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Which clippings match 'Analogy' keyword pg.1 of 1
29 FEBRUARY 2016

Tomás Saraceno: Galaxies Forming along Filaments, Like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider’s Web (2008)

"In his dramatic installation Galaxies Forming along Filaments, Like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider's Web (2008) Tomas Saraceno applied another analogy inspired by that finding: the comparison between our 'spongy' universe and a complex spider web in which groups of stars and other matter are strung like shining beads of water along invisible strands. Saraceno, a former architect known for following in the tradition of other maverick designers who have developed provocatively inventive projects with the goal of changing human behaviour and living conditions – such as Buckminster Fuller, Archigram and the Ant Farm group – also has a knack for presenting his conceptual projects in ways that capture the imagination."

(Kristin M. Jones, 2008, Frieze)

Jones, K. M. (2008). "Tomas Saraceno" Frieze(116).

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TAGS

2008 • airborne biosphere • alternate ways of living • analogyAnt Farm (architecture)Archigramart installationbiosphereblack and whiteBuckminster Fuller • capture the imagination • changing human behaviour • cloud formations • complex networks • conceptual projects • droplet • filament • Frieze (magazine) • galaxies forming • galaxy • inflatable biosphere • inventive projects • invisible strands • large scale workliving conditionsmaterials science • maverick designer • morphology of soap bubbles • network modelnetwork morphology • neural networks • provocatively inventive • shining beads • soap bubbles • speculative models • spider web • sponge • spongy universe • stars • Tomas Saraceno • visual representations of mathematical conceptswaterweb of connectionswhite box

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 APRIL 2014

Designing the Star User Interface: Familiar User's Conceptual Model

"A user's conceptual model is the set of concepts a person gradually acquires to explain the behavior of a system, whether it be a computer system, a physical system, or a hypothetical system. It is the model developed in the mind of the user that enables that person to understand and interact with the system. The first task for a system designer is to decide what model is preferable for users of the system. This extremely important step is often neglected or done poorly. The Star designers devoted several work–years at the outset of the project discussing and evolving what we considered an appropriate model for an office information system: the metaphor of a physical office.

The designer of a computer system can choose to pursue familiar analogies and metaphors or to introduce entirely new functions requiring new approaches. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. We decided to create electronic counterparts to the physical objects in an office: paper, folders, file cabinets, mail boxes, and so on–an electronic metaphor for the office. We hoped this would make the electronic 'world' seem more familiar, less alien, and require less training. (Our initial experiences with users have confirmed this.) We further decided to make the electronic analogues be concrete objects. Documents would be more than file names on a disk; they would also be represented by pictures on the display screen. They would be selected by pointing to them with the mouse and clicking one of the buttons. Once selected, they would be moved, copied, or deleted by pushing the appropriate key. Moving a document became the electronic equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it. To file a document, you would move it to a picture of a file drawer, just as you take a physical piece of paper to a physical file cabinet.

The reason that the user's conceptual model should be decided first when designing a system is that the approach adopted changes the functionality of the system. An example is electronic mail. Most electronic–mail systems draw a distinction between messages and files to be sent to other people. Typically, one program sends messages and a different program handles file transfers, each with its own interface. But we observed that offices make no such distinction. Everything arrives through the mail, from one–page memos to books and reports, from intraoffice mail to international mail. Therefore, this became part of Star's physical–office metaphor. Star users mail documents of any size, from one page to many pages. Messages are short documents, just as in the real world. User actions are the same whether the recipients are in the next office or in another country.

A physical metaphor can simplify and clarify a system. In addition to eliminating the artificial distinctions of traditional computers, it can eliminate commands by taking advantage of more general concepts. For example, since moving a document on the screen is the equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it, there is no 'send mail' command. You simply move it to a picture of an out–basket. Nor is there a 'receive mail' command. New mail appears in the in–basket as it is received. When new mail is waiting, an envelope appears in the picture of the in–basket (see figure 1). This is a simple, familiar, nontechnical approach to computer mail. And it's easy once the physical–office metaphor is adopted!

While we want an analogy with the physical world for familiarity, we don't want to limit ourselves to its capabilities. One of the raisons d'être for Star is that physical objects do not provide people with enough power to manage the increasing complexity of the 'information age.' For example, we can take advantage of the computer's ability to search rapidly by providing a search function for its electronic file drawers, thus helping to solve the long–standing problem of lost files."

(David Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem, 1982)

David Canfield Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem (1982). "Designing the Star User Interface: The Star user interface adheres rigorously to a small set of principles designed to make the system seem friendly by simplifying the human–machine interface." Reprinted from Byte, issue 4/1982, pp. 242–282.

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TAGS

1982 • alien environment • analogy • Bill Verplank • black and white • Byte (magazine) • Charles Irby • common metaphorscomputer history • computer system • conceptual model • concrete objects • David Smith • desktop metaphor • digital analogues • display screen • electronic mail • electronic metaphor • electronic world • Eric Harslem • familiar analogies • familiarityfiles and foldersfiling cabinetfolderGUIinformation ageinterface metaphor • international mail • intraoffice mail • mailbox • memo • office environment • office metaphorold-world equivalents • operational behaviour • physical metaphor • physical world • Ralph Kimball • resemblanceskeuomorphismvisual analogyvisual metaphorWYSIWYG • Xerox Corporation • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)Xerox PARCXerox Star PC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 DECEMBER 2003

Natural History: Mimesis

"But something very important transpires at the level of relationships. For natural history conceives of the relationships between animals in two ways: series and structure. In the case of a series, I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc.; all of these terms conform in varying degrees to a single, eminent term, perfection, or quality as the principle behind the series. This is exactly what the theologians used to call an analogy of proportion. In the case of a structure, I say a is to b as c is to d; and each of these relationships realizes after its fashion the perfection under consideration: gills are to breathing under water as lungs are to breathing air; or the heart is to gills as the absence of a heart is to tracheas [in insects] ... This is an analogy of pro–portionality. In the first case, I have resemblances that differ from one another in a single series, and between series. In the second case, I have differences that resemble each other within a single structure, and between structures. The first form of analogy passes for the most sensible and popu–lar, and requires imagination; but the kind of imagination it requires is a studious one that has to take branchings in the series into account, fill in apparent ruptures, ward off false resemblances and graduate the true ones, and take both progressions and regressions or degraduations into account. The second form of analogy is considered royal because it requires instead all the resources of understanding (entendement), in order to define equiv–alent relations by discovering, on the one hand, the independent variables that can be combined to form a structure and, on the other hand, the corre–lates that entail one another within each structure. As different as they are, the two themes of series and structure have always coexisted in natural his–tory; in appearance contradictory, in practice they have reached a more or less stable compromise. l In the same way, the two figures of analogy coex–isted in the minds of the theologians in various equilibriums. This is because in both cases Nature is conceived as an enormous mimesis: either in the form of a chain of beings perpetually imitating one another, progressively and regressively, and tending toward the divine higher term they all imitate by graduated resemblance, as the model for and principle behind the series; or in the form of a mirror Imitation with nothing left to imitate because it itself is the model everything else imitates, this time by ordered difference. (This mimetic or mimological vision is what made the idea of an evolution–production possible at that moment.)"
(Deleuze and Guattari, p.234–35)

Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari 2002. 'A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia', London, UK: Continuum.

1). Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari: Chapter 10. 1730: Becoming–Intense, Becoming–Animal, Becoming–Imperceptible

TAGS

analogydegradation • entende • equilibriumimitationmimesis • mimological • mirrornatural historynature • ordered • progressionregressionrelationship • resemble • structuretheologianverisimilitude
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