Analogical thought is fundamental to creativity. The use of analogy
can help to solve problems, make connections between disciplines,
and use those relations to form original solutions. In Analogy and
Design, Andrea Ponsi considers the role of analogical thought in
architectural design. Almost all work on design and architecture is
the result of analogical thinking, with respect to systems derived
from nature, technical and scientific models, artistic experiences,
and above all past models of architecture or objects. Ponsi
considers the history of architecture through a series of examples
that demonstrate the value of analogy as both creative technique
and didactic tool. As an architect and product designer, Ponsi
himself operates on a set of principles he terms ""analogous
design""?a theory he developed that involves breaking down images
into abstract elements, analyzing them, and then conceptually
reassembling them in another form as a sort of parallel
composition. In Analogy and Design, he looks at the principal
models designers have utilized as their reference from the
beginning to our own day: primary analogies, that is to say the
human body, nature, and the abstract universe of signs;
disciplinary analogies, taken from already existing examples of
architecture and design; and analogies from outside the field, such
as from music, literature, and the visual arts. The components are
very different, but they maintain a similar relationship to each
other. This methodology, Ponsi maintains, can be applied to
compositions of a wide variety of types, including buildings,
landscapes, household products, furniture, music, and literature.
Merging scientific and academic research?so often limited to a
specialized audience?Analogy and Design lays down the principles of
analogous design, enabling a student or practitioner to ""see""
works and materials in a new way.
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