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Deconstructing meaning: Industrial design as Adornment and Wit

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  • Armand Hatchuel

    () (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

In this paper we present new theoretical perspectives about industrial design. First, we establish that antinomies about function, form and meaning cannot offer a theory of industrial design. Then we bear on advances in Design theory in the literature of engineering design to find out universal features of design which are common to industrial design, Architecture and Engineering. Taking into account social and cognitive contexts, we identify the dilemma that is specific of industrial design. This dilemma can be solved in two ways that we define as "adornement" and "wit" which differ by how the identity of objects is maintained or challenged by design. Each way corresponds to different types of rhetoric -classic and conceptist- that we identify. The combination of adornment and wit explains the generative power of industrial design and its paradoxical situation: neither Art, neither engineering. Moreover, the academic identity of industrial design research can be clarified within the traditions of Design theory, anthropology and rhetoric.

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  • Armand Hatchuel, 2013. "Deconstructing meaning: Industrial design as Adornment and Wit," Post-Print hal-00903421, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00903421
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00903421
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    1. Thomas Gillier & Gérald Piat, 2011. "Exploring over the Presumed Identity of Emerging Technology," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00641765, HAL.
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