planning i s 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. C o n f l i c t appears a f t e r . t h e problem o r i e n t a t i o n i s e s t a b l i s h e d : "When we become a t t e n t i v e to the framing of s o c i a l problems, we thereby become aware of c o n f l i c t i n g frames." (18)  These c o n f l i c t i n g frames have become the pre-  occupation of such planning t h e o r i s t s as Donald Schon; unfortunately planners f i n d 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 s o c i a l p o l i c y ought to be considered as a problem-solving e n t e r p r i s e . In opposition to t h i s view, I have become persuaded that the e s s e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s in s o c i a l p o l i c y 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 s e l e c t i o n of optional means f o r achieving them. I t becomes c r i t i c a l l y important, then, to learn how s o c i a l p o l i c y problems are a c t u a l l y set and to discover what i t means to set them well or badly. (19) This author acknowledges the new found importance of ends d e f i n i t i o n over incessant means o p t i m i z a t i o n s , but we do not f i n d the e l u s i v e d i s s o l u t i o n of ends in means.  For Oakeshott:  "In recent centuries the conversation, both in p u b l i c and within ourselves, has become boring because i t has been engrossed in two voices, the voice of p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y and the voice of ' s c i e n c e ' : to know and to contrive are our pre-eminent occupations. " I t i s with conversation as with gambling, i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e l i e s neither in winning nor in l o s i n g , but in wagering." (20) The goal seems to have come back to the actual b u i l d i n g of housing, and p o l i t i c a l l y , that i s as f a r as making decisions goes, i t doesn't matter what the house i s , f o r that i s a personal t h i n g .  172.  The nobleness of the age comes from  what i t i n h e r i t s , i t s t r u e , but the point always >is'"th'atvthe;e^xec.u^Mjb.n;'.bf ,  personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w i l l take care of t h a t .  ,  The word " n o b l e " , a f t e r  a l l , came from the Latin root noscere meaning " t o know" (21) - - we are only as noble as our intimate knowledge of our time and place.  Undistinguished  houses are a means to the f u t u r e , noble houses are those which survive in the f u t u r e . •  I f there i s truth in Charles Jenck's e p i t h e t i c a l "The a r c h i t e c t s  who get the most work provide the most u n i d e n t i f i a b l e b u i l d i n g s "  there may also be j u s t i c e , and the point i s to f i n d the beauty.  (22)  Lave and  March argue f o r c e f u 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 r u t h , beauty, and j u s t i c e as c r i t e r i a f o r judgement.(23) Rather than have sympathy f o r t r u t h , j u s t i c e , and beauty such that i t guides our a c t i o n , and rather than be f u l l y confident in our guiding, or b e t t e r l e a d i n g * suppositions such that we can put our emphasis on p r a x i s , the l i b e r a l planning t r a d i t i o n personified  by Schon considers i t a s i g n i f i c a n t advance  to attach the c r e a t i v e scepticism of science to s o c i a 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 a c t i o n , a process that does not give the emphasis required in designing to the union of theory and action ( t h i s consideration i s f u r t h e r in the Paradox of Modelling the Future).  discussed  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 b e t t e r science or technology. (25)  While we may have a r i g h t to be worried,  Schon i s even t e l l i n g us i t i s s t r a t e g i c a l l y important to be worried, f o r 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 f o r worry. For R i t t e l and Webber, "The search f o r s c i e n t i f i c bases f o r confronting problems of s o c i a l p o l i c y i s bound to f a i l , because of the nature of these problems.  They are 'wicked' problems." (26)  The ten prime conditions f o r f a i l -  ure espoused by these authors are highly questionable;. In f a c t the p h i l o s o pher Archie Bahm claimed, " . . . j u d g i n g merely from the a r t i c l e , that these men are incompetent planners." (27)  The reason f o r t h i s , however, was not  appreciated by Bahm, who thought " . . .they do not understand e i t h e r the nature of science and s c i e n t i f i c research or the nature of s o c i a l problems."  (28)  To whatever degree t h i s lack of understanding may be t r u e , i t i s more obvious that both p a r t i e s s u f f e r from the same s i m p l i f i c a t i o n , namely that the term "problem" cannot be used i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y in p h y s i c a l , s o c i a l , b i o l o g 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 r u e - o r - f a l s e , but good-dr-bad." (29)  Bahm c o r r e c t l y points out that solutions  can be both f a l s e and good, or bad and t r u e , or f a l s e and bad, or good and true.  However he myopicly points out that "These statements hold f o r prob-  lems and conclusions in the physical and b i o l o g i c a l sciences as well as in the p o l i c y sciences" because "The research goal i s to understand and solve the problem." (30)  I t j u s t cannot be assumed that the goal of design types  of a c t i v i t y , and indeed much p u b l i c p o l i c y a c t i v i t y , i s to solve a problem. A s o l u t i o n 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.  I f our goal  i s only to a t t a i n a cognitive notion or sensation we do not require a prob-  174.  lem: " . . . t h e roots of s c i e n t i f i c reasoning are in the reference to what exi s t s , while p r a c t i c a l reasoning refers to the sense of what s u b s i s t s . "  (31)  The designer operates on many l e v e l s and some of the design goals do not r e l a t e to problems of design because they do not f a l l w i t h i n the systemic o r even r a t i o n a l i z e d world.  N  Although the designer supplies a service in a pur-  poseful applied arts and sciences sense, "What i s s i g n i f i c a n t about service i s not the f a c t i t s e l f , " suggests George NeTs.on, "but the i n f i n i t y of l e v e l s at which i t can be rendered. The average a r c h i t e c t who draws plans f o r b u i l d i n g developments operates at roughly the same i n t e l l ectual and s o c i a l l e v e l as the attendant in a f i l l i n g s t a t i o n . " (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 f o r C o n v i v i a l i t y (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), pp.50,51 3. I b i d . , 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: P r i n c i p l e s of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution (New York: Norton, 1974), p.24. 6. David Pye, The Nature of Design (London: Studio V i s t a , 1964), p.90. 7. Tom Heath* "Getting S t a r t e d : Is Your Programme Really Necessary", DMG-DRS J o u r n a l , v o 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", i n Science, Decision, Value, J . Leach et a l , ed. (Boston: D. R e i d e l , 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", P o l i c y Sciences, v o 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 i d . , p.128. 17. I b i d . , p.133. 18. Donald A. Schon, "Generative Metaphor: A Perspective on Problem-Setting in Social P o l i c y " , January 1978, p r e - p u b l i c a t i o n manuscript, p.4. 19. I b i d . , p.2. 20. Minogue, 1976, p.142.  176.  21. The L i v i n g Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary (Chicago: The English-Language I n s t i t u t e of America;,' 1971), p.644. 22. Malcolm MacEwen, Crises in A r c h i t e c t u r e (London: RIBA P u b l i c a t i o n s , 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 i n Problem Research", in Using Social Research i n P u b l i c P o l i c y 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 i n General Theory of Planning," P o l i c y Sciences, v o l . 4 , 1973, p.155. 27. Archie J . Bahm, "Planners' F a i l u r e s Generate Scapegoat," P o l i c y Sciences, v o l . 6 , 1975, p.103. 28. I b i d . 29. I b i d . , p.104. 30. I b i d . 31. Gunnar Olsson, Birds i n Egg (Ann Arbor, Mich: Michigan Geographical P u b l i c a t i o n No. 15, 1975), p.123. 32. George Nelson, Problems of Design (New York: Whitney P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1957), p.5.  177.  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN  THE PARADOX OF DIFFERENCE Persons who, over the l a s t two decades, have deemed themselves  collaborators  with progress have assumed that good methodology i s the a p p l i c a t i o n of r a t ional p r i n c i p l e s to design.  This recent s o c i a l s c i e n t i s m , the a p p l i c a t i o n of  abstract r a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s to the process of design, i s imbedded in the l a r g e r Modern Movement, i t s e l f imbedded i n the r a t i o n a l i s m of the Enlightenment, which was the a p p l i c a t i o n of abstracted form to the context of design (the context of design being economic functional ism).  Trade magazines  hyping  the Post-Modern are s t a t i n g with a sense of mock astonishment at t h i s very time, that the a p p l i c a t i o n of r a t i o n a l i s m did not do away with s t y l e as predicted by e a r l y p r a c t i t i o n e r s , but did in f a c t develop a " r a t i o n a l s t y l e . " This notion that s t y l e could be done away with was an important meta-ideologi c a l development.  I t i s p a r a l l e l to the general philosophical  since the c l a s s i c l i b e r a l  progression  John Stuart M i l l , when we moved from the h i s t o r i c a l  p o s i t i o n that r e l i e d on p r i n c i p l e to a p o s i t i o n that r e l i e d on a structure f o r human progress as a guide f o r s o c i a l a c t i v i t y .  The Modern Movement attem-  pted to abandon general p r i n c i p l e s ( h i s t o r i c a l s t y l e s ) in favour of a theory of design (say, the Bauhaus Philosophy).  However, p r i n c i p l e s and theories  are props f o r ideology h i s t o r i c a l l y speaking, and ideology does not o f f e r an adequate contemporary reference f o r 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 f o r p r a c t i cal a p p l i c a t i o n .  Styles are references to the l a s t r e v o l u t i o n , and ideologies  tend to be indexed as s t y l e s . The f a c t i s that s t y l e i s inescapable, since s t y l e i s nothing more than an  178.  "index of form".  We would have much less trouble accepting stylismitoday  i f i t were not f o r the Modern Movement and i t s b e l i e f i n theory as emancipation 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 r a t e .  Doubt in the v a l i d i t y of  the o b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s of the Modern Movement seems to be e a s i l y recovered, even though these objective p r i n c i p l e s (functionalism) may be v a l i d .  The  point i s , e i t h e r too much or the wrong things were expected of Modernist objective principles. The f a c t that objective values led to abstraction i s not the problem, f o r each experience i s an a b s t r a c t i o n , a fragmentation of a whole.  We need not  move to conceptual l e v e l s to meet with a b s t r a c t i o n s , f o r we meet them in day to day a c t i v i t i e s j u s t as a l l ages have.  The abstract form has proved inad-  equate not because i t l i m i t s experience or i s meaningless per se (the p r i m i t i v e s have always used i t ) , but because of the t h e o r e t i c a l r o l e i t performed. Abstract form symbolizes the abstracted and r a t i o n a l i z e d content which natura l l y came to govern i t s a p p l i c a t i o n .  In an E m p i r i c i s t fashion human values  ( s o c i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , c u l t u r a l ) were o b j e c t i f i e d in the b e 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 t r u t h would correspond with actual physical form, or at l e a s t we would be able to measure the d i f f e r e n c e . came to be the design  p  r  e  d  i  c  a  t  e  d  Success  o  n  process.  The move in design f i e l d s from a preoccupation with ideology to a preoccupation with theory p a r a l l e l s the general progression of s o c i a l discourse t o wards "methods" since the Age of Reason.  179.  A growth in knowledge leads i n e v i -  t a b l y towards a search f o r an understanding of the actions which lead up to execution.  This a f f e c t i o n f o r new methodological instruments prompts a number  of observations: f i r s t l y , an increase in our understanding of method has not n e c e s s a r i l y led to a better understanding of r e s u l t s ; secondly, the great increase in method has u n r e a l i s t i c a l l y raised expectationsand confidence i n the q u a l i t y of the r e s u l t ; t h i r d l y , the actual increase in control over r e s ources a f f e c t e d by r a t i o n a l i z e d method has meant that misplaced hope in and r e l i a n c e on the r e s u l t has led to disasters on a g i g a n t i c scale when that r e s u l t has been indeed in e r r o r ; f o u r t h l y , our pervasive sympathy with r a t ional a t t i t u d e s has r e f l e x i v e l y aligned, such practices as c r a f t , custom, r i t u a l , h a b i t , 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 s p e c i a l i z a t i o n inherent in r a t i o n a l i s m ( r e s u l t i n g from the atomi z a t i o n of scientism or the invariance of s t r u c t u r a l i s m ) incessantly runs the r i s k of mistaking one part f o r the whole; and s i x t h l y , the pursuit of so c a l l e d understanding has resulted in a dogged persistence that we achieve governance over action by approaching every s i t u a t i o n in a problem solving mode. The f a c t that formulation has not tended to create a human world worthy of the name requires that we come to grips with the shortcomings i n each of the above observations.  The f i e l d of design has suffered as much as any from i t s  f a s c i n a t i o n with the dogma of r a t i o n a l i s m , 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 , w i t h i n which they were born.  However,  there are p a r t i c u l a r reasons why the f i e l d of design must show i n i t i a t i v e i n gaining, or  really  r e g a i n i n g , an understanding of the s y n t h e t i c and the  subjective.  More than other f i e l d s , design deals with sensory experience,  180.  and the more we f i n d out about the sensory system, the more we come to understand i t as the mediation between mind and experience.  This mediating  r o l e of the senses takes place not only on the obvious l e v e l - - experience being transduced by sense organs before s t i m u l a t i n g the brain (a level which has been e m p i r i c a l l y treated) but also on more synthetic l e v e l s .  For example,  the sensory component of existence i s f a r more important to "human experience" than modern c u l t u r a l e v o l u t i o n , i n t o x i c a t e d with the magical powers of reason, would admit - - witness the fashion in which low-brow sensory stimulation i n fuses our s o c i e t y , the high-brow a l l the while viewing i t as depravity and primitivism.  Design w i l l continue to have an important r o l e to play because  of the sensory and c u l t u r a 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 s u p e r i o r i t y i t can s i g n i f y .  The f a c t that more and more  of our sensory stimulus comes while we are e l e c t r o n i c a l l y plugged i n , or the f a c t 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 i d e n t i f y e s s e n t i a l mations to i t s character.  Hence the contemporary movement towards  transforcommunications  and semiotics. For Ruesch and Bateson these are: " . . . t h e only s c i e n t i f i c model which enables us to explain p h y s i c a l , i n t e r p e r s o n a l , i n t r a p e r s o n a l , and c u l t u r a l aspects of events w i t h i n one system. (1) " . . . a l l actions and events have communicative aspects, as soon as they are perceived by a human being; i t i m p l i e s , furthermore, that such perception changes the information which an i n d i v i d u a l possesses and therefore influences him. (2) "In as much as i t i s impossible to f i x at any moment our p o s i t i o n as observers, we are never quite sure of that which we purport to observe." (3) The point i s not to make the h e u r i s t i c tool of the communications metaphor dominate the process, but to make the metaphor a l e v e l of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n at which we would not otherwise converse.  181.  We should not become automatons w i t h i n  the system, we should use the system to reveal how d i f f e r e n t 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 t h i n k i n g that -systems  of-communication s t i f l e - c r e a 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, discourse to a higher l e v e l .  raises  But s t r i c t adherence to good grammar does not  mean that ambiguity i s resolved, more that ambiguity can be d e a l t with.  In  1961 Proudhon mentioned that: "People l i k e simple ideas and are r i g h t to l i k e them. Unfortunately, the s i m p 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 i n s o l u b l e problems, contrary p r i n c i p l e s , and c o n f l i c t i n g forces. Organism means complication, and mult i p l i c i t y means c o n t r a d i c t i o n , o p p o s i t i o n , independence."(4) The word "system" i s a t t r a c t i v e because i t i s consonant with boundary, and therefore the f i r s t step towards s i m p l i f i c a t i o n .  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 r e l a t i o n s with i t s environment are a f f e c t e d .  But who is. to control the systematizing  to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r a l t e r e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s ?  process,  According to the P r i n -  c i p l e of Requisite V a r i e t y , " . . . i f s t a b i l i t y i s to be attained the v a r i e t y of the c o n t r o l l i n g system must be at l e a s t as great as the v a r i e t y of the system to be control l e d " . ( 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 , " c e n t r e - p e r -  iphery model" dominant in our society " . . . t h e uniform, simple message i s essential.  The system's a b i l i t y to handle complex s i t u a t i o n s depends upon a  simple message and upon growth through uniform r e p l i c a t i o n ' . " according to Donald Schon's 1970 Reith Lecture.  Obviously simple structures of control  require simple concepts to govern.  The hardware a v a i l a b l e in the communic-  182.  ations media environment implies that control cannot e x i s t in pyramidal h i e r a r c h i e s any longer, because information can be so e a s i l y dispersed, which occasioned cybernetic models: "Here we have a system of large v a r i e t y , s u f f i c i e n t to cope with a complex, unpredictable environment. Its c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are changing s t r u c t u r e , modifying i t s e l f under continual feedback from the environment, e x h i b i t i n g 'redundancy of p o t e n t i a l command', and i n v o l v i n g complete i n t e r l o c k i n g control s t r u c t u r e s . Learning and decision-making are d i s t r i b u t e d throughout the system, denser perhaps in some areas than in others."(6) The uncanny manner in which self-governance i s achieved c y b e r n e t i c a l l y through networks of elements communicating with each other with no other control f a c i l i t a t o r p a r a l l e l s the anthropological examples of Mary Douglas, where t r i b e s once considered to have no p o l i t i c a l unity were seen to have a strong, d i f f u s e d s t r u c t u r e , whose "system was i n v i n c i b l e and f l e x i b l e . " (7) apparent complexity i s found not in a  The harmony through  superstructure but in an i n f r a s t r u c t u r e ,  not in the coherence of u n i t y , but in the resonance of relevance. " I t i s people who generate c u l t u r a l goals. I t i s the engineers who develop technology. Utopians have made the mistake of assuming the r o l e of goal-generators. They s u p e r f i c i a l l y imi t a t e d 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 l e v e l s .  The f a s c i n a t i o n in design occurs when  an i n d i v i d u a l can feel his c o n t r i b u t i o n to i t s creation simply through using it.  Paul T i l l i c h points out that environment i s not the same as  (9)  In the same surroundings  surroundings.  d i f f e r e n t things are relevant to each person,  each w i l l have t h e i r own environment.  Now environment can also become world:  the Greeks c a l l e d world "cosmos", meaning " o r d e r " ; the Romans c a l l e d world " u n i v e r s e " , meaning "the unity of an i n f i n i t e manifoldness."  183.  (10)  "A d e f i n i t i o n of man in which a l l other d e f i n i t i o n s are implied i s that he not only has environment, but also world. World i s the s t r u c t u r a l unity of an inexhaustible number of actual and possible things. I t i s the structure which makes the world w o r l d . " (11) Sadly, the designer has l i m i t e d himself to environmental design and l e f t the world to others.  The designer's world i s one of e l i t e s i g n i f i c a n c e removed  from the symbolism of the layman's world.  I f the creation of world i s a  personal task, the designer must meet his s o c i a l mandate by ensuring the i n d i v i d u a l that opportunity in each environment and not only in what NorbergSchulz c a l l s " a r c h i t e c t u r a 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 i s the "conc r e t i z a t i o n of man's e x i s t e n t i a l space'.' j where " e x i s t e n t i a l space" i s synon!  ymous with T i l l i c h ' s "world" ( a d d i t i o n a l l y , Norberg-Schulz's i s the same as T i l l i c h ' s "environment"). (12)  "pragmatic space"  This a r c h i t e c t u r a 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 i n t e r e s t s of high design are d i f f e r e n t from; the c r i t e r i a f o r every change i n environment. That i s , the f a c t 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 products be e l i t i s t to the degree that they express f o r the c l i e n t .  The point  of an a r t i s t i c work i s to i n s t i g a t e the audience to view t h e i r world, f o r i t i s only t r u l y e x i s t e n 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  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n moulds our i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but so does the expert p l a s t e r e r 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 c r e a t i o n . For Roland Barthes:  184.  "Rereading, an operation contrary to the commercial and i d e o l o g i c a l habits of our s o c i e t y , which would have us 'throw away' the story once i t has been consumed ("devoured"), so that we can then move on to another s t o r y , buy another book, and which i s t o l e r a t e d only in c e r t a i n marginal categories of readers ( c h i l d r e n , old people, and p r o f e s s o r s ) , rereading i s here suggested at the outset, f o r i t alone saves the text from r e p e t i t i o n (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 r e to f i n d differences in an object or an experience i s to be destined to f i n d no unique object or experience.  Those  who would confront the issue once, those who create the e n t i t y but a s i n g l e time are l i m i t e d to mirroring themselves, to f i n d i n g what has already been.;.-created",,. what we learned before.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , approaching the event as s t e r -  eotypes i s to stereotype a l l events.  Breaking the stereotype requires l e a r n -  i n g , 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 q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from the f i r s t .  E f f e c t i v e l y the  second encounter must be to see the differences in the i d e n t 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 w i t h i n ourselves, dis'criminaCi.th i:s ;the "rereadiing".. '\ :  This i s why symbols can be dangerous.; everything can become so hackneyed and common  that d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i s not i n v i t e d nor r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e .  The f a c t  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 t r i b u t e s to the complacency of design.  fault  e n t i r e l y , but i t con-  The Modernists between the Wars threw  o f f the complacency with a zeal we can only envy, and attacked the of s t y l e and embellishment which worked against rereading.  repressions  These new s e n s 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  fil-  tered throughout society as other than another s t y l e , and t h i s one too "economical" 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 " t o 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 environment and the world.  In t h i s sense the c r i t i c a l and the c r e a t i v e both dwell  in the region between environment and world, one c o n s t r u c t i n g , the other deconstructing (the proverbial constructive c r i t i c i s m , which i s not synonymous with d e s t r u c t i o n ) , one formulating r e l a t i o n s h i p s , one t e s t i n g them.  The ob-  j e c t i v e of the user may be immediate, to use the environment, or mediate, to i n s p i r e 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 a d i t i o n a l values i n worldliness have f a l l e n out of common currency, r e s u l t i n g in a psychological need f o r design methods which are not ambiguous or uncertain in order to make up f o r the lack of c u l t u r a l p r o h i b i t i o n .  Science based design i s not a l l that uncommon,  the mathematics of proportion and harmony not only underlay c l a s s i c a l Greece's sciences, but i t s cosmos and a r c h i t e c t u r e as w e l l .  Science based design  methods i s another matter - - i t i s not the use of semiotics but of communications to a c t u a l i z e 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 p a r t i c u l a r l y human task of abstracting between these two realms.  The search f o r form i s the search f o r i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y be-  tween them, made d i f f e r e n t today by the rate at which environment/technology i s shifting.  E s s e n t i a l l y the form d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s 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 a c t i o n , d i a c h r o n i c a l l y , when we  186.  d i f f e r e n t i a t e the unit we learn something about r e l a t i o n s h i p s which are v a l uable when we turn to another u n i t . S i l v e t t i uses Barthes'  " c r i t i c i s m from w i t h i n " 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) to Duchamp's  Levi-Strauss  commented on t h i s operation with respect  "ready-mades":  "You then accomplish a new d i s t r i b u t i o n 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 b u t i o n that was i n the realm of the possible but was not openly a f f e c t e d (in the p r i m i t i v e condition of the o b j e c t ) . You make them, in one sense, a work of l e a r n i n g , discovering in that object l a t e n t propert i e s that were not perceived i n the i n i t i a l context; a poet does t h i s each time he uses a word or turns a phrase in an unusual manner." (16) An advantage f o r designers of proceeding c r i t i c a l l y i s that h i s t o r y can be respected, d i a l e c t i c a l reasoning rather than r a t i o n a l i s m can be adopted, and the m u l t i - r e l a t i o n s h i p s in a communications mode can be acknowledged.  The  disadvantage i s that c r e a t i v e and generative a t t i t u d e s may be repressed, a l though such c r e a t i v e tasks as re-framing, e s t a b l i s h i n g metaphors, and a b s t r acting are well served, as are the more r e f l e x i v e unconscious aspects of designing.  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 i n a r c h i t e c t u r e , which s t a r t s with the recognition that a r c h i t e c t u r e l i k e any other c u l t u r a l product, can be studied as a system of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , e s t a b l i s h i n g d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s , accumulating layers of meaning and sense, and c o n s t i t u t i n g one of the many symbolic spheres i n s t i t u t e d by s o c i e t y . As a consciousness of i t s e l f , a r c h i t e c t u r e 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 t a n t , and the e x i s t e n t world. I t i s , then, a work of r e f l e c t i o n , essent i a l l y a n t i - U t o p i a n , one which automatically establishes a basis f o r c r i t i c i s m since trl.ti'ei's^'^sv:a.:spetu1attve.';.' reflection'; bn the known." (17) The conservation inherent in s i t t i n g a s t r i d e the environment and the world i s  187.  a r e f l e c t i o n of t h i s anti-utopianism - - idealism i s to be found in technol o g i c a l s o l u t i o n s , not in human problems, and as such i s anathema to design. As Richard Sheppard suggested of r a t i o n a l design, "the real content of archi t e c t u r e , b u i l t up with love and care over many generations, i s thrown away f o r no good reason."  (18)  The differences in a r c h i t e c t u r e appear to be incremental v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n a t r a d i t i o n a l corpus.  E f f i c i e n c y i s gained through manipulating f a m i l i a r  codes and constructs, rather than in r e d e f i n i n g d i f f e r e n c e .in an information t h e o r e t i c manner as " n o v e l t y " . w i t h i n the Post-Modern Movement.  This approach i s  regaining great currency  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 r e a l i z e d , i s f o r design to be u n w i l l i n g to step out of the system i t i d e n t i f i e s f o r 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 concentration on types of form to the detriment of the types of service the designer must provide, as witnessed in the Modern Movement.  One of the most  profound statements a v a i l a b l e to guide the design method i s to be found in a summation found in K o e s t l e r ' s The Act of Creation: "One of the main contentions i n t h i s book i s that organic l i f e , in a l l i t s manifestations, from morphogenesis to symbolic thought, i s governed by " r u l e s of the game" which lend i t coherence, order, and u n i t y - i n - v a r i e t y ; and that these rules (or functions in the mathematical sense), whether innate or acquired, are represented in coded form on various l e v e l s , from the chromosomes to the structure of the nervous system responsible f o r symbolic thought ... The rules are f i x e d , but there are endless v a r i a t i o n s to each game, t h e i r v a r i a b i l i t y increasing in ascending order ... There i s also an o v e r a l l rule of the game, which says that no rule i s absolutely f i n a l ; that under c e r t a i n circumstances they may be a l t e r e d and combined i n t o a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d game, which provides a higher form of unity and yet increased v a r i e t y ; t h i s i s c a l l e d the s u b j e c t ' s c r e a t i v e potential»"(19)  188.  That design must in the end r e l y on i t s c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l stands as a profound manifestation of f a i t h in a process which has not distinguished e l f l a t e l y , l e a s t of a l l in t h i s country.  its-  Contemporary developments in med-  i a communications which have severely a l t e r e d 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 a d i t i o n a 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 i n d most promising.  C r e a t i v i t y always operates on more than one plane, the current  c r i s e s being the greatest possible opportunity f o r a continuous unstable j u x t a p o s i t i o n in which d i s r u p t i o n countered by the h i s t o r i c a l e q u i l i b r i u m 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. I b i d . , p.6. 3. I b i d . , p.7. 4. P.J. Proudhon, quoted in Anarchy in A c t i o n , Colin Wood, (London: George Allien and Unwin, 1973), p.44. ~ 5. John D. McEwan, quoted in Anarchy in A c t i o n , Colin Wood . (London: George A l l e n and Unwin, 1973), pp.50, 51. 6. I b i d . 7. Colin Wood, Anarchy in Action (London: George A l l e n and Unwin, 1973), p.52V 8. Proceedings: C u l t u r a l Futurology Symposium (American Anthropological Associ a t i o n ) , unattributable comment, 1970, p.1-15. 9. Paul T i l l i c h , "Environment and the I n d i v i d u a l " , Modulus, v o l . 9 , p.23. 10. I b i d . 11. I b i d . , p.24. 12. C h r i s t i a n Norburg-Schulz, Existence, Space and A r c h i t e c t u r e (New York: Praeger, 1971), p.11. 13. Roland Barthes, quoted i n "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 f e r e n c e " , 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 i n A r c h i t e c t u r e , by Malcolm MacEwen, (London: RIBA P u b l i c a t i o n s , 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 a b s t r action.  Abstraction requires that some structure or pattern  be taken from  an o r i g i n a l context, usually f o r the purpose of d e s c r i p t i o n .  Such patterns  are re-cast as they are transduced through the human sensory and cognitive apparatus.  The opportunity f o r new meaning e x i s t s i n the looseness of t h i s  process which permits a great deal of "noise" to get through.  While the  sensory event i s a moving, i r r e v e r s a b l e , diachronic process, the abstracted event a t t a i n s a l e v e l of s t a s i s .  The s t a s i s contrasts with the natural w o r l d ,  causing f u r t h e r opportunity f o r noise, since i t i s a r t i f i c i a l , and can be manipulated more f r e e l y f o r being in a type of steady-state.  Effectively,  t h 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 f o r meaning to be presented, r e c a l l e d , and manipulated. Meaning i s the r e s u l t of consensus w i t h i n the relevent community using the pattern system. individual.  The sensory experience of pattern i s not s t a t i c , but i s  In order to get from sensory experience to meaning we require  an intermediary c o n s t r u c t i o n , namely.a semiotic.  A consensus about a sen-  sory event i s achieved not in doing i t , but in t a l k i n g 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 t h i s union of the a b s t r action with a medium.  This may be a very a r b i t r a r y 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 a r b i t r a r y grouping of l e t t e r s to make up a word.  191.  The word w i l l be operative  as long as t h i s union has consensual sanction.  In the s o c i e t a 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 i s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o the physical functions which w i l l a f f e c t the stated abstract purpose.  This process  is  indeed the generic process of f o r m a l i z a t i o n , and i t i s the process of design. In general the two step communication process can be c a l l e d the process of form g i v i n g .  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 t a l k i n g about i t in t h i s way, we must view the process s e m i o t i c a l l y .  I t i s not only the  r e s u l t a n t , the form which emerges, that i s a semiotic c o n s t r u c t i o n .  Abstr-  action i s a tool f o r focusing meaning, shaping i s a t o o l f o r expressing i t . Too much abstraction w i l l eliminate meaning and r e s u l t i n only sensation, too much shape w i l l s i m i l a r l y l i m i t meaning and r e s u l t in expressionism. Whatever the r e s u l t i n form, a communication as a created meaning must be a s c i e n t i f i c a b s t r a c t i o n which i s shaped i n a s p e c i f i c medium. The creative process of physical c l o s u r e , of a c t u a l l y i n v e s t i n g a physical medium with meaning, i s hereby seen to be nominally c o n t r a d i c t o r y .  Such a  paradox was stated by Shands: " . , . t h e object i s to be understood as a concrete p e r s i s t e n t thing only a f t e r i t has been possible to develop a conception of i t , that i s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , that i t s concreteness depends upon the development of a b s t r a c t i o n . " (1) Shand's concern i s the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of patients through p s y c h i a t r i c 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 s o c i a l m i l i e u .  I f the patient cannot learn to conform his  192.  abstractions  i n the consensus, a pathology i s  identified.  In the f i e l d of design an equivalent pathology can e x i s t : the designer may not be able to analyse the s i t u a t i o n in such a manner as to permit his c r e ation of form to meet consensus. with a designer's  Note that t h i s pathology i s not concerned  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 w i t h i n which form w i l l become imbedded. Designers are normally b e t t e r at shaping than at a b s t r a c t i n g .  Because shape  i s so d e r i v a t i v e i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to f i n d 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 a b s t r a c t i o n s , so the designer i s able to (re-) create shape before being able to f u l l y analyse content.  This opposition p a r a l l e l s the bi-cambrial brain s t r u c t u r e , the de-  signer gravitates to l e f t brain functions and learns to read t e x t before context. Recourse to s t y l i s t i c r e v i v a l i s the r e s u l t of p r e f e r r i n g a f a s t and comfortable mimesis to a contextual disturbance.  I t has become c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of  the communications age that many designers are now concerned with the context more than with the t e x t .  Contemporary concern f o r methodology rather than  s t y l e , or theory, or form i s an attempt to resolve inadequacies society f e e l s with the products of design.  The evolutionary importance of t h i s i s that  the two step communications model p e r s o n i f i e s the trend to.wholes over the t r a d i t i o n a l emphasis on analysis/synthesis  oppositions.  Secondly, the use  of a communications metaphor acknowledges the natural r e s o l u t i o n of e n t e l e chy, the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c tendency of an e n t i t y f o r 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 h e u r i s t i c f o r comprehending s o c i a l transformation.  Whereas s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s have h i t h e r t o e v o l -  ved slowly through t r i a l and e r r o r (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 o n s be abstracted through operational and s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s .  Conger has coined the term " S o c i a l  Inventions"(2)  f o r 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 " A n t i c i p a t o r y Democracy" (4) i s s i m i l a r l y an attempt to  e s t a b l i s h a methodology which achieves consensus and s o c i a 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 i s c a l l e d the programme, and i s commonly distinguished from the second l e v e l operation of shaping, actual design.  The whole process i s a semiotic process, f o r i t i s e n t i r e l y  devoted to communicating shape, which when shared w i l l become form. physical form requires a t h i r d operation, construction.  The  The two step sem-  i o t i c process of producing shape p a r a l l e l s the generic semiotic process.(5) To give shape to an idea means to model i t s e m i o t i c a l l y .  Consequently i t i s  not formally c o r r e c t f o r us to t a l k about the product of the f i r s t l e v e l operation as being a b s t r a c t i o n , since a r e s u l t a n t shape must be provided in words f o r us to deal with i t , however our purpose i s to r e l a t e the nature of the programme to the process of a b s t r a c t i o n .  The paradox of form giving r e -  fers to t h i s need to analyse before synthesis  i s p o s s i b l e , to i d e n t i f y a con-  text before a text can be e s t a b l i s h e d . There are purely d e r i v a t i v e means f o r achieving form where the text i s derived from non-contextual events.  This i s a matter of degree, f o r 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 p a r t i c u l a r forms, m a t e r i a l s , and constructions were a c t u a l l y placed".'in the widest possible range of contexts, where in f a c t , context was eliminated as meaning on many l e v e l s because the text was awarded universal value.  Although in complex design s i t u a t i o n s  such as in a r c h i t e c t u r e i t i s normal f o r most elements to be derived from previous p r a c t i c e , d e r i v a t i o n 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. I b i d . 3. D. Stuart Conger, S o c i a l Inventions (Saskatoon: Modern Press, 1974). 4. A l v i n T o f f l e r , ed. The F u t u r i s t s (New York: Random House, 1972), p.117. 5. A. Marino, "Two Hermeneutical C i r c u i t s : Part/Whole and Analysis/Synthesis", D i a l e c t i c s and Humanism, no.2, 1976, pp.126, 129.  196.  CHAPTER TWENTY  SUMMARY OF THE PARADOXES OF DESIGN The preceeding paradoxes are summarized f o r ease of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and comparison.  Each paradox i s described in two statements, the f i r s t e s t a b l i s h -  ing the c o n f l i c t of t h e s i s / a n t i - t h e s i s as an apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n , the second providing a synthesis in the form of s t r a t e g i c opportunities f o r r e 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 a c c e l e r a t i n g rate of change which i s s e l f - l i m i t i n g , consequent 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 r b i t r a r y and new meaning i s created through acting on e x i s t i n g 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" s o c i a l systems must c o n t i n u a l l y re-establ i s h order. B. The rate of change taking place today requires that s o c i a l stabi l i t y be symbolized by b i o l o g i c a l metaphors of r e l a t i o n s rather than mechanistic metaphors of order. 3. The Paradox of Disorder A. Disorder i s not c h a o t i c .  197.  B. Disorder i s a type of order, and once so defined the order which i s required to define i t w i l l become as s o c i a l l y acceptable as s t r a i g h t forward order t r a d i t i o n a l l y has been. The Paradox of Chaos A. The most complete type of communication i s at the l e v e l of communion, however i t i s not communicable s e m i o t i c a l l y at a l l . B. Creative-processes mediate the chaotic state of communion and transform q u a 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 v e of forces between s o c i e t i e s . B. Division which spawns heterogeneity i s of innate s u r v i v a l  value,  increasing r e s i l i e n c e and richness, and i s therefore d e s i r a b l e . The Paradox of Information A. Information i s defined as a d i f f e r e n c e that has been communicated However a very small amount of information may lead to a patholog ical difference. B. Information can have an implicate order, e f f e c t i v e l y causing complex personal constructs to be r e f l e c t e d or challenged by key f a cets of t h e i r s t r u c t u r e . The Paradox of the Second Law of Thermo-dynamics A. The universe i s proceeding towards an ever more homogeneously dered end.  However open systems, such as b i o l o g i c a l or s o c i a l  198.  or-  s t r u c t u r e s , seem to be capable of absorbing energy from the environment and creating heterogeneous  order.  B. Open systems operate under a d i f f e r e n t kind of order than that suggested by the negentropic process of ever greater, ever more pervasive and far-reaching order.  Large s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t s , hom-  ogeneity, and imposed order do not complement s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n . Rather, s o c i a l order i s best fostered under very small units of order, under almost anarchic conditions seen from the large s c a l e , where an i n d i v i d u a l ' s freedom i s r e l i e d upon over circumscribed s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . 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 c l o s e s t we can come to an appreciation of m u l t i v a l e n t phenomena. B. The character of thinking and language constructions which place e f f e c t i v e meaning along a p o l a r i z e d 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 c a l l e d exclusive poles. 9. The Paradox of Aesthetic Contradiction A. The more hazardous the apparent order in an o b j e c t , the greater i t s a e s t h e t i c appeal. B. The tension i s very appealing and suggestive  in an object where  the l i k e l i h o o d that such order can indeed e x i s t i s u n l i k e l y . Interest in an a e s t h e t i c object i s not the r e s u l t of novelty but of i n t e n s i t y .  199.  10. The Paradox of Iconic Models A. The s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of language i s a v a i l a b l e and equally open to generation and reception by a l l members of s o c i e t y , however an a b i l i t y to consume i c o n i c 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 s o c i e t y , 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 p o s i t i o n found in other c u l t u r e s , where each member i s more capable of generating s i g n i f i c a n t form. 11. The Paradox of Programming A. The acculturated person f e e l s a great sense of freedom having submitted himself to severe  programming.  B. Freedom to negotiate i n the e x t e r i o r world i s the r e s u l t of the i n d i v i d u a 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 r b i t r a r i n e s s . 12. The Paradox of the Environment A. The s o - c a l l e d 'environment', the'iiiTOediate^ly;.(imp'-inging physical world, i s r e a l l y only our o l d and comfortable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of events l i n g e r i n g on in the new actual r e a l i t y .  The l a t e s t phys-  i c a l and technological environment i s not perceived as the e n v i ronment, f o r we are caught up i n i t s content, the old i n t e r p r e 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  a v a i l a b l e but not u t i l i z e d by s o c i e t y .  200.  That e l e c t r o n i c t e c h n o l -  ogy which i s 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 T r a d i t i o n a l A r t ; The Paradox of Post-Modern A r t . 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 a r t product.  Modern a r t reversed t h i s  p r a c t i c e so as to become highly occupied with the process of production, ostensibly as a challenge to the t r a d i t i o n a l a r t i s t - a u d ience r e l a t i o n s h i p .  This challenging process has become compoun-  ded i n time, such that Post-Modern a r t products are preoccupied with s e l f - c r i t i c i s m . B. Resolution i s found f o r the audience in the consumption of the a r t product as a media event.  The a r t 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 c o n t r a d i c t o r y , f o r the future i s unknowable and uncreatable. B. We must be careful to r e a l i z e that a physical model s i g n i f i e s our ideas, while only our ideas (through action) can s i g n i f y 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 i s devised as a problem solving process. B. Problems do not reside in o b j e c t s , 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 t e r the manner of o b j e c t s , 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 s o c i a l problems. 16.. The Paradox of Differences A. The f a i l u r e to f i n d differences in a s i n g l e object i s to be destined to f i n d no differences among objects. B. Observation of an e n t i t y i s at f i r s t a r e f l e c t i o n of oneself, and only upon continued c r i t i c a l appraisal does o t h e r l i n e s s appear. Thus the person/environment d i f f e r e n t i a l must.be established in the p a r t i c u l a r in order f o r 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 abstracted 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 i m p l i c a t i o n s of these paradoxesA.tnhereht to. the design process, l e t us re-assert the conclusion regarding the value of paradox i n t e r m i t t a n t l y mentioned in t h i s paper.  The p a r t i c u l a r c r e a t i v e opportunity  which a r i s e s , should one derive a frame i n which one thing i s stated as being in c o n f l i c t with another ,  i s that i n which the r e c e i v e r i s motivated  to create a path upon which both e n t i t i e s can proceed to a r e s o l u t i o n . ( 1 ) A r a t i o n a l contemporary world causes many equivalences and recurrences to be the r e s u l t of p r e d i c t a b l e established structure which cannot by d e f i n i t i o n lead us i n t o the f u t u r e . .  C r i t i c a l approaches i n the present must  modify e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s i n order t o : 1. discover the motivation i n any system, which i n turn requires d e f i n i t i o n of that system's context, environment, or meta-system, and 2. reveal the richness, information, and novelty available in modification.  The point i s that the design process can be as  boring a convention as the designed o b j e c t .  A process of design as a c r e a t -  ive enterprise i s an i n t e r a c t i o n 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 r u e , but the designed object l i e s along side and i n t e r a c t s with the model of r e a l i t y .  In t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i t can be seen that f i c t i o n i s not a p o l a r -  ized opposite of f a c t , but rather f i c t i o n i s a l o g i c a l m o d i f i c a t i o n of f a c t since the structure of r e a l i t y i s so heavily r e l i e d upon.  Creative a c t i v i t y  i s l o g i c 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 t a -  tes ( f i c t i o n ) with past constructs ( f a c t s ) cannot be changed without some  203.  con-fusion, which in the hands of the c r e a t i v e i s a meta-level of order rather than a plunge i n t o disorder.  Confusion i t s e l f i s a means f o r the  creative mind to achieve new s t r u c t u r e , f o r paradoxically "ambiguous works draw a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r own compositional p r i n c i p l e " . (2)  Particularly,  ideology which paradoxically channels a c r e a t i v e task l i k e designing, appears to be important in conveying p r i n c i p l e s of change to r e a l i t y at l a r g e , yet i t i s ideology which i s the greatest threat to designing even while i t i s u l t i m a t e l y the source of a l l commissions f o r 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 c o n s i s t e n t l y stood in the way of the acceptance of the gains already made in freeing design f o r the i n d i v i d u a l .  The m a t e r i a l -  i t y of r e a l i t y i n s i s t s on a re-working in o b j e c t i v e terms of the struggle f o r freedom.  Design i s asked to i l l u s t r a t e again and again the i n h i b i t i o n  of i n d i v i d u a l freedom, but the v o y e u r i s t i c public w i l l not adopt the stance, but w i l l only s i g n i f y i t with s i g n s , the "deadly s i l e n c e of s i g n s " . (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 r e a l i z a t i o n or production, the c r e a t i v e imagination becomes 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 a v a i l a b l e to the i n d i v i d u a l .  In c a p i t a l -  i s t s o c i e t i e s the material object i s commissioned and not the i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y , consequently imagination i s a means to the i d e o l o g i c a l ends of capital.  Only recently has the revived avant-garde taken up the p o s i t i o n of  Dadaists s i x t y years ago, as found in Duchamp's statement, "I  have forced my-  s e l f to c o n t r a d i c t myself in order to avoid conforming to my own t a s t e . " (5)  204.  Such a p o s i t i o n , or r e a l l y such a n o n - p o s i t i o n , has been subverted by a r t and design ever s i n c e , even though Duchamp has here voiced The Paradox of Post-Modern A r t , f o r he obviously conforms to his own t a s t e , a taste f o r i n consistency. I t i s only the present communications media age, having thrown i n t o question the a r t i f a c t because of the creation of form in e l e c t r o n i c 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 t a t e , suggests the state of n o n - A r i s t o t e l i a n l o g i c advocated by A l f r e d Korz y b s k i , wherein the phenomenology of the i n d i v i d u a l l e d l o g i c a l l y to i d i o s y n c r a t i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . (6)  The Post-Modern designer has the opportunity  to l i v e Duchamp's way of l i f e , f o r according to the e d i t o r of The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, Arturo Schwartz: "Let us s t a r t with ( l o g i c a l ) consistency and observe that i t i s thanks only to inconsistency that humanity has survived. To be p e r f e c t l y consistent with oneself, in a l l circumstances, leads to intolerance and f a n a t i c i s m . 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 a t t i t u d e i s simply a sum of u n c e r t a i n t i e s 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 f o r a l l between mutually exclusive values, and thus to prejudice the f u t u r e , i s e x a c t l y what inconsistency stands f o r . Generally, inconsistency i s practiced more than proclaimed. I t i s a way of l i f e - - Duchamp's." (7) The process of e l i m i n a t i n g countless A r i s t o t e l i a n d i a l e c t i c a l thoughts can continue (designer versus user, a r c h i t e c t u r e versus b u i l d i n g , 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 a r c h i t e c t u r e , past makes f u t u r e , 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 i n d i v i d u a l freedom according to t h e i r manner of management.  Sec-  ondly, the ascendent technology provides the generative metaphors f o r organi z i n g thought, at l e a s t on the c u l t u r a l s c a l e .  It must also be true that  to some degree evolving patterns of thought p r e c i p i t a t e technological innovation.  The example we have dealt with extensively i n t h i s paper i s the  metaphor of the "machine" as the pre-eminent l o g i c a l model f o r Modern design. Although we have not said so quite as l i t e r a l l y , the second t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y based generative metaphor we have been dealing with i s "communication", the icon of Post-Modernism.  The value of communication as metaphor i s that i t  surmounts the e a r l y utopianism of the Modern avant-garde which might have led to a n n i h i l a t i o n through the law of the systematic i n f r a c t i o n of r u l e s , hereby c o n t r o l l e d 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 q u a l i t i e s that cannot be so communicated - - the metaphor once useful in a c t i o n , acts on d i f f e r e n t phenomena i n d i f f e r e n t l y as we saw in the u n i v e r s a l i t y which accompanied the machine metaphor.  In t h i s way the communication  metaphor develops i n t o an i d e o l o g i c a l scheme of i t s own. The communication metaphors have e x i s t e d w i t h i n the e n t i r e Modern-avant garde movement.  Notions of semantic d i s t o r t i o n , the ambiguity of a r t i s t i c languages,  analysis through c o d i f i c a t i o n , and programmed innovation were e f f e c t i v e and popular analogues f o r a r t i s t i c methods at the beginning of t h i s century.  206.  After  a l l , the e a r l y l i n g u i s t i c s movements such as Russian Formalism, Czech Struct u r a l i s m and European Semiotics, p a r a l l e l e d the Eastern European dominated avant-garde a r t movements. (3)  L i n g u i s t i c components of the communication  metaphor have continued to be i n f l u e n t i a l throughout t h i s century through t h e i r influence on s t r u c t u r a l i s t methodologies in the humanities, and;social sciences.  Information theory and cybernetic considerations provided hew ^im-  petus by growing r a p i d l y a f t e r the Second World War in a l l areas of applied science.  Systems and l i n g u i s t i c s became a combined i n t e r e s t in l a t e r man-  machine developments, f o r computerized technology u t i l i z e s programmed versions of language on a v a r i e t y of l e v e l s .  The arts as v i s u a l languages, whe-  ther t h e a t r e , f i l m , the p l a s t i c a r t s , or a r c h i t e c t u r e are submitting to a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of semiological studies as new l e v e l s of e f f i c i e n c y in communi c a t i o n i s sought.  C r i t i c i s m , e s p e c i a 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 f o r new l e v e l s 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 i s t r y i n g to move from a Utopian frame to a c r i t i c a l frame i n order to keep pace with the new experiences of communications technology. However in adopting the semi o t i c instrumentation a r c h i t e c t u r e also adopts the semiotic ideology and i t s tendency to become bogged down in programmed l o g i c which has only an a b i l i t y to describe and no a b i l i t y to e x p l a i n .  The  outcome of t h i s i s f u r t h e r e f f o r t i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y expended on e x p l i c a t i n g the languages of a r c h i t e c t u r a 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 i n t e n t i o n of the s i g n , or put another way, i t i s to see the design as a mess-  207.  age and not j u s t as an i n t e r n a l l y coherent s t r u c t u r e .  The message i s an ex-  change between.structures, e s p e c i a l l y between domains of design p a r t i c i p a t i o n . For example, the r o l e of the commissioner of the design has always been seen as a superstructure to the design method, and yet present semiological preoccupations have not improved the communications between c l i e n t and designer, they have only a r t i c u l a t e d i n t e r n a l c o d i f i c a t i o n s which describe e l i t i s t and s p e c i a l i z e d languages of the designer.  The ambiguity and c r e a t i v e i n t e r p l a y  e x i s t s p r e c i s e l y at the point where r e a l i t y keeps i n f r i n g i n g on the p u r i t y and coherence of the designers purposive v i s i o n , 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, f o r 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 a c t i o n .  But  in today's communications r e a l i t y the p o t e n t i a l f o r action has become greater than the p o t e n t i a l of the o b j e c t , f o r the object i s only a transducer of content from displaced sources.  The world has become one of " c i r c u i t s t r u c t u r e s "  and not s t a t i c structures according to Gregory Bateson, who claims that a r t provides wisdom " i n c o r r e c t i n g 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 s t r a t e g i e s 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 contrad i c t i o n s of matching design with r e a l i t y .  These contradictions are not d i s -  o r d e r l y , nor are they oppositions, imbalances, or c r i t i c i s m s which are e x t r a neous to the design task.  Because the image  does not have the autonomy which  our attempts at the creation of h i s t o r y has led us to b e l i e v e , the designer  208.  cannot t r e a t "form" with such importance.  The design task i s to see these  contradictions to s t r a i g h t forward form as paradoxes, that i s as c o n t r a d i c tions which are resolved through the a c t i v i t y of design, through the very nature of design as a c r e a t i v e process.  This i s not that simple, as Sargent  says, "By and large i t i s e a s i e r to appreciate a problem than i t i s to understand an opportunity." (10)  So i t i s that f o r m a l i z i n g or systematizing  c u l t u r a l i n t e r a c t i o n i s maladaptive i n 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 i s responsible f o r 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 r e s o l u t i o n i s metaphorical, since the paradox of paradox, as Wilden points out, i s the f a c t that apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i l l appear in a design despite the v a r i e t y of l e v e l s of synthesis enfolded in i t . (12)  We require a bounded meta-communi-  cative system to explain the lower level c o n t r a d i c t i o n , and cannot escape t h i s boundary condition of e x p l i c a t i v e systems.  But t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y the  ultimate metaphorical purpose of design, to symbolize the perpetual act of creating meta-communicative l e v e l s .  The a f f e c t i v e r e s u l t i s that form as well  as the design process should consist of questioning the nature of a r c h i t e c t u r e . When Tschumi says: "I would therefore suggest that there has never been any reason to doubt the necessity of a r c h i t e c t u r e , f o r the necessity of a r c h i t e c t u r e i s i t s non-necessity. It i s useless but r a d i c a l l y so." (13) he i s r e - e s t a b l i s h i n g the a b s t r a c t i o n 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 o u t - o f - f a s h i o n , preModern o b j e c t i v e found in Hegel's Aesthetic Theory, where he f e e l s that " a r c h i t e c t u r e was whatever in a b u i l d i n g did not point to u t i l i t y . " (14)  Peter  Levin in a paper c a l l e d "Decision Making in Urban Design", suggests: "...perhaps i t i s a v a l i d aim to t r y d e l i b e r a t e l y to achieve a s i t u a t i o n i n 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 f e c 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 l a u s i b l e , then p a r a d o x i c a l , 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 s y s t e m a t i c a l l y 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 i n Contemporary A r c h i t e c t u r e " as an inequity between the large quantity of buildings  designed  and t h e i r low q u a l i t y , which he a t t r i b u t e s to the a r c h i t e c t ' s " i n a b i l i t y to give form to the s o c i a l m i l i e u . " (16)  How i r o n i c i f t h i s s i t u a t i o n 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 a r c h i t e c t u r e indicates a continuing b e l i e f in the power of the physical environment to remedy s o c i a l i l l s , a b e l i e f which seems to be mistaken'.'" (17) The physical environment.vform, and objects are a v a i l a b l e as platforms f o r the development of concepts and are a v a i l a b l e f o r human c r e a t i v i t y and d i s covery.  The B i b l i c a l mission to r e i n over nature a t t a i n s a level of  fulfil-  ment today at which we phenomenologically re-create or threaten to destroy the e n t i r e earth d a i l y .  This l e v e l of " r e a l i z a t i o n " i s d i f f i c u l t to exagg-  e r a t e , and i t prompts a p a r t i c u l a r formulation of the B i b l i c a l paradox wherein one gains l i f e by l o s i n g i t .  This i s a special version of The Paradox of Form  210.  1  G i v i n g , 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 t h i s i s also the paradox of transcendence in a l l  s e l f - a c t u a l i z i n g human pursuits - - " h a p p i n e s s ;  i s a by-product that eludes d i -  r e c t p u r s u i t " (18) i s Brewster Smith's way of putting i t . Bernard Tschumi has c a l l e d t h i s paradox "The Paradox of A r c h i t e c t u r e " : "namely, the i m p o s s i b 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 t h i s  paradox corresponds to the denial of e r o t i c i s m in Modern a r c h i t e c t u r e , since the conceptualization of the Modern was invested in p u r i t y , there was no room f o r the conceptualization of pleasure.  That i s , e r o t i c i s m requires more than  s e n s u a l i t y , the experience of which was a v a i l a b l e in Modernism; e r o t i c i s m requires that the concept of excess of sensuality accompanies the experience of s e n s u a l i t y . We conclude that t h i s paradox can be framed to correspond more generally to the opposition between form and meaning. ations apart from our experiences of them.  We create the meaning of our formWe exercise l i f e o b l i v i o u s to the  p o t e n t i a l codes, meanings, rules that might be created: "To e x i s t i s not to realize potentiality,".(20)  A r c h i t e c t u r a l concepts are not present i n our  experiences of space, rf t h i s i s t r u e , we are dealing with a c o n t r a d i c t i o n and not a paradox of conception/perception, of i d e a l / a c t u a l , of l i f e / d e a t h . The special demand on design i s to resolve t h i s paradox, *hat is.,, to i l l u s t r a t e i t s lack of c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  For Tschumi " i t i s not a matter of destruc-  211.  t i o n or 'avant-garde' subversion, but of t r a n s g r e s s i o n " .  (21)  Transgression  i s required to meet S:M. Rosen's "plea f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of v i s u a l i z i n g e x i s t e n c e " . (22)  We do not have a very good t r a d i t i o n in North America, f o r  discussing how one goes about constantly c o n t r a d i c t i n g oneself. r e q u i s i t e " s t r e s s of l i f e "  Hans S e l y e ' s  (23) i s perhaps an analogue of the need f o r con-  t r a d i c t i o n in the b u i l t environment, a point i l l u s t r a t e d at a base physiol o g i c a l l e v e l 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 v a b l e environments found among Europeans i s i n d i c ated in Jean-Paul S a r t r e ' s statement: " I f France allows i t s e l f to be influenced by the whole of American c u l t u r e , a l i v i n g and l i v a b l e s i t u a t i o n there, w i l l come here and completely shatter our c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s . . . " (24) The most common aphorism to t h i s e f f e c t i s the one which claims that " r u l e s are made to be broken".  Rules require h i s t o r y , and the place of h i s t o r y as  a p r e d i c t i v e tool i s reaffirmed i n the c y c l i c a l c o n f l i c t s around the a x i a l individual.  The poor understanding of transgression in the New World may  be the r e s u l t of a lack of h i s t o r y , or b e t t e r , the r e s u l t of l i v i n g in the f u t u r e , not so much in a promised land as in a land of promise, of becoming. C o n f l i c t i s deepening in t h i s land, the land i s maturing, the c i t i e s are decaying, time i s evinced, creation i s no longer j u s t novelty - i t i s , f i n a l l y , decadent.\ In t h i s context the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the seventeen paradoxes discussed as they r e l a t e to the design process are as f o l l o w s : 1. The Paradox of Progress:  a l l form can be seen to be a r b i t r a r y , 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 i s to say, form i s a means f o r the designer and not an end. 2. The Paradox of Metaphors of Order:  the use of images of order w i t h i n the  open systems of design b u i l d up i d e o l o g i c a l expectations of consistency which on a large scale are p a t h o l o g i c a l . 3. The Paradox of Disorder:  d i s o r d e r l y design processes are not uncontrol-  l a b l e , in f a c t as a tool they would necessarily cause greater order w i t h 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 f o r 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 i n t e r f e r e s with a designer's a b i l i t y to provide depth - - s u c c i n c 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; f u r t h e r , there e x i s t s no promise in the organization of design methods at large complex s c a l e s , f o r the design act i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y based at the level of i n d i v i d u a l freedoms. 8. The Paradox of the Excluded Middle:  the tendency f o r the design process  to mimic thought and language structures which are d i a l e c t i c a l , i n h i b i t s the a b i l i t y of the designer to provide the f u l l range of v a r i a t i o n s possi b l e in his r e s o l u t i o n . 9. The Paradox of Aesthetic Contradiction:  213.  the designer i s fundamentally  concerned with the a e s t h e t i c 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 r e s u l t s in an i n e v i t a b l e e l i t i s t s i t u a t i o n f o r those who can. 11. The Paradox of Programming:  open systems such as design require s t r i c t  s t r u c t u r i n g in one dimension in order to a t t a i n the f u l l freedom possible f o r the manipulation of elements in other, more s y n t h e t i c dimensions. 12. The Paradox of the Environment:  the purpose of the design function i t s e l f  i s to give s i g n i f i c a n c e to that which, although present, fs'.un'realized. 13. The Paradox of T r a d i t i o n a l A r t ;  The Paradox of Post-Modern A r t :  while  design h i s t o r i c a l l y has been concerned with keeping hidden the t u r m o i l , c o n f l i c t , process, and compromise of the design process, Post-Modern design has been concerned with providing opportunities f o r transparent and p a r t i c i p a t o r y methods, which have r e s u l t e d in contemporary processes in which design i s 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 f o r the f u t u r e , but a d d i t i o n a l l y they are p r e d i c t i v e 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 t h e i r s o l u t i o n reside in the b u i l t environment. 16. The Paradox of Difference:  s u p e r 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 t e r in-depth c r i t i c a l appraisal can  214.  the real nature of the design issue be r e a l i z e d , which i s to say that the designer who i s a good synthesizer i s so because he i s capable of depth a n a l y s i s . The Paradox of Form G i v i n g :  the designer cannot d i r e c t l y synthesize  form, he must create i t s image i n his mind f i r s t and t h e r e a f t e r use semi o t i c tools to communicate between concept and p r a x i s , which suggests that the designer works from the general to the p a r t i c u l a r , as does the scientist.  215.  FOOTNOTES 1. Robert-Alain de Beaugrande, "Toward a General Theory of C r e a t i v i t y " , P o e t i c s , v o l . 8 , 1979, p.289. 2. Shlomith Rimmon, The Concept of Ambiguity. The Example of James (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y 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 i d . , 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 r e d Korzybski, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to N o n - A r i s t o t e l i a n Systems and General Semantics ( L a k e v i l l e , Conn: International NonA r i s t o t e l i a n 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, " C o n t i n u i t y and Change in Russian Formalism, Czech S t r u c t u r a l i s m , and Soviet S e m i o t i c s " , PTL, v o l . 1 , n o . l , 1976, pp.153-196. 9. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (New York: B a l l a n t i n e , 1972), pp.146-147. 10. L. Sargent, "Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary Science F i c t i o n " , The F u t u r i s t , v o l . 6 , no.3, 1972,  pp.93-98.  11. Morse Peckham, Man's Rage f o r 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 A r c h i t e c t u r a l Paradox)", Studio, v o l . 190, September 1975, p.141. 14. I b i d . 15. Peter Levin, quoted i n " I f the C i t y 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 A r c h i t e c t u r e " , A r c h i t e c t u r e :i & Urban ism, A p r i l 1979, p. 82. 17. I b i d .  216.  18. Brewster Smith, quoted in "Aiming at the S e l f : The Paradox of Encounter and the Human P o t e n t i a l Movement" by Maurice Friedman, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, vol.16, no.2, 1976, p.7. 19. Bernard Tschumi, " A r c h i t e c t u r e and Transgression", Oppositions, no.7, Winter 1976, p.57. 20. Maurice Friedman, "Aiming at the S e l f : The Paradox of Encounter and the Human P o t e n t i a l Movement", Journal of Humanistic Psychology, vol.16, no.2, 1976, p.11. 21. Tschumi, 1976, p.61. 22. S.M. 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Antinomy: A c o n t r a d i c t i o n between two assertions each of which seem to be s u i t a b l y 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 f o r organizing signs to perform an organized task.  Communication: A l l the procedures by means of which one system a f f e c t s another through the use of representatives. Communications: That which t r e a t s the issues of- r e p l i c a t e d representatives, the how of sending and r e c e i v i n g . f  Contradiction: An e s s e n t i a l c o n f l i c t or opposition between natural e n t i t i e s or human constructions. Cybernetics: For Ampere in 1834, the science of governance or c o n t r o l , the science of control and communication, (see Wiener, 1948). Denotation: A r e l a t i o n of reference. Compare " d e s i g n a t i o n " , the r e l a t i o n of meaning or sense (such that i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s usually concerned with connotation, the r e l a t i o n of a s s o c i a t i o n ) . Design, designed o b j e c t , designer's product, e t c . : The transmission of a s i g n a l , received p r i m a r i l y through visual receptors, coded as s i g n s , which i s treated as form (as a message) by i n f e r r i n g meaning from i t . Designing, design process: A purposeful c r e a t i v e act dealing " i n time" with the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of sign phenomena which r e l a t e to the physical environment. It i s i r r a t i o n a l i n that i t cannot be described. Diachrony: Following Saussure, the "axis of successions". A diachronic frame of reference uses notions of r e l a t i o n s rather than of o b j e c t s ; i t involves a describing function as well as the described. The diachronous occurs " i n t i m e " . Diachronic d i v e r s i t y :  V a r i a t i o n over time, synonymous with change. 226.  D i a l e c t i c s : The f o r m a l i z a t i o n of an i d e a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e wherein an e n t i t y i s defined through i t s opposition with a contradictory notion. For Hegel, the combination establishes a higher form of t r u t h in a "synthesis". Dilemma: The r e s u l t of a given assumption or conclusion leading to a p a r t i c u l a r occurrence, whether or not the conclusion i s true or is satisfactory. Entelechy: A r e a l i z a t i o n as opposed to a p o t e n t i a l i t y . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of matter to s t r i v e f o r s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i n form, of an idea to be r e a l i z e d in form. Entropy: The tendency f o r structure or order to d i s s i p a t e , 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: Form:  Shape which has meaning.  Information: Langue:  See "Law of the Excluded Middle".  As derived from cybernetics, something which makes a d i f f e r e n c e .  A f t e r Saussure, a formal system which acts as a general s o l u t i o n or reference. See " p a r o l e " .  Law of I d e n t i t y : A i s A; i f p then p. According to the p r i n c i p l e s of l o g i c , t h 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 r e j e c t e d . 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 i n c i p l e should not be viewed as a law of opposites. Not-A i s simply the denial of the existence of A, and i s not equival e n t 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 o n 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 t h e r A or not-A; e i t h e r p or not-p. This p r i n c i p l e attempts to operate independent of the highly r e l a t i v e nature of a l l human measuring or evaluative procedures. As a consequence the suggestion that i d e n t i f i c a t i o n can operate only between exclusive poles i s i n e r r o r 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 I d e n t i t y : 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 t h e r A or not-A.  227.  Logic, formal: As encapsulated in the three laws of p r o p o s i t i o n s : 1. The Law of I d e n t i t y : 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 t h e r p or not-p. Message: A combination of signs the arrangement of which (the coding) has the same meaning f o r sender and r e c e i v e r . Meta:  A p r e f i x used to i n d i c a t e that the e n t i t y or type of e n t i t y f o l l o w i n g the p r e f i x i s being discussed.  Method:  A set of describable p r i n c i p l e s and techniques used as a means f o r gaining knowledge.  Negentropy: A shortened version of "negative entropy", i t i s the opposite of entropy, and refers to the tendency f o r open systems ( b i o l o g i c a l systems, human systems) to d i s p l a y order, structure or p a t t e r n , and to g r a v i t a t e towards conditions which are not random. Ontology: A theory about the fundamental nature of the world, whose subject matter i s being, i s what r e a l l y e x i s t s . Paradigm: A f t e r Kuhn, a pattern or way of thinking which infuses s p e c i f i c t h e o r e t i c a l constructions by presenting i r r e p r e s s i b l e models and s o l u t i o n s . See (The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, p . v i i i , 1970). Paradox: An apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n . What i s sometimes c a l l e d a " l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n " i n thought and discourse, as stated in pre-17th century notions of " c l a s s i n g " , a construction unfortunately perpetuated by d i a l e c t i c a l materialism (Marx, Engels, Lenin a f t e r Hegel), i s here c a l l e d a paradox in l i n e with contemporary usage. Parole:  A f t e r Saussure, an i n d i v i d u a l use of a system which acts as a s p e c i f i c s o l u t i o n , as opposed to acting as the epitome of t y p i c a l s o l u t i o n s . 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 a v a i l a b l e in the design. Semiotics: The science of signs and sign systems, where the sign i s the fundamental unit of interchange w i t h i n the communicative act. Sign:  Something which produces a response to something other than i t s e l f .  S t r u c t u r a l i s m : A methodology which seeks to s h i f t the emphasis from unique, independent, and atomistic objects to the r e l a t i o n s h i p s 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 f o r each i n d i v i d u a l and p a r t i c u l a r work. 228.  Synchrony: For Saussure, the "axis of s i m u l t a n e i t i e s " . The examination of a phenomenon at one moment in time, d e s c r i p t i o n i t s e l f made possible by the i s o l a t i o n of objects at a p a r t i c u l a r time. Synchronic d i v e r s i t y : V a r i a t i o n in a phenomenon at one point i n time, leading to an ambiguous d e s c r i p t i o n of i t . System:  A set of e n t i t i e s together with the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between them which define a boundary between i n t e r n a l and external operations.  Tautology: An i d e a t i o n a l construction which gives no information about the world because i t (the construction) i s t o t a l l y s e l f - r e f e r e n c i n g .  229.  

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