“Design and Planning” was a highly influential and progressive seminar developed at the University of Waterloo by visiting Professor Martin Krampen. It was the first “National Design Seminar” to take place at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. This Design Seminar, supported by the National Design Council of Canada, had been organized by the small “Design Studies Group” at the University of Waterloo in conjunction with the Doon School of Fine Arts. Speakers included Krampen himself, together with leading designers and design writers and academics. These included Anthony Mann, Jay Goblin, Edward Llewellyn Thomas and Nick and Ann Chaparos. Following the positive outcome of that groundbreaking seminar this publication was developed, with the support of the National Design Council.
The aim of “Design and Planning” is to present the practitioner and student in the design field with a book of readings in design. Unlike the more exact disciplines, the social sciences have to explore their subject matter in a more interdisciplinary manner. This requires that basic textbooks are supplemented by collections of readings, providing the student with information on current developments in theory, relevant case histories, reports on experiments, etc., in order to prevent a premature “closure” in their perception of the field under study and to convey the impression of the various dimensions of the problem. While the field of design field (at the time) was less systematically explored than the social sciences and lacking basic textbooks, the edition of this volume is backed by the belief that design is more and more moving in the direction of becoming an applied interdisciplinary science.
Martin Krampen was a German semiotician, who originally studied under Otl Aicher at HfG Ulm (Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm). Through a Fulbright scholarship, Krampen went on to gain an Ph.D in communication and psychology at Michigan State University. This lead to him to a research associate role at the University of Waterloo, in turn leading to becoming Assistant Professor of Design and Psychology and member of the Institute of Design. Much of his role at the UoW was a teaching assignment directly connected to the University’s work developing film and a pavilion for Expo’67. In 1967 he returned to Germany to lecture at HfG (Ulm).
This softcover book presented the seminar contents, which according to George W Roth (Head of the University’s Graphic Services Department) “completely changed his approach to design and the management of projects”. Topics covered included:
— Problem solving in design
— Human factors in design
— Experimental aesthetics
— The value of visual formalism in design
— The impact of economic and organizational environment on design
Krampen himself designed the front cover, with its interlocking letters ‘d’ and ‘p’ created in 3D “Impossible Object” form. The rest of the publication was designed and managed by George W. Roth, who also oversaw the final production. Following the seminar, a Design and Planning conference was organised the following year, in collaboration with Peter Seitz who at this time was curator and editor of ‘Design Quarterly’, a national publication of applied arts, architecture, and design out of the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, Minnesota.