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Exploring Bateson’s Syllogism in Grass in Systemic Design

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Dan Lockton

Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Gregory Bateson’s syllogism in grass expresses a form of abductive reasoning which can be used to generate and discuss metaphors, particularly in living systems and humans’ interrelations with them. This paper tentatively explores the possibilities of the syllogism in grass in a systemic design context as a creative method of provocation and reframing.

Keywords: systemic design, metaphors, syllogism in grass

This paper is illustrated throughout with examples of an AI image generator’s interpretations of the prompts “men are grass” and “people are grass” and related phrases in various permutations.




Citation Data

Author(s): Dan Lockton
Year: 2022
Title: Exploring Bateson’s Syllogism in Grass in Systemic Design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 118
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404