ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

All articles are not meant to be significant; at times it can be refreshing to deal with trivia. To touch trivia and to build something out of it really can be intriguing, challenging the intellect with a nice little tricky nudge, and the result is this ‘elements of design’. Honestly, right at this juncture I do not know what I am talking about.

1Designs in real life are omnipresent everywhere, almost like the surreal God always telling us to conceptualize some synergy with life around. Like this God, Design is also present everywhere in different forms. In perceptible terms some can rightfully infer that this ‘Design’ itself is ‘God’, as it is in design the act of God is most visibly manifested.

2

3Can the life of a human being be a design-or even the expressions of a society be just a design of more complex dimensions? Well, certainly yes, even in apparent absence of any ulterior motif, design just goes on playing its own game with its own set of rules. Are we then just puppets tied with strings all over? Maybe, but if so, then the phrase ‘no strings attached’ becomes mathematically a non viable concept. So, guys, think twice before embarking on a blissful ‘no strings attached’ life. Oh no, I also had that delightful phase in my life, when I truly believed that I was the boss of all the actions and reactions in my life, the concept was never the less transformed to the ‘strings attached’ phase in later stages of life!

4

5Being in Santiniketan, it is impossible to go for some discussion on industrial or elite fashion design, though one can perhaps become a bit serious about architecture or interior design. I would however prefer to focus on nature exclusively because it is in abundant supply in and around Santiniketan.

6

7Of all things, in all maneuvers in Nature, fair amount of Mathematics (for simplification one may call it Geometry) is involved. The problem for us is that often that mathematics is not very well defined, except perhaps at the molecular level in Physics and Chemistry. Nano science is effectively a design exercise to realign the forces of nature as per convenience. Over an one hour talk over telephone which led to postponement of dinner at both ends, Sukumar Roy (our ex-student & DGM,R&D,BHEL) explained to me with his customary philosophical fillers that nano materials are highly toxic to human bodies as those materials has been created by opposing the very design pattern followed by nature. In Nano tech we essentislly redesign a material layer by later or molecule by molecule opposing the laws of nature, making the material highly inconsistent with rules of nature leading to a high level of toxicity. In effect then design can also be a parameter to decide the toxicity of a material! Subsequently what actually happened that Sukumar’s one hour conversation over telephone with me was abruptly cut off probably because from each end our wives refused to tolerate any more nonsense around dinner time and we had to adhere to ‘the standards of designs set by our wives in our family life’. I hope, Sukumar is reading this article, and will not refute my observation! So, you see, design is prevalent everywhere in life, there is just no escape from it!

8

9To be a perfect man essentially means a huge amount of balance in all his activities. To be a perfect artist it would mean a perfectly balanced aesthetic sense, where all philosophies of life can converge to find an expression. The nature, for instance remains perfectly balanced, all the individual forces converge to form apparently singular expressions in perfect consonance with everything else. This ‘consonance’ in essence is the spirit on which design is build up, things last- if not for ever, then for a sufficiently expressive period to serve the purpose of the design.

10

11Now, I think either I am talking crap, or becoming too philosophical, or I am just plain not too sure about what to articulate! This is certainly a difficult article according to its treatment of the subject. If it was a research article, or just even a school project paper, plenty of references could have been cited. But perhaps there is a ‘design’ behind all this!

In practical terms any aberration from ‘design’ is generally called an expression of art. Forms which are repetitive, and which can be reproduced are not considered to be a work of ‘art’; and falls under the category of ‘design or craft’ as per art appreciation language. I have a huge antipathy to this concept; because if that is so everything under the sun would become a work of craft (as per designing norms) as formations in nature tends to build on tiny blocks of initial designs by plenty of repetitions. Even the human beings are built block by block from its genetic codes. So according to the art appreciation logic the human beings themselves would actually become works of craft, some kind of repetitive formation on cells following a certain pattern of design! In fact the whole nature might just be a design then, according to art appreciation language, and not exactly a great work of art by the creator!

So, separating art form design, or vice-versa, can be a tough task for human intellect.

12

13Human intellect- yes, now we are in an undefined and mostly uncharted territory. The summary of human intellect today however leads us nowhere.Once societies were nicely patterned (or say designed) according to religion, later Marxism patterned society on economical bases. Today in spite of all the glory of freedom Capitalism is just a mathematical pattern to maximize profit. Really? I would rather term Capitalism as a mathematical tool of maximizing production at lowest cost. Though debate is welcome on this, maybe both phrases are the same statement in different forms; but I still feel both are not same as in spirit as ‘there is no light’ and ‘it is dark everywhere’ means two different aspect of realization to me. Maybe the economist in our fold could share a lot more light on this!

But, the relevant point for us is, whether it is Religion, Marxism or Capitalism, they just reflect the power of design on our society and conscience. And in spite of intellect, and interpretation of art, it seems it is the ‘design’ which rules the supreme.

14

15I, at times wonder at the great preoccupation of the intellect of Santiniketan in earlier years to express in forms of design. The amount of joy expressed in such activities, some of which are still cherished in Santiniketan as heritage legacy, was probably a realization of alignment with nature around Santiniketan. Just this sense of alignment resulted in development of the unique Santiniketan-i style of expressions which we all cherish to date. Interestingly, it is this ‘design’ which kind of coalesced the early society of Santiniketan, in the style front as well as in the intellectually synergistic plane where everyone could share his expressions. So, design in Santiniketan, is a very important aspect to study in details.

16

17It is a wonder how I have gone through all these sentences of this article, phrase by phrase, all in a single stint, in a stoic Saturday afternoon of March. Santiniketan can be quite an interesting place to instigate such ideas. In spite of Santiniketan and the hovering presence of Rabindranath Tagore, I still do not know how to appreciate designs which spontaneously erupt all around me. Shall we take designs to be the manifestation of dear Almighty? Or shall we try to explore ‘Nirvana’, i.e. the formless summit in the philosophical plane? Or shall we try to dwell on the idea of ‘Zero’ by the mathematicians to negate all designs? As a corollary, can ‘zero’ be a mathematical design in itself, when mathematics after all acknowledges design? Then science (Phy, Chem or Bio) never deals with non-existence or zero or whatever that is; and being a student of science shall I try to decipher ‘design’ as the ultimate expression of creation?

Well, it is now for you folks to ponder!

20

 

This entry was posted in Art & Craft, campus & community, Science & Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Comments

  1. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Sanghamitra Ray Mita:- asadharon kaj.

    Ravi Dwivedi :-wonderful article, a new perspective…let me digest and understand to put (if any) ‘comment’ !!!

    Shubhashis Mitra Ravi Dwivedi- Great, if I am able to make the subject little hard to digest even for an artist, that would be an achievement for me! Ha,Ha….

    Swapankumar Chakraborty:- nice one

    Aşık Mene:- challenging the intellect with a nice little tricky nudge…

    Ashish Goswami ……..Fantastic ……

    Maneesh Kumar suppppperb

  2. Shubhashis Mitra says:

    Now the scientist or rather the technocrat speaks:-
    Sukumar Roy:-

    Sukul da, nice article. Admire your writing skills. Yes, we had an involved discussion – already had my dinner then – look forward to have more discussions in leisure….
    Design is not just the way it looks like, neither the geometry alone – design is how it works ! Design is possibly shaped by the pattern of ‘flow’. Trees, leafs, lightening..follow the same pattern, since there is a flow. A potential exists in this flow. There is also flow and hence a similar potential in all living beings. Inflation of our universe (expanding universe that started with a singularity) also accounts this flow. In the planet Earth, nature is shaped by its flow. Gravity controls the design and accounts the typical shapes of beings in a given DNA. Gravity also influences the change of our physical shape with time. Gravity is largely responsible for our well being & our illness. Definitely, we would have been taller in 0.5G or shorter in 2G and so on & so for all living beings…however it is amazing to witness our complex physical structure evolved from a single cell within a reasonably a few millions of years of human evolution. All designs have been evolved following ‘survival of the fittest’…u, others & me are the most survived DNA today…that’s the only tall claim of our existence !!!

    And all 1/4th of scientist, artist, philosopher and other trivia now quips in
    Shubhashis Mitra:-

    Sukumar, yes, regarding the flow in nature I was quite intrigued by the fractal design patterns, usually related with flow in nature-the wikipedia link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal
    Nivedita Basu, a design expert based in USA, Ex Kalabhavana propagated the idea of fractal design to me, as a corollary (of all things) the arrangement of Palash flowers! I was really surprised to get to know of a mathematical design pattern behind all this. Amazing!

    And the artist speaks
    Sudhi Ranjan Mukherjee
    -Shubhashis Mitra je bhabe prokritir modhye alponar sambhabonagulo tule dhorechen……khub e proshongsoniyo. Kichudin aage pray ei bhabna theke kichu chabi tulechilam. Amader Purbosurira Nature er modhye straight lines o curve lines protyokkho korechen ebong sei bhabna theke tnader chabi ebong design ba alpona nana bhabe egiye gachey ( Paul cezanne er “mount saint Victoire” ba “Bathing Girls” , Piet Mondrian er chabir horizontal o vertical lines, Nandalal Basur “Dolonchampa”…….sab cheye mojar katha ei je Shilpa shristir tagide shilpi prokriti theke khnuje nei tar moner moto rasad gulo.

    And the molecular biologist
    Barsanjit Mazumder
    :-The perfection Natures design starts in the mother’s womb, while each of our organ develops with a stunning perfection.It does follow a mathematical pattern with a perfect algorithm that dictates where to grow and where to stop, with 100% coordination within the system.

    Again the layman
    Shubhashis Mitra
    :-But Barsanjit Mazumder- the common man believes that human beings are not really a matter of design only, but an work of love, emotion and art—-that is where artists try to make a difference between what is design and what is art, a hard stand by the artists. Artists like to emphasize that art and design are two different things, the difference emerging out of the ‘expression’ factor- then what about the way nature expresses, I presume nature to be a living entity too. The issue perhaps is whether an expression is a conscious expression, or just an unconscious reaction. Perhaps the conscious reaction is art, where as the unconscious reaction is design. But is nature really unconscious?

    Barsanjit Mazumder Yes those depends on the perfect design of human brain and how the neuron fires and communicate between each other with the neurotransmitters. Yes feelings are also dependent on the design of each part of your brain.

    Shubhashis Mitra:- Barsanjit, now, making the feelings dependent on mathematical algorithm of neurons wont be liked by the artist clan and others for sure!

    The Technocrat Again
    Sukumar Ro
    y Nature is 100% conscious. In our conscious mind, as if, we have choices either to accept it or reject it; however there is no such choices available in our unconscious mind – it works in one way only; we are the prisoners of our unconscious mind. The fact is, the choices in our conscious mind is already been decided in our unconscious mind well before the physical event. In a way, we do not have any free will; we simply respond as per the pattern of our biological programming. This is why our destiny is 200% true !!!

    The Common Man
    Shubhashis Mitra Sukumar Roy & Barsanjit Mazumder-the hard core scientists amongst us- Well, Sukumar now the terrain gets a bit complicated if you assert that Nature is a conscious entity, which evolves in a conscious manner. Usually consciousness is attributed to the ability to perceive, or lets say usually consciousness is attributed to a thinking mind. In case of Nature the thinking mind might be termed as the laws of science; but laws of science is only a study of the after effect of the conscious move to evolve. Significantly all ancient philosophers, including Rabindranath Tagore in modern times believed that the whole creation is a conscious effort by some imaginary super entity, or whatever that is. In Science we hear more about the ‘Chance’ factor; scientist generally say everything depends on ‘Chance’. How do you explain this ‘Conscious Nature’ in context to the ‘Chance Factor’. Things are getting really deep now…..if you say that Nature is a conscious entity, the next scientific query would be how/why it is conscious.

    The Technocrat (or Philosopher?) Dealing With Nanotechnology Again
    Sukumar Roy
    :- Sukul da, pl see GCP (The Global Consciousness Project), I have been following. GCP is in a voyage to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. The project conducted experiments over the years at a number of laboratories, demonstrating that human consciousness interacts with random event generators (REGs), apparently “causing” them to produce non-random patterns. Experiments showed a clear jump in data points whenever there were major emotional breakouts, surprisingly in real time, like, terrorist attacks, war, other conflicts etc. that the human emotions influences the surrounding nature and the globe. This field of more of parapsychology, I personally feel, we need to understand both in scientific and spiritual levels.
    Even today, with so much of knowledge, recent discovery of God particle Higgs Boson, more we try to solve the mystery, more questions appear. It is believed that someone, as if, pulled down the lever of the universe for creating subatomic particles then to large masses from energy. The prevailing cosmological model of Big bang theory stated the universe to continue to decrease in density and fall in temperature, hence the typical energy of each particle was decreasing, otherwise creations of stars, galaxies won’t be possible. With numerous statistical possibilities in such infinite dense & temperature state, only specific event happened, this makes more mysterious…Some astrophysicists even started claiming the whole universe is conscious ! We would discuss more…

    The Layman
    Shubhashis Mitra
    :-Sukumar, this opens a huge space for science & philosophy to interact. I often wonder, if everything around is a ‘Chance’ event including life; then how come there is so much order/planning into it adhering to so many ordered laws of science. Technically “Chance’ should not be an ordered concept, we usually believe that anything can happen when a wild chance is grabbed, how then this tremendous ordered/designed state evolves from a pure ‘chance’ is a wonder to me. Apparently ‘nature’ appears to be a conscious entity to me too. Its great to feel that Science and Scientists are now on a plane to interlink analysis with philosophy. Importantly for us all these merges well with the concept of universe comprehended by Rabindranath Tagore. A fantastic area to deliberate on…

Leave a Reply