So Wrong they’re Right

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Tarte Tatin

So the Tarte Tatin was created in error. As the story goes, it happened in the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, 1898, which was owned by two sisters at the time -Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. One day Stéphanie Tatin, extremely overworked, started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. She dived in to rescue the dish by putting a pastry base on top of the pan of apples. Despite this all going wrong, and being upsidedown, she still served it to her guests. She was surprised that they appreciated the dessert. Thus the Tarte Tatin was born.

If we could go back in time, I’m sure we’d see that most of our dishes today were created by accident. Do you have any exmples of error leading to new discovery?

Follow the Leader


Doing some research on queuing and was reminded of this dance we did last year.

Population Density

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– population densities from Benchmarks research

Robert H. Jackson

“It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.”

Carl Gustav Jung

“Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.”

Bruce Ediger

The only “intuitive” interface is the nipple. After that it’s all learned.

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Beautiful Steps #2

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I just came across this amazing staircase by swiss artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. The construction itself is enough to make my tummy spin. At first look, I thought this was a functioning staircase, and was amazed it could have gotten past all the safety regulations (I know all about the domestic side of this from looking to install a staircase in my flat in London). However, the fact that Lang and Baumann are called artists, rather than architects or designers, gives the game away. This is art, not design, and thus does not to conform.

But it’s not just this. After the read more you’ll see what happens when the sun shines through the staircase.
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Eliel Saarinen

Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”

Agent of Change

“Even the most aimless changes will eventually lead to well-fitting forms, because of the tendency to equilibrium inherent in the organisation of the process. All the agent need do is recognise failures when they occur, and to react to them. It is especially important to understand that the agent in such a process needs no creative strength. He does not need to be able to improve the form, only to make some sort of change when he notices a failure. The changes may not be always for the better; but it is not necessary that they should be, since the operation of the process allows only the improvements to persist.

- Christopher Alexander, ibid