Week 3 – Reading Assignment Day 1

Week 3 – Reading Response Assignment


The reading assignments for week three touch at the very core of what it measn to design. Excusing the almost direct pun portrayed by that statement in reference to the last reading, Maeda’s “What is Design”, these articles show the entire iceberg of the design industry that is normally hidden under the water with the exposed tip of the marketed product.


One of the most poignant notes on this was expressed in Pelle Ehn and Morton Kyng’s, “Cardboard Computers”. The first example, and the implied source of the titles almost humorous visualization is the idea that you begin with an abstract concept or solution to a stated problem without real speculation on the legitimacy of the realistic application of what you create. The example is given of the cardboard box that was to be a laser printer to cut out some of the redundant actions of a newsroom assembly line. To figure out if this was possible, or more so if this was even a productive solution to the problem being presented, the designers placed this box there to represent the possibility of the solution.

Why I think this was the most important example in the list of readings is because of what happened next: the active roleplaying to simulate the proposed solution. To give the realistic simulation of what the solution should look like, feel like, and what the product should be without the cost and experience of full production is the true value of prototyping and design. In reducing this newsroom’s redundant activity of marking templates and “proofs” back and forth, we show the process that reduces redundancy in the design world.


As a short and concise verbiage for this reality we move to Buxton’s “What Sketches (and Prototypes) are and are not” to see the bullet point list of qualifications to make something a good iteration of the design process. I think the first five get it in a nutshell and the rest are specifications of values of information that could be attributed to each iterative sketch (or Prototype): Quick, Timely,  Inexpensive, Disposable, and Plentiful.

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