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id cdc2008_235
authors Laiserin, Jerry
year 2008
title Digital Environments for Early Design: Form-Making versus Form-Finding
source First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)? - 18-19 April 2008, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge (USA), pp. 235-242
summary Design ideas, like scientific theories, are falsifiable hypotheses subject to testing and experimentation and—if need be—replacement by newer ideas or theories. Design ideas also are known through distributed cognition, in which a mental construct and an external representation complement each other. Representations may be categorized along the axes 2D-3D and Analog-Digital, plus a proposed third axis from Form-Making to Form-Finding. In Form-Making, the mental construct component (of distributed cognition) arises before the representation. In Form-Finding, representation arises before the mental construct. All media of representation have different affordances. Certain media and representations afford Form-Making more so than Form-Finding; and vice versa. Design educators, students and practitioners will benefit from conscious, systematic choice of media and methods that afford an appropriate range of Form-Making and Form-Finding behavior when proposing and testing design ideas.
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