Survey of Design








Week 10 Lecture: Design and Desire

Survey of Design

What do people want?

– sensual pleasure

– ease (when it comes to most things)

Characterization of a sexual experience.

If you actually get the thing that you desire then you don’t desire it anymore. The satiation of desire, on one hand is a feeling of accomplishment, on the other hand the desire is now gone.

The id, the subconscious, cannot learn. It wants what it wants and you cannot reason with the id and say that it does or doesn’t want something. Freud – transference, the ego, is reason. Negotiates between the id and the superego. Offers the “but…” that people need, and navigates between what is socially acceptable and what isn’t.

People want to be wanted and want to be desired which is the driving force behind so many of our choices.

In design we are always being promised:

  • to be like something via its acquisition
  • to gain sex or power through acquisition
  • that the wanting itself is to be desired

Anthropomorphic design – to imbue an object with human qualities or to allow a consumer to possess non human characteristics via association.

Janine Antoni – Gnaw. 1992. Three part installation.





Burke Museum

Survey of Design



How easy was the space to navigate?

Burke – The Burke was fairly wasy to navigate but it didn’t make a lot of sense. The entry on the first floor was pretty large and needlessly so. I think that the entry could be made a little smaller and the exhibits that were in the lobby could be placed somethere else in the museum it was odd to see exhibits as soon as I walked into the building.

Henry –

What were the primary design challenges of the space?

Burke – I think that the primary design challenge for the space would be that it’s old and a lack of substancial financing has prevented teh museum from undergoing any large renovations for quite some time. It’s also to stories tall and the stairs to the basement are located of the lobby. If the staris were actually inside teh gallery I think it would feel more cohesive and less disjointed, even though they are two very different exhibits. The basement exhibit definitely pooses some design challenges because of its low ceilings and large support beams. I also tought that there were too many things on display wich isn’ offering any sort of affordance to one exhibit or another. Eveythings is thrown together and nothing seems overly importnant.

Henry –

What did the design have to do with the clientele?

Burke – There was a class of elementary children present the day that we visited and I think that speaks to the clientele. otehr than our class and teh employees there weren’t any adults touring the museum. I think that there was a lot done at the museum to cater to children and that’s fine but there wasnt enought o keep adults engaged at all. The murals painted on walls in the upstairs exhibits were pretty breathtaking. They were really the only thing that was particularly interesting to me.

Henry –

How well did the map work with the space?

Burke – The map and brochure didn’t offer too much information at all. The Burke museum is sort of like the land that time forgot. I was however able to find the coffee shop because of the map which was located directly next to the basement exhibit.

What would you do with a a hand help map /brochure to better the experience?

I’d just make an app that incorporated a map. An app could be a great, paperless, guided tour through the museum with information on exhibits and displays.

Henry –

What was the aesthetic experienc?

Burke – It was pretty bad. There’s everything going on without any ryme or reason or cohesion. There are mixed typefaces, purple type on purple signs, signs with no information… the list goes on. The basement was the worst, there’s just too much going on and slmost no signage. i could find my way in and I could find my way out, but while I was there i didn’t learn anything or even want to. It was incredibly unengaging.

Henry –

How did the two Museums address, Font and typography, color, lighting, density of deisplays, layout?

Burke – Like I said before, there was mixed type everywhere and too much of it in some places and not enough of it in others. the top floor had too much type and it was bad and the basement didn’t have enough. tehre were really big exhibits without any information at all.

Henry –