You eat like a pig.

Pigs acquire, through learning and evolution, expectations of their environment. Frustration of expectations results in motivation to change these conditions and is therefore adaptive. Initially, frustration should produce problem solving behaviour. If these responses are unsuccessful, other behaviours, reflecting general frustration should be elicited. Our purpose was to study both types of responses to frustration in grower pigs.

So these scientists took 18 pigs, and fasted them for 1, 2 or 3 hours every morning. On Monday and Tuesday the pigs got full feeders BUT on Wednesday and Friday they got 2 types of feeders – lidded with the lid bolted down (L) and un-lidded that was empty (O). Results showed that pigs in pairs showed an increase in sitting and playing and single pigs started to ignore the L-feeders after 2 hours while increasingly looked into the O-feeders.

from “Frustration of goal-directed behaviour in swine”, N.Lewis in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 64, Issue 1, p 19-29

The ‘Doll House’ Effect


Since 1976, Alton De Long, prof. of architecture at University of Tennessee, has been investigating the relations between perception of time and space. He created dolls houses at four different scales: 1/24, 1/12, 1/6, and full scale and asked subjects to imagine themselves as a person in the dollhouse and build a narrative behind what they were doing. He asked the subjects to signal when 30 minutes had passed.

De Long found that with a 1:12 scale, the experience of 30 minutes takes only 2.5 minutes in ‘real time’. Basically the brain speeds up in direct proportion to environmental scale. Beyond this ratio, the brain adjusts and this rule doesn’t correlate.

So in a science fiction movie this would mean that future workers stare at a miniature model of their office and reduce their 8 hour working days to 40 minutes, allowing much more time to go to fly their miniature hovercraft to the mini-pub and get drunk on one miniature pint. Excellent!

The Dance of Life, Edward T. Hall (Anchor Books Editions, 1984) p150

Designing Error


Ingvild Stovring from the Oslo School of Architecture has produced something that is very much in tune with this thesis project. Stovring has produced a book, or more a form of error manual, on how errors can improve products and services. In her own words:

This project is about exploring unexpected outcomes. Is it possible to use errors as an inspiration and a generator for new, fresh ideas and design solutions? Instead of trying to avoid errors, I wanted to learn from them and explore how they could improve a service / design.

Today products are being produced by machinery that is so accurate and clever that mistakes seldom or never occur. This has lead to a homogenic appearance, where every product within its category looks almost the same. This can easily be described as a lack of “personality”.

Alot of the content look very much along the lines of my methodology into nonsense and computer errors in real life. I’m trying to get ahold of her book as I’m interested to see how’s she has categorised the errors and used them to create new designs.

Thanks to Stina for the link.


“A measure of resilience is the magnitude of disturbance that can be experienced without the system flipping into another state or stability domain.”
- Holling, C. S. and Gunderson, L. H. (Eds.) (2002) Panarchy. Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press. Washington. p50


“Misfit provides an incentive to change; good fit provides none.”
- Christopher Alexander, Qotes on the Synthesis of the Form, The Evolution of Useful Things p30