Reading chapter, Grudin points out roads as being one

Reading Response: Chapter 3    I agree with Robert Grudin and his assessment of the 13 principles outlined the third chapter. He states that although these are good guidelines, they all do not always apply to a design (29). As humanity advances technologically, we stray further from the natural into the man-made. In the first page of the chapter, Grudin points out roads as being one of many designs which were platforms on which humanity built itself upon (27). The modern road is said to have been invented by a John McAdam (Longfellow). However, roads are known to have been designed by Mesopotamians in the ancient cities of Ur and Babylon approximately 6,000 years ago (Longfellow). They were a part of past human development and continue to be a part of human development. Roads have become so integrated into nature that it is hard to go very far without running into one. They “converse with contingent technologies” every day—cars. They allow humanity to travel more rapidly than we were once able to. Anyone who has driven a car on a road knows the kind of freedom which they bestow upon the user. They are simple and easy to use. The more time and planning put into their design, the safer they are. When well constructed, there is less need for repair. Roads connect the average human to work and school. They connect us from one nation to the next. Without these man-made creations, it would be difficult to advance ourselves as a society.        While I agree with Grudin’s 13 principles, it could be said that “truth” of a design is dependent upon its target market. In the paragraph where Grudin compared Microsoft Word to WordPerfect X3, he makes a good point when he says that truth is often drowned out by “mass market cannonry”(31). In contrast, there are such programs which have been driven by the needs of their market which have led to better designs and content. For example, the design of Paint Tool SAI was made by a Japanese software development company called Systemax (SYSTEMAX). For a one-time payment of 5400 yen, or roughly 50 dollars, you can have the license for the program directly downloaded onto your computer. It is an excellent program for digital artwork. However, it is not nearly as powerful as Adobe products. Adobe Photoshop is extremely more powerful and has many more options for a digital artist. Adobe products are better for the professional artists rather than the hobby digital artist who is better off using Paint Tool SAI.       The biggest technological advancement which has greatly affected humanity and society within the past 30-40 years has been the creation and development of computers and cellular devices. With these devices comes instant access to the internet, which holds a vast amount of the knowledge of mankind. It is a “road” which connects us not only to each other but also to other places around the world. Connection to the internet is what allows us access to programs, information, and people. Access to different subjects allows for better design, as we have more opportunity to gain inspiration and knowledge of different techniques. Just as roads were not built overnight, the internet itself was not designed by a single person in a single day. This is what makes it all the more special, as we all can have a hand in its future development. We might not be building pathways from one physical location to the next, but we have the capacity to design the construction of connections between each other. Our ability to produce design and content has increased significantly over the past few decades due to the increased capabilities our minds have functioning in tandem with computers. The mind of man working simultaneously with the man-made; the natural machine with the mechanical machine. References Grudin, Robert. Design And Truth. Yale University Press, 2010.Longfellow, Rickie. “Highway History.” U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, 27 June 2017, www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/back0506.cfm.SYSTEMAX Software Development, www.systemax.jp/en/.