“The story of Brueghel [Pieter] the Younger and Mark Rothko is told to illustrate the better use of our keen eyes, to try see more than the untrained person. Not quite a demonstration of our ability to imagine, we take the work of our two gifted men to illuminate: B sees a thousand things at a go, whereas R chooses to reflect on a tiny part of what he sees best, a ‘thing’ defined by colour alone. I propose, if we take the possibility further and perhaps with more seriousness, there is, I say, a Rothko can be seen in many a Brueghel, and a Brueghel inside of nearly all Rothkos [a microscopic device or a trained eye with an illuminated mind comes in handy at this point]. All it really takes is employing a technique I would call ‘zooming in, or out’, a concept beautifully captured on film by Charles [and Ray] Eames, in his 9- minute documentary Powers of Ten.

This concept has been shared with colleagues who find themselves stuck with an image or a design. For want of making it more infinitely possible, we propose that solving design problems might engage this method. Framing an image to convey a certain message, or drawing on a specific part of our buildings at the right scale would be akin, spiritually speaking, to “powers of ten”, an application of the concept of b and r.

See also other thoughts and pilosophical ramblings on designmatters



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