About Unification and Systemisation

Rambling Mansion and the Well-built Shack

On the grounds of an ancient, dilapidated mansion is a beautiful, well-built tool shack. Critics of the estate cry for the abandonment of the mansion in deference to the shack, recreating the mansion in the image of the shack, or expansion of the shack to house humans.

This project attempts to rebuild the mansion of design theory in the image of the shack. It uses perceptual psychology to organise design practices, theories and ideas developed over the centuries.

In ancient structures, attempts to "improve" the structures often are negative. Normally this is because of the ordering scheme's inability to capture the original beauty and extent of the house. The results are spectacular moments, blank walls at the ends of corridors, detours through the bulk of the house to pass through a single wall and the like.

This project recognises that previous attempts at consolidating design theory have failed; they have failed at inclusivity, extensibility. They have ignored the needs and sensibilities of those they were to serve.

Theorists staking out intellectual territory mark the ground with walls of highly specialised, even obfuscated, vocabulary. They build mazes in their lairs, beautiful creations which trap their victims in the ecstasy of the particular knowledge available from the theorist. The victim is trapped until they transcend that maze and enter the next.

This project recognises the beauty of the games and the mazes. It asks the user to play one game in a maze that surrounds every other maze in the building.

Design students are getting lost. Designers are lost or getting lost. The mazes, the lopped-off halls, the general disorder, the complexity of the whole, while beautiful in their way, cause suffering among the people they purport to serve.

This project transcends the mazes, maps the rooms, and finds a new pattern in and for the mansion. Though we say we have used the cottage to order the mansion, it is more true to say that the cottage was recognised in the mansion, and the mansion in the cottage, that this project is the recreation of both.

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Document Name: intro.aboutusdt.shack.htm
Copyright (c) 1997 -- Mike Fletcher
Reproduction for other than personal use prohibited without express written permission from the author.