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Nature inspired design seminar, Birmingham

University, 26 May 2005

Tim Ball, Senior Lecturer, Industrial


Design, Coventry School of Art & Design,
Coventry University
The design of nature and
the nature of design
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
JONATHAN SWIFT
People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It's not
about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the
guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines
technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to
produce something that the world didn't know it was missing.
PAOLA ANTONELLI
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Designers are curious people….
Ask stupid questions – growth is fuelled by desire and innocence.
Assess the the answer, not the question. Imagine learning
throughout your life at the rate of an infant.
BRUCE MAU
An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
….beauty and brutishness do not annihilate one
another like two pieces of anti-matter, but rather
taunt and excite one another – …they are ecologically
inseparable
SANDFORD KWINTER; RICE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Design is nothing if not a biological process and a
precarious social activity. Indeed, design is a profound
engagement with everything that goes on around us
that remains ugly, wet and free.
SANDFORD KWINTER
Dare to be naive.
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER
One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.
SIR ALEXANDER FLEMING
Chance favours the prepared mind.
LOUIS PASTEUR
Designers are not highly paid cake decorators.
SPENCER MURRELL
Design is in everything we make, but it's also between
those things. It's a mix of craft, science, storytelling,
propaganda, and philosophy.

ERIK ADIGARD
To say that something is designed means it has
intentions that go beyond its function. Otherwise it's
just planning.
AYSE BIRSEL
The machine replaced human labour and now human
brain-power. But I think technology's next step will be
to work for the spirit, the heart.
SOTORI MIYAGI
The design process, at its best, integrates the
aspirations of art, science, and culture.
JEFF SMITH
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it
attached to the rest of the world.
JOHN MUIR
Process is more important than outcome. When the
outcome drives the process we will only ever go to
where we’ve already been. If process drives the
outcome we may not know where we’re going,
but we will know we want to be there.
BRUCE MAU
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen
and thinking what nobody has thought.

ALBERT von SZENT-GYORGY


Let Nature be your teacher.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
As biological organisms made of matter, we are
subject to the laws of physics and biology: as conscious
persons who create our own history we are free to
decide what that history shall be. Without science, we
should have no notion of equality; without art, no
notion of liberty.
W.H. AUDEN
“…..design occupies a unique space between art and
science. Designers must be sensitive to what is
technically possible and what is humanly desirable”.
TERENCE CONRAN; TERENCE CONRAN ON DESIGN
Part of the purpose of every product is to give pleasure
and that…… is one of the designer’s key contributions.
KEN GRANGE; PENTAGRAM 1983
The future is already here – it’s just not uniformly
distributed

WILLIAM GIBSON
Insight is the thing that will help you see where you
need to go; knowledge is the fuel that ignites insight;
information and data are the stepping stones that
enable you to walk towards knowledge

MARTIN RAYMOND; THE TOMORROW PEOPLE


….designing for people who aren’t you…….
Let’s make things better!
We ought to spend more time "wondering" than
"doubting whether“. Wondering is the key to progress.
GERALD HORTON BATH
...it's very easy to be different, but very difficult to be
better.

JONATHAN IVE
Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic.

ARTHUR C. CLARKE
I roamed the countryside searching for answers to
things I did not understand.
LEONARDO DA VINCI
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to
myself I seem to have been only like a boy, playing on
the seashore, and diverting myself, in now and then
finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than
ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all
undiscovered before me.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON
You never know what’s going to arrive in design. You
have to extrapolate from the materials where they
want to go.

ROSS LOVEGROVE
What is elegance? It is probably a combination of
shape, colour, beauty, gentleness, expression and
function.
JAN KAPLICKY; FUTURE SYSTEMS
Creativity is not device dependent. Forget technology
think with your mind.
BRUCE MAU
Simplicity of device is always the sign of the master,
whether in science or in art.
RICHARD C. MACLAURIN
Thank you

t.ball@coventry.ac.uk

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