Chapter 19. Arrangement and Substance

A poem is a little machine of words.

—WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Composition in Other Disciplines

WHY COMPOSITION? TO COMPOSE something is to arrange it, to relate all its parts, and to determine its substance. It’s a great way of thinking about how we handle context, because context is all about how we understand relationships between elements. Composition is an important concept in just about every field of human creation, which makes it a useful way to think about cross-channel, ambient environments that can involve so many different kinds of media and information. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Writing

The combination of elements such as tone, theme, setting, and voice within a structure, such as the ...

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