Key principles of visual semiotics, visible language, user-interface and user-centered design
What I found the most interesting in Aaron's presentation is the discussion he initiated about the ethics of design. I actually wonder: the absence of intellectual property makes Aaron's design projects noble in a way, but does it make them ethical? Is the concept of any kind of "machines" ethical? I read George Orwell who anticipated that Big Brother would be watching us in his anticipation novel 1984; when the book was published in 1949, the idea of some entity monitoring our private life not only sounded un-ethical, but also politically scary.
More generally, I wonder whether ethics is to design as meaning is to art (see my similar reflection in this post)? Are designers or neuroscientists walking on slippery grounds when they play with ethical boundaries (see the end of my blogpost on the work of Aude Oliva)? Are artists welcome to cross the line if this is meaningful in their artistic process? The performing artist Robin Williams seemed to believe so: he considered himself performing "legalized insanity", meaning crossing the line deliberately and repeatedly; check his highly visual, convincing and hilarious description of the process in the first minute of this video.
Ethics and meaning are obviously controversial topics, and I would hate to suggest that painters have no ethics and designers no meaning! But that could be a great overarching theme for a future International Conference on Neuroesthetics.
This is part of a series of posts on the 11th International Conference on Neuroesthetics (September 2014).