Open Source

Papanek’s Online Paper Computer beta

Victor Papanek (1927-1999) is my hero.

We made an online tool for an idea generation method, which Papanek calls “paper computer”. Paper computers are described in Papanek’s famous book Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change (Originally published in1969).

Shortly, the Papanek’s paper computer is an association (actually bi-association) method, a tool and a short-term memory help. This is how it works:

  1. You write down what you are designing;
  2. you get six random respond words (in a paper version you use a dictionary);
  3. you associate with your design task and the respond words; and
  4. you simply write down your design ideas.

If you wish you may also categorize the ideas depending on when they could be implemented.

With the online tool the final result is PDF-files with the written down ideas. This file you may use as a background to start visual sketching on it. Yo may also import the file it in some design software and use it in there.

Please, try it out. Please, give us feedback. Use it in your own design work or use it to write poetry, like Leena did with an earlier prototype.

The tool is here:

Thank you Tuomo.

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