Author Archives: Graham Shawcross

About Graham Shawcross

Architect PhD student at Edinburgh University Interested in order, rhythm and pattern in Architectural Design

Even 3-day-old Chicks Do It

An interesting series of experiments has recently been reported in Science.  (Regani et al 2015). These strongly support the idea that many animals and humans represent numbers by a mental number line where smaller values are located on the left … Continue reading

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Seriation

This is Archie, our then 3 year old grandson, after spontaneously reassembling a sawn up branch and being asked to pose with it for his delighted grandfather. Seriation is defined as “the forming of an orderly sequence” and was apparently first used in this sense in the 1650s. … Continue reading

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Emergent Images

This is a short post on emergent images, still or moving images where objects at first only appear with effort and concentration, but once recognised are very easy to see again even after several months or years. In effect once you have recognised … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Audiology, Brain Physiology, Camouflage, Embodiment, Graphics Technology, Illusions, Objects | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Number Names and Words

Number Names George Lakoff has pointed out that we do not normally distinguish numbers from what might be more properly be called number names. (Lakoff 1989)  The most common number naming systems adopt base-10 and use ten single-digit number names, … Continue reading

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What Counts

Numerical Abilities As well as being able to roughly compare continuous quantities, humans and animals of various sorts share a method of recognising small numbers of objects or sequences of events that is independent of language.  See Subitising and  Counting Ants Both … Continue reading

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Counting Ants This is not about how to count ants but how ants count. The post follows research by Zhanna Reznikova and Boris Ryabko that investigates the numerical capacities of ants using ideas from Information Theory such as Shannon entropy and Kolmogorov complexity. … Continue reading

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Cafetières, Disorder, Chaos and Anarchy

At breakfast this morning my wife spilt the coffee because she hadn’t aligned the strainer in the lid of a Bodum cafetière with its pouring sprout.   I suggest this is a stupid design, and “why aren’t the strainer holes all … Continue reading

Posted in Aesthetics, Architecture, Design, Haptic Objects, Objects, Products | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments