Gestalt is a general description for the concepts that make unity and variety possible in design. It is a German word that roughly translates as 'whole' or 'form'.
The study of gestalt originated in Germany in the 1920s. It is a form of psychology that is interested in higher order cognitive processes relative to behaviorism. The aspects of gestalt theory that interest designers are related to gestalt's investigations of visual perception, principally the relationship between the parts and the whole of visual experience. The visual world is so complex that the mind has developed strategies for coping with the confusion. The mind tries to find the simplest solution to a problem. One of the ways it does this is to form groups of items that have certain characteristics in common. - paraphrased from http://daphne.palomar.edu/design/gestalt.html, accessed 23 Aug13
2 Key Phrases:
The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
The stronger the grouping, the stronger the gestalt.
STUDENTS: ONE SAMPLE OF EACH
(1 of Closure and 1 of Common Fate, realizing that many images may contain multiple examples of Gestalt. Identity and explain in Comments 1 Gestalt principle per image.) DO NOT POST A SAMPLE THAT IS ALREADY UP ON THIS BLOG.
TO COMMENT (as we went over in the Intro lecture) : Comment below for extra credit (significant for ART-2413). Find an image on the web and paste in the site's address. I prefer just the image's address, but a page is OK. In the comments below one sample, explain why it shows Closure. Post again and explain why this other image shows Common Fate. If you find one image that shows both, you may post the one image and explain both Closure and Common Fate in the comments box.
Please check this each Monday of the semester for information. Put this in your head. Use it. Live it. Be a great designer.