So this is going to be my crazy post of the semester. But this is honestly how this paper made sense to me when I read it. Also this gives me an opportunity to talk about movies, since I love them so much!
So back story, I think Inception is a movie about movie making. I will explain it a little later, but I highly recommend you reading this blog, since they explain it better than me. What you may be asking is why the hell am I making a comparison between Inception and Aesthetics? It’s because, I believe the way Inception shows how the dream world is made, is how Folkmann expects us to use aesthetics to design.
Since we talked about writing structure today, here is mine:
1. Inception is about movie making
2. The similarities to Folkmann and Aesthetics.
3. Why it matters to us Designers
Inception is about movie making
I know the movie is about dreams within dreams and what not, but think of a dream as a movie. Think of yourself as Fischer (someone being brought into the dream world or watching a movie). When you are watching a movie (hopefully a good movie), you live in it. You suspend your disbelief and enjoy the experience. Whether it is a movie about Aliens, zombies or having sex in the city a second time. It’s when you step back out into the real world when you start really thinking about how bizarre the world you just witnessed was. They mention this in the movie “Well, dreams, they feel real while we’re in them right? Its only when we wake up then we realize that something was actually strange.” Why am I talking about this? Because I think in this movie, there are several moments when you see a design process in action (when they are planning about the dream worlds). More importantly you see them take a user (Fischer) and navigate the built experiences. Their designs fail, they improvise, they work with what Fischer brings with him (his experiences represented as his subconscious). So just keep this metaphor in mind as I try to explain Folkmann through the inception is a movie lens.
The similarities to Folkmann and Aesthetics!
For me, Folkmanns big claim was that Aesthetics is more than color and physical form. “…aesthetics is not just a question of appearance but also of epistemology and of organizing our relation to the world “. The point being, we can use aesthetics in design to create more meaningful experiences.
Now we have argued about the previous readings and how they have ignored the users. It was all about the Designers and the way they design and their design thinking. But in this paper, Folkmann says:
“design is not the expression of a lone artist but rather the result of complex commercial and societal process”
This to me is not only talking about the different stakeholders but what they bring with them as part of their experience. That is what I think he means by societal process. The values, meanings and judgements that are passed on to us through the society.
In Inception, the subject’s subconscious is essentially the values, meanings and judgements. In the second dream phase (the hotel) we even see the user interacting with his subconscious. The designers (Leonardo and the crew) did not design the subconscious, they had no idea how his subconscious was going to react. The user brought it into the design, and his own feelings defined how the rest of the experience was going to be. All the designers did was plant a seed or in our language plant an idea using aesthetics. The designers set up an environment (much like a museum), and gave an initial direction, the user himself started filling in the rest of the gaps and defined his own understanding and reality.
3. Why it matters to us designers
I don’t want to repeat what Jeff said, but I kind of have to. I think this paper defines Aesthetics as a tool. A tool to really look at everything with a critical eye. Kind of what Marty says in IDP. What does the world look like from that corner? how about the other corner? I also love this paper because it recognizes people as more than just action and reaction and talks about the importance of culture and their background.
What do you guys think? Does my Inception Analogy make sense? Why do you think this paper is important?