complex systems, film noir, and the design process.











Time, it is something that can not change and is the parent of the past, present, and future. Modern day film noir is what began the creative narrative that defies the rules of time. Memento, a 2000 American neo-noir film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, sends the viewer on an increasingly confusing narrative that demands the viewer to have a keen sense of understanding. It requires the viewer to re-watch the movie probably more than once to understand completely how to follow the story. The article written by David Denby, The New Disorder opens by saying, “Some of the directors may just be playing with us or, perhaps, acting out their boredom with that Hollywood scripts conference menace the conventional story arc.” The directors might be acting in a rebellious manner but noir is film that is most closely related to real life. To better understand how confusing and complex some noir films are, like Fight Club, you should understand the usual story arc. There is an introduction that involves the viewer getting to know the characters and setting. Then the plot thickens and the potential conflict arises or the villan is introduced. The story builds up until it hits its climax and the main character overcomes his or her problem. Then the characters go on to live happily ever after. Not when it comes to film noir. Memento opens with the conclusion of the story, like a Quentin Tarantino’s twist, and parts of the film jump from past to present to the future all within minutes.

I believe the jump from past, present, and future film progression is very similar to the design process. We can begin our process where ever we are required and jump from one step to the other. For example, I began my last semester project with researching about Liberty Resources, a center for independent living, and then moved to the next step which is synthesis. I later realized I needed to again research and gather information. This continued for several weeks. Once we moved on we created a prototype and then realized we had to again, step back and research even more. Afterwards we had to synthesize the research gathered and reiterate our prototype. It became very confusing for us and forced many of our anxieties out.

People, Cities, and Countries face many problems today and the systems in which they lie are more complex than ever before. It may not be possible to so the complexities of the problems but as logical thinkers I believe humans can begin by simplifying and start from the bottom up. The intricacies of culture and language all hold patterns just waiting to be pulled out of the web of information. We can begin to use technology to connect human values and pull themes to easily understand the patterns of humans and our vastly different cultures. If we are going to solve these complex problems we need to practice and simplify our processes and pass them on to be critiqued and strengthened.


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