Gestalt had a point and still does

Response for October 10, 2012 reading: Gestalt

Wow! These articles really hit a nerve with me. Not in a bad way of course :’) So, a couple of years ago on either 20/20 or 60 Minutes I watched a show that discussed map reading and how well people can read maps. Most people when asked to read a common city map could not do it. Now, this didn’t surprise me because some people just can’t read maps. But what did surprise me was how the people selected to read the map didn’t know the basic directional symbols for north, east, south and west. On top of that, the common symbols for house, hospital, gas station, fire department looked like  Arabic and Russian intertwined. I’m not fussing but after reading the Research, Theory and Methods article it helped me to understand why people struggled with reading the map- they didn’t know basic map reading symbols, and they didn’t understand Gestalt’s principals about proximity, similarity, and closure.

Nonetheless, the solution to this problem is far from hard- people willing to learn how to read a map can start out with learning basic map reading principals, geography and symbols. Next, people instead of using MapQuest, or their GPS system when confused about city directions can pull out their old-school rusty map and work their navigational and spatial skills. Simple  enough? Just imagine … taxi drivers in London take map reading courses to learn the whole city of London before they are certified to drive their taxi. 🙂


My Mid-Term Project: How Much Water (H20) Is Sufficient for Optimal Health? Seriously :’)

Design Question:

How can we as busy human beings drink more water, consistently on daily basis?

Below you will find books,  journal articles and web pages on the research that I have done so far for my Mid-Term Project. I am interested in how humans can drink more water, and how our overall health will improve. This question boggles me because there are so many people that I know that will blatantly say, “I don’t drink water.” And be serious about it, lol.

So, I will research how much water our bodies need, how our bodies function with water biologically, and effects of not drinking sufficient water. This topic will shed light on myths, and enlighten people about the benefits of drinking enough water; not flavored or sparkling water, but pure H20 from the earth.

Kevin Trudeau. What They Don’t Want You to Know.

Water Cures: Drugs Kill: How Water Cured Incurable Diseases. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water. . Fereydoon Batmanghelidj

Porshai C.

Candid Opinion about the TED Speakers

My opinion about the TED speakers, David Kelly, Sir Ken Robinson, and Mae Thompsons’ is simple- they’re brilliant! Besides that these people are beyond humble, courageous, and forthcoming about ways to maximize not only children’s potential, but adults as well. I agree that most people with the exception of a few, lack confidence. Therefore, the lack of confidence results in minimal creativity. In conjunction to this Einstein quoted that “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” In my opinion the most creative people are not just smart, and intuitive, but they are creative because they give themselves permission to be just that.

Furthermore, I agree that the rigorous school work load children are bombarded with does hamper their creativity. Just think, children come home from an eight hour school day, complete roughly 1-2 ½ hours of homework, and maybe participate in extracurricular activities for 1-2 hours, bathe, eat, and hit the hay. How can they carve out any time to be creative, to daydream, to be curious, or to create/invent with their minds when their only realistic free time is when they are in REM sleep? Indeed, the less homework, more creative thinking projects, and tasks will enhance and allow children’s innate creative side to blossom and develop. From this development children will be more confidence, more intelligent, and have a greater sense of purpose in their life just by the mere fact that probably the first time in their life they didn’t take orders from adults or their parents, but that they invented and created something beneficial and special from the greater parts of their being J

Lastly, Mae Thompsons’ speech about art, sciences, intuition, and logic is long overdue! All along, I have thought that art, science, intuition and logic are paramount factors of a wholesome education. Let me break this down. Art enables creativity, relaxation, and self- love, science molds the brain and strengthens it to form new neuron connections which enhances memory, intuition is somewhat controversial to scientists because they intuition can’t be scientifically studied or relied upon, but bypass this postulation and consider how intuition can be a guide for everyone when logic fails or is uncertain,; finally, logic grants the child to solve a problem by following a methodical process that will enable them to solve other problems they may encounter with a set of rules that are effective. Now, put all of this together and you have a wholesome, confident, and creative, inspired, child that will first be a leader to themselves but also to their peers, family and eventually the world!

If parents, educators, and those far and in between will be courageous and take the first step to think for themselves, and have the gumption to be effective independent thinkers, humans will reach their highest potential.


Reseach & Understanding- Asking the Right Questions

After countless psychology courses that emphasized the scientific process, this article reassured me that the scientific method cannot work for all types of research.  Moreover, the fact that”the problem with the real world is that it is fundamentally unpredictable stated by (McAllister 2012) supports how some research can follow the banal 5 step scientific method process, while research that studies variables that can’t be manipulated deviate from the traditional scientific process. In my opinion, research will always be biased because the researcher will covertly or overtly affect the study by their opinion. In other words, certain kinds of research should follow the rigid standard scientific method;but unconventional research can benefit from other processes and techniques. Likewise design researchers can implement their own skills that are concerned with people’s behavior, understanding and analyzing culture, defining context, and setting focus.

In any event, the battle of science albeit  soft or hard will continue until Armageddon, but we can agree to disagree that design research can be executed in a professional and ethical way that tailor to the research study. Scientific studies benefit from the conventional 5 step research method process and this has been working so why not forge on?



The Art of Design Research (and Why It Matters). French, J. 2012.

The Science of Good Design: A Dangerous Idea. McAllister, B. 2012.

Scientific Storytelling

Scientific Storytelling using Visualization by Kwan-Liu and others was an interesting read. Never in a billion years would I have had thought that science was a tool  of storytelling. In addition, the most captivating aspect of the article was how science is used as interactively in science museums. Yes, the The Museum of Nature and Science utilizes interactive visualization, but it’s fascinating now to know that this science environment provides more of a learning atmosphere incapable of simulating in a classroom. Additionally, the hands- on activities allow the  spectators” become “spect-actors” ( the terminology of Augusto Boal). As a result, people are incorporating dexterity skills with learning which can promote cohesive learning. All in all, Scientific Storytelling was an interesting article that introduced me to scientific ways to tell a story.



Scientific Storytelling using Visualization. Kwan-Liu Ma, and others. 2012


Design Thinking= Design for Science


The first thoughts that comes to my mind when I hear Design Thinking are people skilled in Information Technology and business leaders collaborating to design more swift, precise technology to cater to the demands of the constantly evolving society. For me, design and thinking seem juxtapose because one cannot create anything without a thought. In other words designers first had to have the idea in order to design anything.

Design thinking according to is, “The mission of fusing design, business and social studies to come up with deeply researched, deeply understood designs and ideas — they call it “design thinking.” Tim Brown’s IDEO company started out as a conference in 1984 and invited people from three worlds- Technology, Entertainment and Design. Since then the company has broadened its scope with 2 annual world conferences.
With the three careers working in conjunction many ideas such as the portable defibrillator have emerged. As stated by  “Design brings empathy and creativity to social challenges. Empathy helps in understanding the human-centered solutions that can make a real difference in real people’s lives; creativity can defeat habits with innovative approaches to making a measurable difference.” Both Aiga and Tim Brown has captured the critical components of empathy, creativity, design and education that is the foundation of Design Thinking.


After perusing the following websites and, I formed my own definition of design thinking. My definition of design think is fearless independent thinking people form various careers that are sensitive to the silent issues that people aren’t courageous enough and/or lack the research time to attack head first. These people live by the quote, “When people are silent that is when people get hurt.” – Unknown. No, this isn’t meant to be negative in any manner. However, IDEO is aware that just the thoughts that they have grappled with or issues that they have encountered can be solved with the help of other curious, design oriented people like themselves. For instance, women for a long time in the ’60s and ’70’s adhered to the advice of their physicians that smoking cigarettes were harmless to their unborn child. Now day Design Thinkers such as endocrinologists, and pediatricians would contemplate that if the affects of smoking cause lung cancer, and depressed appetite, how could cigarette smoking in any way be healthy for pregnant women?”

In conclusion, design thinking corresponds to design for science by capturing various facets of science, its unique design and how scientific methods/ experiments, conundrums, etc, can be delineated in a practical simple way for people affected by these changes to obtain a more feasible explanation of what they were confused about. In other words design thinkers fuse to eradicate the confusion. Make sense?

Resources: Cited September 27, 2012 Designers.  Cited September 27, 2012


Evaluating Yosemite Park Bear Sign Effectiveness

Comparitive Evaluation of the Attention Capture and Holding Power of Novel Signs Aimed at Park Visitors

It is apparent that rangers and other staff members of Yosemite National Park along with researchers have been prompted by deaths of bears,  familiarity that bears are have acquired with humans and people’s grief as an aftermath of bear intrusion to brainstorm methods and techniques to make campers/visitors more cognisant of their mindlessness towards bears behavior and their hunting habits. Assuming that Black bears hunt both during the day and night can sense food miles away, have intruded camp grounds, broken car windows and invaded tents cause split emotional reactions in rangers/staff.

Rangers are faced with the agony that the consequence for black bears (and other bear species) that invade, hurt, harm,  humans are susceptible to fearleness towards humans Bears fearlessness behavior towards humans can possibly cause aggressiveness, that results in uncomfortable perilouis camping grounds/trails ( Upper Pines, Curry Village, Wilderness Trailhead, etc) for both Yosemite Park Visistors,and rangers. With this in mind, rangers are required to make the decision to euthanize bears that have intruded camp grounds that harmed humans and/or consumed human food. On the contrary, rangers would not be faced with this unpleasant decision if visitors were to keep their food in lockers to shield the bears from obtaining food and other toiletries.

After reading this article I have a better understanding of how importatnt is to keep food and other toilitries and items that bears can smell in impenetrable lockers. My prediction was that people were not going to spend more than 10 seconds on each sign due to the human attention span, but the sign that invoked more pension was the first sign- Attention Humans! Out of all the other signs this sign prompted me to think about the predicament the bears were in, how the park was their natural habitat and how they shouldn’t be punished for their selvester instincts. Likewise,  MyBear Story was the most effective because humans could relate to Troy’s bear experience. All in all, factors that the researchers manipulated such as sign color, location,  and intention of message should in the futre invoke more mindfulness of campers to prpoperly store all of their comestibles, toilitries, and items bears are attracted to; to  prevent bears from satiety to human food resulting in death, and to eschew the preventable aftermath of people having to clean up behind bears, repair vehicles, and disrupt the natural equilibrium of the bears’ ecosystem.


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Until Later,