The Beauty and Lacks of Limitation



The Beauty and Lacks of Limitation was a course about design awareness / composing in boundaries / template distending / breaking inflexible patterns in design and carrying ideas into effect. The course was held at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart in April and was probably magical.

Thinking about your Tool

Your software just carries out instructions (it’s a dialogue between the computer and the code). So don’t forget that you give the instructions, even if the software has a limited language and an almost fixed procedure.

So what: Installing a critical Perspective

The use of your software to express something in a self-reflecting manner shows the recipient a critical examination of your design process, its expression and tool. This might be your goal! If so, check the “distancing effect” (Verfremdungseffekt) of Bertolt Brecht.

Excourse: Distancing Effect of Bertolt Brechts “Epic Acting”

Best friend wikipedia tells us: The distancing effect is achieved by the way the “artist never acts as if there were a fourth wall besides the three surrounding him [...] The audience can no longer have the illusion of being the unseen spectator at an event which is really taking place.” The use of direct audience-address is one way of disrupting stage illusion and generating the distancing effect. In performance, as the performer “observes himself”, his or her objective is “to appear strange and even surprising to the audience. He achieves this by looking strangely at himself and his work.” LINK

To ensure that the recipient doesn’t get lost in the performance of someone or something (think about getting lost in templates, auto forms, tutorials,… of certain software) an “effect of distancing” (Verfremdungseffekt) is helpful to install a criticial distance to the tool itself. This irritation gives you a challenge to draw your own conclusions and form a own, “reflected” opinion.” – Manuel Bürger.

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