College of Art, Faculty of Design, Industrial Design Major |
2020 Degree Show – Topic Commentary | Prof. Choi Ik-seo
Design without Designing
In 2020, this year, we are going through a difficult period of unprecedented global pandemonium due to the COVID-19. The background of this phenomenon should be accompanied by self-awareness and voluntary awakening to the problem of stylized human behavior. It is said that ‘無持無礙’, Tao(道) has nothing to depend on, and there is no mate(無持). In other words, it is understood as a categorical proposition(定言命題) that there is no artificial dependence and observance, and therefore there is no constraint. In addition, ’知止無極’, there is a condition of ‘至極境地’, in which one must know how to stop in order not to fall into the trap of the extreme. It is a warning message that if too much controversy(是非) is obscured, the Tao(道) will break down(危道), and as a result, desire(慾望) will arise, and injustice(不正) will prevail, leading to alienation(疏外). This means that we must do our best with wisdom and effort to maintain a dynamic equilibrium between human virtues(德) and natural Chi energy(氣) in order for the harmony between artificiality and nature, that is, the Tao(道) of ‘epigyny of existence and non-existence (有無相生)’ to work properly.
Looking back from our design genetic point of view, based on our comprehension about the subtleties of the laws of things governing the movement and change of reality (實), existence (有), objects (物), environments (器), phenomena (象), and resources (氣), as a poetics of chaosmos about the universe, that is, time (時間) and space (空間) connecting synchronic(共時, ‘宇’) and diachronic(通時, ‘宙’) and human beings. Great Master Wonhyo (元曉) recognized it as a conceptual combination of human consciousness (體), behavior (用), place (相), and three sides in one (一體三面) and it was referred to as total interaction(總相作用) in ‘Treatise on Awakening Faith in Mahayana(大乘起信論)’, and Master Yulgok (栗谷) also advocated the theory of ‘理氣一元論(incl. the concept of ‘movement in silence’) mentioned in a book called ‘Tai Chi Explanatory Diagram (太極圖說)’, which interprets noumenon(理) and phenomenon(氣) as complementary codes, and the identity of phenomenon(氣) as yin and yang (陰陽).
Full observation(流觀) | Observing heaven and earth(仰觀俯察)
Full observation to understand astronomy (天文) and geography 지리(地理),
Aesthetic contemplation (審美觀照)
What would be the spirit of the times of human civilization pursued by the fourth industrial revolution?
As a material, technical, and organizationally higher state of development, civilization led by users (Modisumer or Artsumer), IoT-based smart environment, and the cultivation of ‘Device-agnostic in an adaptive environment’ through automation and hyper-connected networks - optimized reactions and reactions through analysis and utilization of big data - and, above all, the development pattern divided into the field of ‘area of cognitive information communication’ and ‘area of physically constructed artificial environment’ that have been formalized since Bauhaus in the past industrialization era, predict the emergence of new environmental experiences of objects (物件: dismantling the boundary between things (事物,spatiality) and events (事件,temporality) or concurrent engineering confluence) and humans as a ‘prediction of event’ in the terrain where information and communication intelligence and instrumental artificial intelligence naturally match as we enter the 21st century. As a dilemma of integrating the geometry and the movement of the last 20th century, the geometry and abstractness of cubism, movement and dynamics of futurism, and the process of ‘empathy (感情移入)’ in which the red blood (逆動性) of life flows seen in De Stijl’s ‘Painterly Reconciliation of Space and Time’ or Robert Fisher’s ‘Conversation between Environment and Soul’ are also interpreted as a phase of realization as a 21st century version.
On the other hand, as Edward Said, who intuited the limits of Western rationalism in the last century and insisted on complementary problem solving and negotiation in the East and the West as an alternative to overcome the problem of ecological and environmental incongruity caused by the globalization centered on Western civilization pointed out in his ‘Orientalism’, it is believed that the transition of power from the East to the West in the past Renaissance period is now being recreated again. In particular, we hope for the cosmopolitan contribution of post-Orientalism by endless searching for a balance of friction through the principle recognition of ‘Change and Contradiction’, which is a dialectical characteristic of Eastern thought, and a moderate value for a sustainable symbiotic ecosystem such as ‘Relationship or Holism’.
Time & Space(時空) | Time connects things(律歷融通)
Cosmological change (宇宙化) of dynamics(逆動性) in which the sound rhythm and
the calculus are interconnected without getting stuck
(Spatialization of time, temporalizing of space)
De-sign isn’t dealing with the shape of things or spaces outside of me. Ultimately, things don’t exist. It is the accumulation form(集積態) of Chi (氣) and it is the absence of ego(無我), which has no reality (我) with self-identity. So it makes no sense to design ‘things’ of the absence of ego(無我). Design is a series of actions that ultimately accompany my thoughts. So, the design of my own thoughts is, eventually, the ‘design of perception(認識)’ that I perceive the world. It is no less than our long-standing perception that design is to weave the logic of heaven(理) into the skin(皮肉) of the earth(氣).
Nature becomes useful when ‘without doing(無爲) ‘ is added to ‘what-is-so-of-itself’ and ‘emptiness(虛)’. The essential meaning of a thing lies in the ‘potentiality(可能態)’ that can become something, not the thing itself that will soon face deterioration. The design is not the physical(形而下) foreground(前景), and the foreground(前景) is explained by the metaphysical(形而上) background(後景). The value(格) of the design is determined by the content of the background(後景). The aim(志向) of ‘design without designing’ …’design without ‘doing’ does not mean ‘actionlessness’. The freedom from avarice(無慾) that governs avarice(慾) leads to the use(用) of ‘without doing(無爲)’. It’s a matter of balance and the difference between a well painted drawing(effectiveness) and a good drawing(affective tone).
The 21st century is a ‘self-consciousness era,’ which can be said to be an inner expansion period of reason, emotion and human qualities in which nothing is suppressed. The ethical imagination of the stylization of human behavior makes life a matter of style. In addition, as an existential makeup tool of aesthetic human, culture means the domination of art over life, and as an aesthetic of existence, political and economic criticism on social polarization and resolving human alienation, borrowing of appropriate technology, sustainable development, human environment mechanism to restructure functionalism, innovation centered on the process of mediating new experiences, and creation of emergent protocols, etc., as a community based practical Entwurf(企投)
Profound meaning(意境) | Meaning outside the shape(境生象外)
Profound meaning(意境) comes from thought-in-mind(意象), and furthermore,
through shape(形象), it reaches ‘predictive inner shape(叡智的 內面의 形相, endon
eidos)’ and finally makes sense.
‘The profound meaning lies beyond the shape’