Ceri Hann

Is life a puzzle? Is technology a puzzle? What questions need to remain unanswered?
While tomorrow remains in question, designers still have a future to be designing for…?
Designing puzzles maybe one solution to the problem of understanding problems both individually and collectively. This studio will investigate many of the philosophical puzzles that relate to design through the activity based design of puzzles which in turn model the increasingly complex conditions of contemporary society.

Design problems often share a similar issue… the paradox of how to keep enough distance to perceive the bigger picture while getting ever closer to the detail. We are part of the system that we are looking at… and like the difficulty of taking a vacation from yourself… no matter how far you travel, there you will be. A tangible object such as a puzzle can provide a focal point for the abstract thinking required to locate us in the design process. This studio will use the design of puzzles as a way to cut the big picture down to size. It will build toward the design and fabrication of puzzles and related toys and games. It will do this by way of collaborative activities that explore us as pieces in a dynamic social puzzle. Rather than stepping out of the picture, the research will step us into the details of how we are all interconnected through technology. The studio will move through various types of puzzle design toward self-directed group/individually-researched areas of interest. The material outcomes will consist of object-based maps of our investigations in the form of puzzles. The process will also provide research techniques for the non-linear exploration of information databases and library resources by developing instructions for using them as puzzles. The exploration of form and materiality through puzzle fabrication will result in both models for contemplating complex ideas and a tangible assessable measure of your progress toward a customised design methodology.