Lopate’s brief article regarding the essay-film resonated with the idea of remediation – what we’ve come to define as the modern and techno-centric notion of intertexuality. As Jeff described, the article itself serves two purposes: the first is to describe, in moderate detail, the five “ingredients” to a good essay. The second, and perhaps more potent argument, is the claim that essay-like thinking can be done through visual or other forms of media, provided it subscribes to the five “ingredients” across the medium. This remediation of the essay format into other mediums provides a different arena of conversation, namely the argumentation of a particular topic through a multimedia interface. To some degree, I struggle to understand how any design we create isn’t automatically considered a “text” or an “essay”. Just by its very existence, a design is a critique of the ones that came before it. Inherently, every new design is an argument, although its potency is certainly up for question. Is every design a “critical” design?

On a slightly separate tangent, I’m interested in unpacking the following quote:

“Often the essay follows a helically descending path, working
through preliminary supposition to reach a more difficult
core of honesty.”

To me, this not only resounds with the “rigorous honesty” idea we’ve become all too familiar with, but references the concepts of “funnel” and “core” as well in terms of a “helically descending path”. To me, this sounds like design thinking – this process of “funneling down” to a “more difficult core of honesty”. In turn, this might offer support to the idea that the design process is inherently an “essay”. It uses the same type of structure to generate a new composition that critiques those that come before it. I apologize for any incoherent rambling I’ve engaged in thus far, but what’s left of my mind is currently dripping out of my ears. In short, I think there’s an argument (as touched upon by Stephanie) for the “design as an essay”, from the numerous similarities we’ve seen between the construction of an essay (especially according to Lopate) and the design of a user experience.

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