method |ˈmeθəd| noun (often method for/of)

a particular form of procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, esp. a systematic or established one : a method for software maintenance | labor-intensive production methods.

• orderliness of thought or behavior; systematic planning or action : historical study is the rigorous combination of knowledge and method.

  • (often Method) short for method acting .


there is method in one's madness there is a sensible foundation for what appears to be foolish or strange behavior. [ORIGIN: from Shakespeare's Hamlet ( ii. ii. 211).]

ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [prescribed medical treatment for a disease] ): via Latin from Greek methodos ‘pursuit of knowledge,’ from meta- (expressing development) + hodos ‘way.’

Historically, methods have been, largely, a fixed element in the process of production. The way one holds their pencil does not generally change compared to the vast range of different drawings that a single method of pencil gripping can produce. Although, when changes occur within the method it can shake the system. Change the method for holding the pencil and it could potentially change an entire approach to drawing. If the way the pencil is held is re conceived or experimented with during the process of making an additional level opens up that potentially changes what it means to draw and if the hand even has anything to do with it anymore.

Take for instance, Tim and Nick’s drawing machine; their device re-conceives the method for which drawing is approached by creating a machine to hold the writing utility instead and relegating the hand to make the infrastructural machine and write an instruction set of code. The potential for making is further widened to perform tasks that are outside the zone of possibility that our own hands can achieve. Sure, some “hand made” qualities are lost but become the hand is re- visible as the process of making now becomes the focus instead of the finished, finite product. Additionally, the method for making the machine itself, based on cnc design techniques, is expanded in opportunity from what is possible with traditional cnc machines. The machine departs the sterile, controlled “print room” for deployment and application to any surface. In Detroit this weekend for the Makers Faire; I'm sure many of the products there (as in life) can be considered reiterations or tweaking of a well-known process for assembly, I wonder how many of the devices find invention or reinvention through a change in method?

I understand method as the way something is approached, the point of view that is taken and the qualities of perception that are recognized to be taking place through awareness. These are all, often, invisible things, which encourages the use of examples to help explain, because what is produced is often representative of the underlying methods. We recognize finite products instead of the methods that exist below the surface. Instead of further attempting to explain method, it is more important to recognize method as separate from assembly, process or action that takes place from a certain method.