Uncreative Design

Prashast Thapan

Reading Responses / junkspacejunkspacejunkspacejunkspace

  • A designed version of the article // The form of the article is accumulative, complementing the concept. It starts out explaining a simple idea; then the word junkspace keeps on repeating and the ideas get broader and more complex as we read further. Is that noticeable in the undesigned version on udf13.cvalla.com? Also, with all this repetition, do you think that by the end the article itself becomes junkspace?
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJNCeSFMvNI /// “The spatial form of the city reveals a patchwork of varying left over pieces alongside a set of artfully designed compositions” Can everything that is part of a structure be carefully designed? Especially at a large scale such as a city? If not, then junkspace is inevitable… the question is are we really utopian enough to transform these spaces for the future or will we continue to construct junkspaces?

Living in junkspace?

  • If junkspace is sucking us into a surreal environment where we are distracted from time, weather and “life outside the bubble,” is it really that bad (airport example)? After all, airports are a temporary experience… what are we, as designers, asking from architects?


Reading Responses / Ecstacy of Influence

Are ideas bulletproof or do they need protection these days?

Are ideas born bulletproof or are they made bulletproof with copyright protection?

If the name of the game is “Give All”, do we draw a line in terms of attribution?

“An ad cannot be a gift. It is never for the person it is directed at… A gift economy may be superior when it comes to maintaining a group’s commitment to certain extra-market values.” What is it that we value about the ideas in the gift economy?

Why does Lethem find Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to be something beneath our standards of dignity? (In the context of Market economy vs. Gift economy)

Reading Responses / Creating a world with a collection

1. “It’s not about collecting. I don’t like to be a victim of my obsessions that way. It’s more about working with groups of things, their arrangement, how they react.” Is a collection analogous to a small-scale world which has behaviors and interactions? Wherein objects have empathic conversations with each other?

2. “I like to work in the language that I talk, to think in the language that I see.” Do the things we collect shape our design language? Or do we collect things to shape our design language a certain way?

3. “The objects I collect have to be metal so that I can lift them cleanly with a magnet.” Elliman says that collection is about control in some way. But sometimes collections occur because of chance, like receiving social media notifications. How do we understand the collections that are out of our control?

Reading Responses / How to do Words with Things

Q. In the context of Uncreative Design – rather than technology as a whole – who is:

1. the problem-solving archaeologist,

2. the loophole-exploiting colleague

3. and the punctual conceirge?

4. What about the Prussian Locksmith?

Q. Keeping the metaphor of the key, how much control do we truly have over our world? Over the internet?

Q. How can the idea of “default” fit in with what we know as “individuality” or “voice”?

Assigments / Default Expressions


brows lowered
lips pressed firmly
eyes bulging





upper lip is raised
nose bridge is wrinkled
cheeks raised





brows raised
eyes open
mouth opens slightly





raising and lowering of mouth corners





lowering of mouth corners
raise inner portion of brows





brows arch
eyes open wide to expose more white
jaw drops slightly





Based on Paul Eckman’s idea of the “6 Universal Facial Expressions.” Using my face as a default that I was born with.

Uncategorized / NOSTALGIC SOUNDS


Uncategorized / Questions 10/9

Barthes’ argument implies that the author cannot be present to defend his/her work, therefore his/her intentions are inconsequential and the viewer’s experience is what creates meaning. What then is the role of plaques at museums?

“The meaning of his [Alfred Hitchcock’s] work is not in the story but in the storytelling.” We learn in MAKING MEANING to travel “bottom-up” – starting from a concept or idea, followed by analysis and discussion and then fleshing out the form. Do we lose the value of intuitive making through this process? Do we lose a sense of wonder and otherworldliness of design? Does analysis and interpretation tie design down to the real world, rather than have it keep its sense of wonder and mystery?

Design, unlike “art”, cannot be misunderstood. How can the designer’s voice then come into play?

Theory is essentially what validates art/design/literature etc. We cannot get rid of it, but what sort of modes of discussion can be adopted to keep the interpretation less narrow? A eloquent description of form, perhaps?

Uncategorized / Questions

1. http://gettinginsidejackkerouacshead.blogspot.com/ There’s a difference between mindful retyping and mindless plagiarism. What can we learn from each?

2. Goldsmith talks about texts that are not meant to be read, but thought about. What does this mean in the context of interpretation: an act that changes the text? While reading allows us to experience the text as it is, a text that is to be thought about forces us to interpret “what it really means.” Is this kind of thinking healthy in a world where no art is validated without theorists interpreting it? We rarely appreciate form as it is, it’s all about uncovering the content, as if knowing that will make the art “real”.

“This ain’t art, my two-year old could make this.”

3. The idea of “documentation as art” unfolds the story of a person’s life. With the blogosphere and social media entering the art world, how much skill will an artist need to create? Does it truly require a critical understanding of the idea in order to create “documentation art”? Can anyone do it?

4. The process of parsing and selection is used by everyone to write. Through the internet, we cite, copy, paraphrase and edit pre-existing content. This affects the way we consume media: jumping from one thing to the other. How could this evolve in the future?

Reading Responses, Response Week 2 / Questions

How we are influenced by something indicates its authority on us. What is the authority of the spaces that we navigate to find ideas (internet, museums etc.)? Do we consciously acknowledge these spaces?


How does the loss of voice in LeWitt-esque instructional models affect the draftsman psychologically? Would the draftsman move closer to becoming the artist if s/he repeatedly articulated the artist’s concept through method?


How do we value things in virtual space?  How is sitting on a couch and being on the internet looking at something through a screen versus being in a physical space and looking at something different? Is the internet generally viewed as a “cheaper” place than the physical world?

Reading Responses, Response Week 2 / Questions… by Prashast Thapan (1)


1. In the context of the design world today, is uncreative design an acceptance or rejection of technology?



2. The act of choosing and reframing says a lot about us based on what we choose and how we repurpose, and of course, the question of why we did it in the first place. Is this process of working any different from painting where more direct gestures are used to create a “more original” form?



3. Can we find examples of self-aware uncreative design don’t need to be taken with a grain of salt? Does something become innately exaggerated or humorous due to the process of uncreative design?