design language etc.

design practice and theory 






created:  September 3rd.1999

The image shows the 17 components of Rietveld's chair. They are easy to manufacture and assemble. But it should be indicated that  Rietveld makes production not so easy as he pretends taking into consideration that painting the far ends of rods in a different color is no simple task in mass production. Neither is the mounting of so many different parts. Actually the red-blue chair is a typical artisanal product, as many other designs of the so-called *rational* furniture of the *Modern Movement*.

Peirce's Rhematic Indexical Legisign 

Peirce defines this sign as follows: 
(it)  is any general type or law, however established, that requires each instance of it to be really affected by its Object in such a manner as merely to draw attention to that Object. (CP.2.259) 
Merrell explains further: 
It embodies information in the form of an assertion of some sort about some existent. This existant, as an object having now taken on a value - albeit still vague - developes towards a subject. (note 1) It has, as an index, a *character which it would not have if its object did not exist, but which it will continue to have just the same wether it is interpreted as a representamen or not  *(CP. 5.37) 
Such is the case of the manufacturing environment. This entices all the complicated aspects of industrial organisation, marketing, product planning, engeneering, producing and distributing. Without entering in the details of such a program we can indicate the essentials in the relations between price (and thus costs), functions and esthetics of the product, which, all of them reflect the whole of the industrial environment (and more). A synoptic representation of these relations is shown on my page on marketing


In the Cabbalah, the sign is called Geburah or Judgement

Gareth Knight explains: 
The attributions of Geburah are almost all martial basically a Sephirah of adjustment and assessment: it is a sphere of absolute and unmitigated Truth...... the analytical and corrective work of Geburah can best be done on the level of the human being functionaing at the height of his powers. (note2) 

In any adjustment that is made it is necessary to pull down and tear apart the aspects concerned and then to replace them in correct alignment. The force of Geburah is one which, possibly above all others, need calm and detachment in its application. (note 3) 

This is what actually happens whence a designer suggests his idea , in the form of sketches, a model or even a working prototype, to a potential producer. The management of the industry will scrutinize accurately the design and the interest that it might eventually arouse on the market, as well as the relation between the neccesary investment to its power to generate profits. In other words the design is judged and tested on its vitality. Industry has this tremendous power of truth. This does not mean that their judgment is always correct as many designers can testify. 
The next page is about the significance of details, such as joints
Back to the page on design analysis
note 1 Floyd Merrell; Semiosis in the Postmodern Age, Purdue University Press, 1995, p.141ff.
note 2 Gareth Knight, A Practical  to Quabalistic Symbolism, Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine, USA, 1993 (1965), p.124ff 
note 3 Gareth Knight, op.cit., p.133
   andries van onck