Reading Response #1 (Sample)
to Artful Design • Chapter 1: “Design Is ______”

Joseph Moreno | 2019.9.30
Music 256A / CS476a, Stanford University Fall 2019


Reading Response: Form Vs. Function

From this week's reading, I'd like to respond to Artful Design Principle 1.6, which states:
    Principle 1.6: “Design is an interplay between form and function

For my response I’d like to address principle 1.6 “Design is an interplay between form and function” I enjoyed this because to me conceptually form and function are very distinct but as soon as I began to examine their relationship I realize in practice they are intimately intertwined. In the thought experiment of a purely utilitarian world of generic storage buildings makes it immediately clear that these buildings would not function as well if at all. For instance what is a how well can a library work if people cannot identify it as a library. It function is a function of it appearance in as much as it can draw people into use it. “Function is general whereas form has to do with the specific ways design actually expresses its purpose to the user.” This definition makes its very clear to me why the are so interrelated. It because the function of things does not exist with users or humans to use them. In this the form is what communicates how and what to do with something. I love the examples of the different object inputs especially the ones whose functions as button type inputs are similar ( the button, the piano, and the strange piano). To me this is such a clear example because while the cold have all achieved the same ends through a simple button implementation the way in which they are implemented (the means ) immediately encourage and communicate a way to use them. The simple button evokes a binary single action input while the piano encourages more dexterous multi finger input and the layout of the strange piano encourages a cord of circular creativity.



Design Etude: Taking Notice


Thing #1: GoPro Hero

The go pro Hero is an early generation go pro. I think the entire go pro brand relies on the simple elegance of this tiny camera. It has only to buttons and a durable unremovable case. I believe this encourages immediate use as really the only allowances are ON/OFF then FILMING/NOT FILMING. And the durableness encourages the user to take risks with it. The hero lacks a screen so I think in that way it serves only as a means to an end as it can only recorder but cannot be viewed.



Thing #2: GoPro Hero4

I happened to have access to a second gopro this weekend the newer Hero4. This was very interesting to me in the context of the reading as they are both machines that prioritize function but the Hero4 has made a few iterative changes that adding to its form. Namely an external screen, a third button, and a removable case. In this way I think it is better able to communicate its function both through the screen and the new button. And the removable case invites new uses for the camera outside of the sort of outdoors adventure genre perhaps prototyping new uses. I found using this one was much more an end in itself as I watched the footage and was happy with it and had no immediate urge to upload and view it.



Thing #3:Vive Controller

The etc vive VR controller is an interesting device. I think as it is a relatively nascent technology the balance between pragmatism and aesthetics is delicate. It only just works correctly in the past few years yet it must also feel comfortable in users living rooms. I think for the reason they went with a form that is evocative of a wand/gun. I believe this hugely influences how the device is used. It’s good for me to think about because as function improves it will also allow for new form So the really do Influence eachother.



Design Etude: Guerrilla Design

align="justify" I made an admittedly very utilitarian “selfie stick” type base for a gopro in order to film a time-lapse tracking shot from my car. I am trying to record the changing color of the leaves so as a hint to its purpose I made a small gradient of zip ties representing the changing colors. I added them because I thought it would look nice but now I also realize it will prevent my stand from getting thrown away by mistake and potentially can even be used to secure the go pro.





ChucK Program
Here it is: SinOsc s => dac; .15 => s.gain; 0.0 => float t; while( true ) { // modulate 30 + ( Math.sin(t) + 1.0 ) * 10000.0 => s.sfreq; t + .004 => t; // advance time 1::ms => now } example.ck




Bonus Footage from the GoPro