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12 NOVEMBER 2014

Metaphors as Problem-solving Aids

"Metaphors facilitate the understanding of an unfamiliar situation in terms of a known situation (Ortony, 1991). By means of metaphors, it is possible to make reference to what is clearly understood in order to elucidate the unknown. Basically, metaphors constitute an uncommon juxtaposition of the familiar and the unusual. They induce the discovery of innovative associations that broaden the human capacity for interpretation (Lakoff, 1987, 1993). For that reason, metaphors are seen as valuable aids in problem–solving tasks.

The relevance of metaphors to problem–solving is pertinent to three fundamental steps (Gentner, Bowdle, Wolff, & Boronat, 2001). The first step consists of extracting a variety of unfamiliar concepts from remote domains, where possible relationships with the problem at hand are not always evident. The second step involves establishing a mapping of deep or high–level relationships between the metaphorical concept and the problem. Correspondences are identified by means of abstractions and generalizations. Relationships of secondary importance are discarded, and only structural correspondences between the metaphorical source and the problem are set up. The last step deals with transferring and applying structural correspondences associated with the metaphorical source to the problem at hand, which at the end generally leads to a novel solution."

(Hernan Pablo Casakin, 2007)

Hernan Pablo Casakin (2007). "Metaphors in Design Problem Solving: Implications for Creativity." International Journal of Design 1(2).



abstraction and generalisationaid to understanding • analogous correspondence • Andrew Ortony • Brian Bowdle • Consuelo Boronat • Dedre Gentner • George Lakoff • innovative associations • International Journal of Design • metaphorical concept • metaphorical representation • metaphorical source • novel solution • Phillip Wolff • problem abstraction • problem at hand • problem-solving • problem-solving aids • remote domains • structural correspondences • theory buildingthinking tools • uncommon juxtaposition • unfamiliar concepts • unifying metaphorunifying strategyvisual punvisual rhetoric


Simon Perkins
10 DECEMBER 2012

Inspiring retail spaces: Camper and Aesop

"When it comes to retail concepts, few brands create spaces as diverse and conceptual as Camper and Aesop. Both brands, though fundamentally different in their origins and sales offerings, showcase a strong affinity to design. Design plays an instrumental role in the consumer experience of their brand. Choosing design innovation as a life style that applies not only to their product allows them to push the envelope for unique solutions with every new store they open. In addition it is to note that Aesop often uses recycled materials or packaging elements creatively in new context. What makes it special is the fact that they team with independent designers (often locals reflecting best on local context) in creating shop concepts, ensuring each is totally unique in its setting in opposition to the trend of global uniformity."


Fig.1 Aesop, Brisbane, Australia.
Fig.2 Camper, Granada.




Aesop (brand) • affinity to design • brand • brand communication • Camper (brand) • create spaces • design innovationdesign interiorseffective brand space • global uniformity • independent designers • inspirationalinterior designlifestyle • local context • local designers • packaging elements • physical consumer spacephysical environmentphysical retail spacephysical spacerecycled materialsretail conceptsretail spaceretail store • sales offerings • shop conceptsunifying metaphorunifying strategy • unique solutions • visual dramavisual merchandising


Simon Perkins
23 OCTOBER 2008

The Logic of Hypermediacy

"Unlike a perspective painting or three–dimensional computer graphic, this windowed interface does not attempt to unify the space around any one point of view. Instead, each text window defines its own verbal, each graphic window its own visual, point of view. Windows may change scale quickly and radically, expanding to fill the screen or shrinking to the size of an icon. And unlike the painting or computer graphic, the desktop interface does not erase itself. The multiplicity of windows and the heterogeneity of their contents mean that the user is repeatedly brought back into contact with the interface, which she learns to read just as she would read any hypertext. She oscillates between manipulating the windows and examining their contents, just as she oscillates between looking at a hypertext as a texture of links and looking through the links to the textual units as language.

With each return to the interface, the user confronts the fact that the windowed computer is simultaneously automatic and interactive. We have argued that the automatic character of photography contributes to the photograph's feeling of immediacy, but with the windowed computer, the situation is more complicated. Its interface is automatic in the sense that it consists of layers of programming that are executed with each click of the mouse. Its interface is interactive in the sense that these layers of programming always return control to the user, who then initiates another automated action. Although the programmer is not visible in the interface, the user as a subject is constantly present, clicking on buttons, choosing menu items, and dragging icons and windows. While the apparent autonomy of the machine can contribute to the transparency of the technology, the buttons and menus that provide user interaction can be seen as getting in the way of the transparency. If software designers now characterize the two–dimensional desktop interface as unnatural, they really mean that it is too obviously mediated. They prefer to imagine an 'interfaceless' computer offering some brand of virtual reality. Nevertheless, the possibilities of the windowed style have probably not been fully explored and elaborated.

One reason that this style has not been exhausted is that it functions as a cultural counterbalance to the desire for immediacy in digital technology. As a counterbalance hypermediacy is more complicated and various. In digital technology, as often in the earlier history of Western representation, hypermediacy expresses itself as multiplicity. If the logic of immediacy leads one either to erase or to render automatic the act of representation, the logic of hypermediacy acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogeneous space, in which representation is conceived of not as a window on to the world, but rather as 'windowed' itself –with windows that open on to other representations or other media. The logic of hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and in this way tries to reproduce the rich sensorium of human experience. On the other hand, hypermediacy can operate even in a single and apparently unified medium, particularly when the illusion of realistic representation is somehow stretched or altogether ruptured. For example, perspective paintings or computer graphics are often hypermediated, particularly when they offer fantastic scenes that the viewer is not expected to accept as real or even possible. Hypermediacy can also manifest itself in the creation of multimedia spaces in the physical world, such as theme parks or video arcades."

(David Bolter and Richard Grusin, 33–34.pp, 2000)

David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000). Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation. "Remediation: Understanding New Media", The MIT Press.



bringing into relationcomputer graphicscomputer interfaceDavid Bolter • desktop interface • digital technologyframed by the window • graphic window • heterogeneity of contents • heterogeneous space • human experiencehypermediacyhypermediated spacehypertextilluminated manuscriptillusionistic spaceimmediacy • interfaceless interface • James Joycejuxtaposed imagesjuxtapositionlayered meaninglayeringlayers of data • layers of programming • logic of hypermediacy • looking at a hypertext • looking through links • manipulating the windows • mediated environments • multimedia spaces • multiplicities • multiplicity of windows • painting as illusionperceptual organisation • perspective painting • perspective viewphotographyphysical worldpictorial systemsrealistic representationrepresentational modesrepresentational strategiesrepresentational systemsRichard Grusinrupture • sensorium of human experience • signs of mediation • simultaneously automatic and interactive • technology as neutraltechnology transparency • textual units as language • texture of links • theme park • three-dimensional computer graphics • transparencytransparency of meaning • two-dimensional desktop interface • unified medium • unified visual space • unified wholeunifying metaphorvideo arcadevirtual realityvisual languagevisual literacyvisual representation • visual space • visual traditions • whole is other than the sum of the partswindow on to the world • windowed computer • windowed content • windowed interface


Simon Perkins

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