Monday, February 14, 2005

Ambiguity and Truth in Design

The second edition of Adobe's Proxy 'zine (caution: 4.6MB PDF) has a fascinating look at Leonardo's da Vinci's The Last Supper by Milton Glaser.

After noting the number of ambiguities in the masterpiece, Glaser asks:
Of course, for us the question is, why would the most lucid mind in human history introduce so much ambiguity in a work that intends to affect its viewers? Ambiguity, incidentally, is a military term that means to be attacked from two sides at once. The answer may have to do with the way we process information. The human brain is a problem-solving organ, a characteristic that probably is at the center of our dominance over other species. The brain frequently remains inert until a problem is presented to it. In the case of The Last Supper, the profound ambiguity it contains alerts and stimulates the brain into action. DaVinci clearly believed that ambiguity was a way of arriving at the truth. As a result, the painting moves us in a deeper and more profound way than any direct statement.
He then offers a number of current examples of the way design ambiguity can be employed to "create a puzzle that the audience can solve in a short time." And there's an accompanying video interview with Glaser.

Design is essential to UXCentricity. It's not just about UI or IA.

1 Comments:

Anonymous company web design in Houston said...

Nice post man.I like the content.Thank you

4:36 AM  

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