The language of design or design as language?


To understand the following lines, I ask you to consider a basic hypothesis which I consider important: just as writing, talking, music, numbers & gestures, design is a language. I find interesting when designers use neologisms (design mind – IDEO) to express themselves, but I also consider them (the neologisms, not the designers) a poor resource considering the possibilities that design gives for communicating ideas. Most of what we know as design words or concepts (at least in spanish), are borrowed from alien proffessions, and we must not put them the flag of design on them (language of design); what we must do is find what is common (codes) to all designers, and still in that moment, we won’t be able to dictate the common codes that make up the langauge, nor the means of communicating it (medium). Design is quite particular, for it seems dificult to nominate and define, but you recognize it as soon as you see (or hear, or touch, or feel, etc.); and according to that, design as language must not be defined, but at least be able to be recognized.


But it still seems necessary to stand some basics in that matter: for this I won’t say that communication through design must be multi-medial or that it must have images or any kind of representation; I believe the resources wich design uses for these means must come from the discipline itself, but not from its skills, but from its powers… representation is a skill (that some designers can even lack) but creative thinking is a power (which all designers must have). Following the same line, a power like creative thinking can affect communication in its message as much as in its medium, and it must be recognizible by designers, as well as by non-designers.


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