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Quotes about design

Posted by Avadhut on 11 September 2007

A few days ago, I came across a collection of design-related quotes over at Below, a couple of my favorites:

In the beginning we must simplify the subject, thus unavoidably falsifying it, and later we must sophisticate away the falsely simple beginning.


Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.

-Edward V Berard

You can only put as much intelligence in a system as was in the design engineer to begin with.

-Peter Orme

When one has no character, one has to apply a method.

-Albert Camus

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

-Ayn Rand

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it.

-Richard Pattis

Designers must do two seemingly contradictory things at the same time: They must design for perfection, and they must design as though errors are inevitable. And they must do the second without compromising the first.

-Bob Colwell

The two main design principles of the NeXT machine appear to be revenge and spite.

-Don Lancaster

Very often, people confuse simple with simplistic. The nuance is lost on most.

-Clement Mok

It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.

-Alfred North Whitehead

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

-Leonardo da Vinci

Much of the Web is like an anthill built by ants on LSD.

-Jakob Nielsen

Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.

-Frank Lloyd Wright

Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree.

-Robert Pirsig

Crash programs fail because they are based on the theory that with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month.

-Wernher von Braun

Out of intense complexities, emerge intense simplicities.

-Winston Churchill


5 Responses to “Quotes about design”

  1. Pink Imp said

    ok. i will comment on this in a while once i am through cleaning this dirty data file. meanwhile, in a couple of hours, i will get steve, the prodigy of our lab, to comment.

  2. Ergo said

    … thus comments Pink Imp.

    Anyway, a very interesting set of quotes. I like “You can only put as much intelligence in a system as was in the design engineer to begin with.” Nice parallel with the intelligent design argument.

  3. seemajoshi said

    The one i liked the best

    “Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.”

    -Edward V Berard
    (Ultimate truth)

  4. xhydra said

    “I want to change the world, but they won’t give me the source-code” : unknown

  5. The style of writing is very familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other bloggers?

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