design language etc.

design practice and theory 



updated: april 2004

design products as prosthesis

also: Jesod or the foundation, the ninth sign of the Sephiroth of the Cabbala
or: Iconic Sinsigns in Peircean terms


This formula is the foundation of my theory of design as it states that any product  (P) expresses its essential relations both with humans (H) and their contest or environment (C). This relationship can be very complex and involve, for example metaphysic interpretations or esthetical modes, but basically serves men to adept and accomodate himself  to his habitat. 
It is explained in structural terms on my page on design theory.
In peircean semiotics this is a "sign  of essence", that is an iconic image of a perceived reality, "determined by the idea of it. ...without any definite linkage to an object to which it may potentially refer". The idea behind this example of an iconic sinsign, as Peirce likes to call it,  is that any product is an expression of its relation between man and his environment., even if the actual product is not shown here. (note 1)
In the Cabbala it is called Yesod, appropriately defined as the foundation of the physical world, animate and inanimate. "..Yesod can be said to hold the image of everything that exists in the physical world, and thus it is the Storehouse of Images. And yet it not only contains these images, it has the power"of altering them...This particular aspect of Yesod is that which is stressed in the Yetziratic Text: "The Ninth Path is called Pure Intelligence because it purifies the Emanations. It proves ... and corrects the designing of their representations..." which results of course in functional forms in the physical world, Malkuth." (note 2 and 3)
note 1 Floyd Merrell, Semiosis in the Post...p.137 ff.
note 2 Gareth Knight, A practical Guide  to Quabalistic Symbolism, Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine, USA, 1993 (1965).p.175  ff.
note 3 Yetzira, the Book of Creation, written somewhere between the 3rd and the 6th cent., that explains the significance and the function of the 32 Roads of Wisdom (10 Sephiroth and 22 consonants of the hebrew alphabet). See: Gershom Scholem, Zur Kabbalah und ihrer Symbolik, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1995 (1973) p.220
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   andries van onck