Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

On Analysis and Synthesis in Design

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Here’s Vinay Venkatraman (interaction designer and teacher at CIID) talking about the processes of analysis and synthesis, and how both are pivotal, complimentary skills in the designer’s set.

This ties in rather nicely to my earlier post on models of the design process (see my first post on this blog). The second model discusses abstraction from concretes and then the concretization of those abstractions back into designs that solve real needs – and provides an interesting elaboration of the process Vinay is speaking of here. 

Incidentally, I have stopped writing this post three quarters of an hour back, and have been reading ‘The Sign of the Four’ here, where I first read (more than 10 years ago?) Arthur Conan Doyle getting Sherlock Holmes to expound on the skills of analysis and synthesis, in his own special domain 🙂 

“In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practice it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. Most people, if you describe a train of events to them, will tell you what the results would be. They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass. There are a few people, however, who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result. This power is what I mean when I talk of reasoning backward, or analytically.”

Wow! That was in 1890! 

Its a cold night, much like the one in the novel when Holmes and Watson embark on their landmark adventure …brrr! Time for some dark chocolate now, and some more reading!


Written by Ashwin Rajan

November 25, 2008 at 11:03 pm

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