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Why irrational will affect design identity: the relationship between artwork and the public reaction - Literature review Example

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The creative process has long been associated with irrationality, or “madness” to use an old-fashioned term. In previous ages this has been conceived of romantically, as the inspiration of a supernatural dimension on an ordinary mortal, or as the curse of some evil inheritance, enhanced by drink, drugs or mental illness. …
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Why irrational will affect design identity: the relationship between artwork and the public reaction
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Why irrational will affect design identity: the relationship between artwork and the public reaction

Download file to see previous pages... The qualities that people have traditionally valued in art and design are “inconsistencies, spontaneity and upredictability in behaviour” (Throsby, 1994, p. 4) all of which are not rational qualities. In the postmodern world of the twenty first century there is more tolerance of the irrational as a current of understanding which runs parallel to the dominant logical positivist view of the world. This report explores the way that irrationality can affect design identity. Its focus is not so much on the designer, but on the public, since nowadays the meaning of an object or work of art is understood as being jointly constructed by the creator and by the viewer. This is an interesting field to explore because it may help to explain some of the curious reactions which can occur in relation to modern art and design. Some objects are elevated to the level of a cult while others languish unappreciated in a corner, and there appears to be no rational explanation for the difference in popularity. In design, much use is made of concepts from the field of psychology because issues of perception, affect and reaction have to do with the way the brain processes information, and then prompts a mix of emotional and rational reactions that individuals have to any design. According to Cialdini (2004, p. 71) there are six basic tendencies of human behaviour which come into play when a positive response to a media stimulus occurs, namely reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authority and scarcity. Most of these tendencies rely on explicit and rational connections with areas of human experience that the viewer is already well acquainted with, for example consistency, social validation and authority imply an existing standard or convention which is widely accepted and consciously acknowledged by the viewer. Reciprocation and liking create a bond between the viewer and the object, and in these cases there are emotional elements that are not fully conscious. The dimension of scarcity is interesting, because it is not so much an attribute of the object itself, but a function of its availability in society. These explanations explain some, but not all of the factors that contribute to an object’s desirability. The dimension of the irrational is buried within these psychological theories. In order to tease out what role irrationality plays in design, both in terms of the original creative process, and in the final object’s reception and appreciation by the public, the present study seeks to explore areas beyond psychology and marketing. It begins with a review of what has been written about the irrational in design, and then focuses on different paradigms from a wide variety of fields, including sociology, business studies and some esoteric areas in order to gain a better understanding of the role of the irrational in the design field. The irrational in design The field of art and design is different from many other areas of modern life because it actively fosters and appreciation of the irrational, while at the same time taking advantage of all the technical advantages that the scientific world provides. The Surrealists, for example, have long been celebrated for the fact that they deliberately avoided, even in their writings, rationalizing their artistic works, (Chipp, 1968, p. 644). The most weird and wonderful points of view and juxtapositions conjure up a different world than the one that people operate in as they go to work and socialise with their friends and family. Art and design communicate with their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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