When conventional procedures are no longer the rule for application: design as a discipline opens up to new possibilities

EBENREUTER, Natalie (2009). When conventional procedures are no longer the rule for application: design as a discipline opens up to new possibilities. In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16-19 July 2008.


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This paper discusses the development of the prototype application ‘LabanAssist’. It looks at the design rationale used for the creation of what is fundamentally a system for recording dance knowledge on a score, as identifiable and replicable signs and symbols. A system made necessary because the conventions of other established disciplines, such as engineering and computer science practices, were no longer considered to be effective alone, in facilitating the production of well-designed cultural artefacts (Calvert, Fox, Ryman, & Wilke, 2005; Ebenreuter, 2005). It is important to ask how can we understand design as a discipline amongst other fields of study with longstanding conventions and traditions and if the discipline of design offers effective ways of thinking about the creation and art of making products or services for the enhancement of the human experience? Is design a discipline because it adheres to existing and established rules of interdisciplinary knowledge from which it draws, or is it a discipline in its own right that as a significant field of intellectual development utilizes interdisciplinary knowledge as a basis for creativity and invention?” While there is no simple answer to these questions, the design approach adopted for the development of the prototype application ‘LabanAssist’ offers a working example in which the central theme of grammar, or more particularly the rules of a language, depart from the conventional use for its practical application. This application is one in which a literal understanding of grammar is no longer seen as an adequate basis for the generation of dance knowledge expressed via symbolic writing systems. Instead, this research focuses on the way in which the figurative aspects of language can be represented in the design of an interface to orient user thinking and facilitate the generation of diverse movement compositions.

Labanotation; Grammar; Literal; Figurative; Tropes; Poetic Constructs; Broad Terms; Interface.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (-)
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:21
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/467

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