A Cognitive Semiotic Approach to the Aesthetic Interplay between Form and Meaning in Responsive Environements

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The aim of this paper is to introduce a cognitive semiotic
approach, which offers a clearer understanding of how interactive design
products communicate their meaning to users.

The ongoing shift in contemporary design towards making user
interfaces aesthetically more engaging (tangible, intuitive, etc.) challenges
traditional design semiotics on a number of its basic assumptions about
meaning construction. One major problem being that design semiotics often
restricts its idea of semiosis to object oriented recognition where ‘cognitive
models’ are unambiguously matched against a visual form. As has been
pointed out on several occasions this does not capture the cross modal
interaction between body movement and vision, emotion and vision that
plays such a crucial role when we make sense of interaction design.

In order to achieve this I will argue that design semiotics can benefit
largely from picking up models from morphodynamics and neurocognitive
research into how our brain, body and mind mutually shape one another. By
applying these models in an analysis of a case example, the paper intends to
demonstrate that these models provide an explanation of how conceptual
meaning in responsive environments is anchored in morphologies and
structures in perception. What I call the aesthetic interplay between form
and meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Nordcode Seminar and Workshop : Design Semiotics in Use
EditorsS. Vihma, T.-M. Karjalainen
Number of pages12
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventDesign Semiotics in Use - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 6. Jun 20078. Jun 2007


ConferenceDesign Semiotics in Use

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