purple shapered shapewhite shapeblue shape




  • asymmetry/symmetry in the semantic space

    In the depth dimension of the semantic space the bipolar asymmetry/ symmetry is characterized by the degree of difference in length and direction of the contour lines of a shape and in the regular distribution of the points of interest such as the angles, crossings and contrasts. In principle, this parameter distinguishes itself from the height dimension of the semantic space, in which the degree of order receives a moral loading in the sense of unclean / clean. Similarly, there is an influence on the width dimension of the semantic space in which a multiplicity of unequal parts causes unrest. Although an unorganized, asymmetrical shape can indeed seem very soothing, such as is the case in nature. However, it has been shown that in practice, when a designer elicits a sense of unrest in a design, it is often accompanied by an increased degree of asymmetry as described above. (Michiels, 2016)

  • Sharp versus blunt

    The size of an angle can be determined by measuring the angle that two lines make with each other. This angle can be expressed in both degrees and radiants. The larger the angle, the more blunt it is. And conversely, the smaller the angle between two lines, the sharper.

    The emotional effect of sharp corners differs according to the application. When it comes to utensils, sharp corners can be perceived as dangerous, they can puncture or cut.

    Blunt/sharp is classified as a HEIGHT dimension parameter because a shape with blunt lines comes often with a thick shape, while sharpness appears most of the time in a thin shape. Compare the thick/thin parameter.

    (Inez Michiels, DSD, 2021)

  • Infinite and finite lines

    A circle is associated with ‘infinity’ because movement over the circular line is endless and repetitive. On the other hand, a line whose beginning and end do not come together again becomes seen as ‘finite’. (Kreitler and Kreitler, 1972)

  • Innate programming of up and down in chicks

    Newly hatched baby chicks peck at photographs of simulated grains, and strongly prefer them if lit as if from above. Turn the photograph over and they shun it. This seems to show that baby chicks ‘know’ that light in their world normally comes from above. But since they have only just hatched out of the egg, how do they know? Have they learned it during their three days of life? It is perfectly possible, but I tested it experimentally and found it not to be so. I raised chicks and tested them in a special cage in which only light they ever saw came from below. Experience of pecking grain in this upside-down world would, if anything, teach them to prefer upside-down photographs of solid grains. Instead, they behaved exactly like normal chicks raised in the real world with light coming from above. Apparently because of genetic programming, all the chicks prefer to peck at photographs of solid objects lit from above. The solidity illusion (and hence, if I am right, the ‘knowledge’ of the predominant direction of light in the real world) seems to be genetically programmed in chicks – what we used to call ‘innate’ – rather than learned as (I’m guessing) it probably is in us. (Dawkins, 2004)

  • The lighting of up and down

    One of the main differences between up and down in the world is the predominant direction of light. While not necessarily directly overhead, the sun’s rays generally come from above rather than below. This fact opens an important way in which we, and many other animals, can recognise solid three-dimensional objects. It works in reverse.

    Public domain work of NASA

    The photograph of moon craters is printed upside down. If your eye (well, to be more precise, your brain) works the same way as mine, you will see the craters as hills.

    Public domain work of NASA

    Turn the book upside down, so that the light appears to come from another direction, and the hills wil turn into craters that they truly are.

    (Dawkins, 2004)

  • Up and down in the story of evolution

    (About the primaeval worm, our ancestor of 590 million years ago.) Why is there a dorsal side and a ventral side? The argument is similar (as with the fore and aft asymmetry), and the one applies to starfish just as much as to worms. Gravity being what it is, there are lots of inevitable differences between up and down. Down is where the sea bottom is, down is where the friction is, up is where the sunlight comes from, up is the direction from which things fall on you. It is unlikely that dangers will threaten equally from below and above, and in any case those dangers are likely to be qualitatively different. So our primitive worm should have a specialised upper or ‘dorsal’ side and a specialised ‘ventral’ or lower side, rather than simply not caring which side faces the sea bottom and which side faces the sky. (Dawkins, 2004),

  • Front and back end in evolution

    (About the primaeval worm, our ancestor of 590 million years ago.) Any animal that moves, in the sense of covering the ground from A to B rather than just sitting in one place and waving its arms or pumping water through itself, is likely to need a specialized front end. It might as well have a name, so lets call it a head. The head hits novelty first. It makes sense to take in food at the end that encounters it first, and to concentrate the sense organs there too – eyes perhaps, some kind of feelers, organs of taste and smell. Then the main concentration of nervous tissue – the brain – had best be near the sense organs, and near the action at the front end, where the food-catching apparatus is. So we can define the head end as the leading end, the one with the mouth, the main sense organ and the brain, if there is one. Another good idea is to void wastes somewhere near the back end, far from the mouth, to avoid re-imbibing what has just been passed out. (Dawkins, 2004),

  • Symmetry and asymmetry in body posture

    A symmetrical posture is an attitude in which the arms and legs are held in identical position on the left and right. Someone who adopts a symmetrical attitude shows respect or submission to something or someone else. For example, people who pray, from whatever culture, always assume a symmetrical posture. For example, they are kneeling with folded hands or standing with their hands raised.
    When we feel comfortable in a person’s presence, we adopt an asymmetrical posture. So sometimes we cross our legs, we lean towards one side, or we hang out a bit.
    (Roebers, 2013)