What is the difference between design technique and technique to design?
So much of what we do is generated by a technique to design. We focus on how-to. Our education is focused, for example, on how-to construct a representative perspective. Or we are instructed how-to make an axonometric projection on our paper.
This how-to approach has migrated to the digital realm. Our computer generated images are a direct extension of a how-to mentality.
The computer emulates the drawing construction process that we made on our paper before the computer. The computer makes the representational drawing for us. Out of the box, the computer drawing software makes representational, opaque drawings. Kind of amazing, when you think about it.
Here we have incredibly powerful computational power that can be harnessed and shaped to nearly unimaginable results. And yet the default operational mode of the digital imagining software is representational. Without thinking.
While it sounds stupid to say that the computer makes representational drawings without thinking, it is true. Or is currently true. At least until computers start to think, which I guess they already have.
Representational drawing is a technique. The computer emulates that technique. And it has generated other representational techniques, such as three dimensional printing.
The computer has only strengthened the representational mindset. Most of what designers do with computer visualization is representational imagery.
Rather than the continual development of techniques along the current trajectory, we should look at it the other way round. If we focus on a specific design effect, we might develop sufficient questions so as to develop new non representational techniques, protocols and tools that are in service to new ambitions.
In this manner, we will design techniques as part of the normal design effort.
For more background on this theme, see the page titled CONTENT IS THE NEW CONTEXT, in which the context and method used for our creative solutions is just as important as the solution.