Glenn Parsons's The Philosophy of Design PDF

By Glenn Parsons

ISBN-10: 0745663885

ISBN-13: 9780745663883

The Philosophy of Design is an advent to the elemental philosophical concerns raised through the modern perform of layout. the 1st booklet to systematically research layout from the point of view of latest philosophy, it bargains a vast viewpoint, ranging throughout key philosophical parts akin to aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics.

The first a part of the ebook explores relevant matters concerning the nature of layout and its items, and the rationality of layout tools. A significant subject matter is that Modernist rules, reminiscent of these provided via bogs and Gropius, supply very important responses to those philosophical matters. within the moment a part of the booklet, those Modernist rules function touchstones within the exploration of key concerns for layout, together with: where of aesthetics in layout; design?s relation to private expression; the that means of functionality; and design?s relation to consumerism. The social accountability of designers, and the impression of layout perform on moral reasoning also are discussed.

Written in an available type, The Philosophy of Design provides a brand new point of view on layout and a provocative reassessment of the Modernist legacy. it's going to interact scholars and architects with present philosophical debates, aiding them to carry into clearer concentration the that means of up to date layout, and its designated demanding situations and possibilities.

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Sample text

This is because, he says, such buildings are “site-specific,” or designed to be situated in a very particular geographical location. “If buildings are site-specific,” Davies writes, “they must be singular, unless sites themselves can be designed and constructed” (2003, 158). Is Davies's argument persuasive? We first need to determine what “site-specific” means. This might mean that the building plan is tailored precisely to certain constraints of the local site: for example, the building shape might be tailored to fit the unusual slope of the site, or to withstand the local climate, or to match the style of surrounding structures.

Design is, in his view, “the primary underlying matrix of life,” and includes not only the production of machines, buildings and so on, but even mundane actions such as cleaning your desk drawer and baking a pie. In a similar vein, Henry Petroski says, “Designed things are the means by which we achieve desired ends” (Petroski 2006, 48). This definition includes even natural things that are appropriated by humans, with little or no modification, for use in pursuing some aim. A shell used to scoop water for drinking, for example, counts as a designed object by Petroski's lights.

It is certainly true that some designs are made with the intention that they be realized in particular materials, as in the flower example Bamford describes. In other cases, the designer may have no particular material in mind; any bit of steel will do to make a Holden Commodore, as long as it meets the appropriate functional requirements. However, intentions are not decisive here. Commenting on the case of art, Stephen Davies observes that “no dramatist, simply by willing it, could make his play a singular work if it were scripted in the orthodox way” (2003, 159).

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The Philosophy of Design by Glenn Parsons


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