A Case for Crankiness

A Case for Crankiness Woodpecker. Photo Credit: by Charles de Mille-Isles (CC BY 2.0) via flickr.


America’s most famous architect, Frank Gehry, values a property of designing and modeling solutions to structural problems he calls “crankiness.” View the video about Frank Gehry and then answer the questions on this sheet.

Sketches of Frank Gehry

What do you think he means when he says his paper model “has to get crankier”?


What design problems might crankiness solve?


What design possibilities might crankiness introduce?


Where in the problem-solving cycle we studied does crankiness arise? Is it a separate step?


What about your personal problem-solving and modeling style is cranky?


Reflect on Dr. Gibson’s woodpecker headache problem from the Motivation section with which we began Lesson 2. What about her problem-solving approach and style might qualify as cranky? Cite examples.


Apply the concept of cranky as you understand it to revise the conceptual model you designed in Tinkercad. Think of it as squirting a big blob of catsup on a beautifully composed meal—disruptive, chaotic, ugly, yes. But it is something else too…something highly desirable. What is it? Describe your model now in Cranky Mode to the class, or on a class blog.


Start the Cranky Chronicles to document class ideas on sparking creativity with crankiness to your Design Diary. Assign properties and attributes to crankiness, and revisit the entries frequently to refine your evolving definition of crankiness and its role in modeling.



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