Archive for the “Theory” Category

Informed simplicity

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Matthew Frederick in 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (The MIT Press, 2007) after saying how to draw a line, also says that there are three levels of knowing:
-simplicity, is the world view of the child or uninformed adult, fully engaged in his own experience and happily unaware of what lies beneath the surface of immediate reality.
-complexity, characterizes the ordinary adult world view. It is characterized by an awareness of complex system in nature and society but an inability to discern clarifyng patterns and connection.
-informed simplicity, is an enlightened view of reality. It is founded upon an ability to dicern or create clarifying patterns within complex mixtures.


Monday, May 26th, 2008

Reviewing the book “Shaping Things“, written by Bruce Sterling, John… more

From the tree to the labyrinth

Friday, April 11th, 2008

umberto eco di tullio pericoli

In the 100 pages of first chapter of Umberto Eco new book From the tree to the labyrinth (Dall’albero al labirinto. Studi storici sul segno e l’interpretazione, Bompiani, nov 2007), Eco writes about semiotic dictionary and encyclopaedia and discusses – trough diagram and charts – the problem of definition and classification. I found it very thought-provoking and it remember me the Nietzsche quote that I tell to my students when I want to point out they have to incorporate indeterminacy when working as designers:

Modalità semiosiche

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Icona, Indice e Simbolo non sono solo “tre tipi di segni”. Sono innanzitutto tre modalità semiosiche. La semiosi, il passaggio dall’Oggetto Dinamico alla Rappresentazione segnica, e da qui all’Interpretante, è un processo (ad esempio di trasformazione, di traduzione, di correlazione e di stabilizzazione delle correlazioni, ecc.) e tale processo è appunto caratterizzato da tre modalità:

Density: a brief definition

Friday, January 11th, 2008

After four years, the time is ripe to reveal the… more

IASDR07 Paper

Sunday, December 16th, 2007


During the last thirty years the level of interest in Complexity Science has been constantly increasing. Combining the opportunity offered by the findings of the Complexity Science with the framework of the multi-disciplinary debate on the meaning and use of diagrams, we propose a design methodology to help designers support their interventions in complex environments.

IID – Institute of Design – Design Research Conference

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Who should attend? The ID Design Research Conference will be… more

Language Complexity

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

The Indo-European Family of Languages, originally uploaded by densitydesign.

This diagram from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language has a delightful family tree of Indo-European languages, but it does not explain the complexity of the language evolution and his hystory.

The Science of Information Visualization: A Sketch

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

According to one definition1, engineering is making things based on… more

Similarity between characteristics of a complex adaptive system and a wicked problem

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Jeff Conklin nicely summarises wicked problems as follows: You don’t… more