Category archives: Design Theory

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Thesis Ten Years Later

It's been a little over ten years since I finished my thesis.  Tonight, in a bid to get rid of one of the boxes sitting in the living room I went through all the old papers.  It was interesting as a mental process.  Ten years ago I obsessed about how to communicate the ideas ...

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Is "Boredom" Instinctual?

A few days ago one of my colleagues mentioned a scholarly article he'd read the night before.  Researchers were attempting to show a genetic link for thrill-seeking (novelty-seeking) behaviour with some success.  That is, for their definition of "novelty-seeking" they seemed to have discovered a relationship between (IIRC a particular gene) and the behaviour ...

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Redefine postmodernism and it gets more interesting...

Continuing to follow up on what's going on in post-modern theory these days.  Particularly reading Jenck's "The New Paradigm in Architecture", which is basically a review of the bulk of the work in the post-modern movement.

Biggest take-away so far is that I've studied most or all of these people already.  I ...

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The present is 30 years ago (in design theory)

We picked up a book a year ago that I've been intending to read but never seemed to get the time; "Architectural Theory from the Renaissance to the Present" (Taschen, 2006). Today I wound up with some dead time sitting in offices and got a chance to read through part of the chapter on ...

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

In other news, we went to Scotland a few weeks ago. I learned a number of things about Charles Rennie Mackintosh that were a bit surprising for me. For one thing, the thing that attracted me to his work, and I think largely contributes to his popularity is something that he was in the process ...

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Job Descriptions (What do I want to be when I grow up?)


Been thinking a lot about what I want to do career-wise, but I seem to have mis-communicated it as I've been piecing it together. Mostly just a matter of changing ideas and people getting it as I think about it and try to balance it with practical questions of income and lead-times...

Here's ...

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Learning in Perception (Musings...)


Thinking about perceiving (cognitive) machines. It seems that a hybrid model should be applicable for most prosaic tasks. The key benefit of an AI would be a compact, effective structure for learning and abstraction (modelling), it would not necessarily be a good way to code low-level real-world operations. Though it might have advantages, the processing ...

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Big Ideas on Conflict in the Brain (Interesting "areas of the brain" lecture...)


Interesting lecture, touches briefly on the idea of designers (intenders) attempting to set up a conflict in the mind in order to have the user consider the ideas they have not yet been exposed to. General points here and there of interest as well. (Yes, I listen to these lectures as I work).

Patterns of Creation (Missing section of the outline...)


Reading through the original outline for my thesis (that is, the one in 1997) and realizing there's lots of stuff in there that just isn't getting covered in the rewrite. So, today I worked on the "Patterns of Creation" section, this section just discusses the nature of generative and organizing patterns and their ...

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Cortical Algorithm at PyGTA Tonight (Book precis and implementation discussion)


Since I didn't get anyone else standing up with a "deep" topic for tonight, I'm proposing that we look at the cortical algorithm put forward by Hawkins in On Intelligence, and then see if we can hash out how you'd go about creating such a thing in Python (efficiently enough to make ...

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