An issue that came up while summarising my thesis (More party thoughts float across the unsleeping mind...)

I got asked to summarise my thesis a number of times last night, which is always difficult to do, but is something one has to practice. At one point I said something like this:

Human beings are creatures trying to understand their environment.

which was fine, because the person I was talking with was primarily interested in the issues of aesthetics. The thing is, however, it misses a huge part of the core idea of the thesis. It should have been, instead:

Human beings are creatures trying to cope with their environment.

Because without that, all of the sections on commodite, functionalism, and the rest, would only be dealing with the aesthetic considerations (i.e. the ability to expose greater patterns, "understanding" the world through the revelations of functional anaysis), while their truth includes the entire apparatus of "coping", including the idea of "meeting a given (physical) need".

Anyway, just a little note to myself to be clear when discussing the subject that it is all levels of Laslow's hierarchy that are involved in explaining the phenomena of design.


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