Comparing the multimodal social semiotic approach to designed material artefacts with other semiotic traditions – in theory and in design analysis

Jensen, H. (Underviser), Ebbesen, T. R. (Underviser)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragKonferenceoplæg


Since the turn of the millennia the intricate question of the semiotics of designed material artefacts has been dealt with within a number of different academic disciplines like Design Studies (Matozzi, Proni), Material Culture Studies (Dant, Kean, Knappett), studies in marketing and branding (Batey, Danesi, Heilbrunn) and latest but not least also within multimodal social semiotics (Björkvall, Björkvall & Karlsson, Wagner).Although these different approaches all pursue the same objective; a more specific and precise theoretical understanding of the semiotics of things – the mutual awareness and exchange is remarkedly low. In this paper the above mentioned different approaches will be brought together and mapped in relation to each other. This will be done with special regard to propound a placement and characterization of multimodal social semiotics of artefacts within an overall semiotics of things.A key finding of the comparison of multimodal social semiotics in relation to the other semiotics treatments of artefactual meaning making is that the former maintain a very open approach to the semiotic resources which could be prompted by things. However other disciplines tend to assert more or less restricted or all-embracing inventories to chart and arrange commonplace semiotic resources usually occurring in symbolic and material interaction with things.The case will be made that multimodal social semiotics of artefacts could benefit theoretically by including such inventories in analysis without losing the flexibility and sensitiveness towards actual meaning making processes.Furthermore, the theoretical comparison will be supplemented with analysis of designed artefacts where the different approaches will be exemplified and discussed. The designs will be found within lighting, furniture and designart.


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Periode10. sep. 2018
Sted for afholdelseInstitut for Sprog og Kommunikation
Grad af anerkendelseInternational