Responding to cultural demands for meaning, user-friendliness, and fun as well as the opportunities of the emerging information society, The Semantic Turn boldly outlines a new science for design that gives designers previously unavailable grounds on which to state their claims and validate their designs. It sets the stage by reviewing the history of semantic concerns in design, presenting their philosophical roots, examining the new social and technological challenges that professional designers are facing, and offering distinctions among contemporary artifacts that challenge designers.
Written by Klaus Krippendorff, recognized designer and distinguished scholar of communication and language use, the book builds an epistemological bridge between language/communication theory and human-centered conceptions of contemporary artifacts. Clarifying how the semantic turn goes beyond product semantics and differs from other approaches to meaning, Krippendorff develops four new theories of how artifacts make sense and presents a series of meaning-sensitive design methods, illustrated by examples, and evaluative techniques that radically depart from the functionalist and technology-centered tradition in design.
An indispensable guide for the future of the design profession, this book outlines not only a science for design that encourages asking and answering new kinds of questions, it also provides concepts and a vocabulary that enables designers to better partner with the more traditional disciplines of engineering, ergonomics, ecology, cognitive science, information technology, management, and marketing.
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"A brilliant book so superbly designed, encompassing theory and application. Klaus Krippendorff demonstrates his authority in the semantics of design with a bold inter-disciplinary approach. The book unveils a systematic design discourse, treating readers to rare critiques of established ideas and illustrative reviews of design cases. it must be read by designers and non-designers alike." -- Professor Halimahtun M. Khalid, Director, Institute of Design and Ergonomics Applications, University of Malaysia "a major contribution to design thinking. Klaus Krippendorff's philosophy addresses how we create and use artifacts in view of the meanings we give them. It builds a human and systematic foundation for professional design practice based on creative engagement with users and stakeholders. Krippendorff's intellectual journey reflects the central themes in design and design research today, helping new designers think their way into the field." -- Professor Ken Friedman, Norwegian School of Management and Denmark's Design School "a courageous outline for a concrete science for design that paradigmatically deviates from the natural sciences. Itoffers designers a solid ground from which to justify their products and environments...proposes systematically human-centered design methods, and an epistemology for improving the world rather than re-searching it. a major step into a fascinating future for all of us." -- Professor Emeritus Shutaro Mukai, Former Director, Department of Science of Design, Musahino Art University, Tokyo, Japan "takes design theory to a new levelBrilliantly building on Wittgenstein and generalizing classical accounts of affordancesThis highly readable book is especiallyrelevant to the challenges we face in designing in and for a global economy." -- John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation & Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
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