Foreword 2

Eduardo Côrte-Real 

A Middle History of Design: the Meaning of the Word
in Three Dictionaries from the 1600’s to the Early 1800’s

One step back and two…

The Radical Designist has a concern about knowing what to be radical about. A few days ago a friend from Australia sent me the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. We have been discussing the meaning of several things namely Design at least for the past 6 years. I understand Ken Friedman (the friend from Australia) faith in dictionaries. As the matter of fact, I also have a faith in dictionaries so I studied Design’s definition in three different English dictionaries for a paper to be presented in Osaka for the 2008 ICDHS conference. Here follows the definitions of Design found in: Robert Cawdrey’s Alphabetic Table of Hard Words (1604), Nathan Bailey’s Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1736) and Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) and finally the contemporary Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

In Robert Cawdrey’s (1604) table of hard words we find:

[fr] deseigne, (* synonyms *) an appoynting how any;
[fr] deseignment , thing shall be done. (* synonyms end *)
[fr] designe, to marke out, or appoint for any purpose. (Cawdrey)

On the second dictionary, Nathan Bailey’s “An Universal Etymological English Dictionary” printed for the first time in 1721 we find…

Forms of Persuasion: The Visual Rhetoric of Design Artifacts

Leslie Atzmon

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Graphic design historian Michael Golec has written that design history addresses “materials, forms, and concepts” that are applicable to both graphic design and product design. Golec also observes that although there is significant overlap between the two disciplinary discourses, their historical and critical research remains separate.i In this essay, I discuss the common role visual rhetorical analysis can play in graphic and product design historical work.

Traditionally, rhetoric has been defined as “the art of using language so as to persuade or influence others.”ii New work in visual rhetoric, however, is enlarging the scope of what can be counted as persuasive. As Charles A. Hill explains, visual entities are often not “obviously and explicitly persuasive.”iii This description makes room for the idea that certain cultural artifacts, such as designed objects, that were not previously seen as persuasive, in fact, have a persuasive dimension. I also would like to suggest that an artifact might be persuasive on more than one level. When we consider persuasion, we tend to think of verbal messages that have a narrow, tactical persuasive objective — a speech that wants to convince us to vote for so-and-so, or an ad that tries to persuade us to buy a particular product. We tend to ignore or overlook a different level of persuasion that has to do, not with a calculated objective, but with a larger interpretive framework, a worldview, or a broader set of meta-values or meta-beliefs. Design artifacts are particularly effective at this other level of persuasion; they offer audiences communicative data that reflect, and also orchestrate, an array of cultural concerns. Scholars of both graphic and product design need to attend scrupulously to the form, creation, and uses of designed artifacts. It is here that we see how design artifacts are involved in the generation of cultural belief systems...

ISSUE 2 | April 2008 | 01/05 | Past Radical Propositions

História e Contemporaneidade: o Design de Fred Jordan

Ana Lúcia Gimemez Ribeiro Lupinacci

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Fred Jordan (Berlin, 1927 — Sao Paulo, 2001), a German graphic communicator, worked in printed communication for more than 40 years in Sao Paulo and for most of those years was connected to Gráfica Nicollini. His accurate technical knowledge and fine aesthetic perception were expressed in calendars, packages, collages and illustrations. Recovering some aspects of this artist´s work which went beyond the dominant design trends of his time. We’ve done some exploration studies in order to compare different documents and after that, we organized a historical study. The artist´s family members — trustees of Jordan´s work — kindly let us get in touch with his collection, providing a close contact between different generations based on his job. The results of this research were shown in a exhibition and in a round-table discussion in Sao Paulo.

ISSUE 2 | April 2008 | 02/05 | Past Radical Propositions

El Diseño Gráfico en la Argentin

Verónica Devalle

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The article deals with different approaches to the historical analyses of Graphic Design. It is suggested hat the theoretical conception evolve from the history of objects to the history of rules that govern the production of objects in Design.

ISSUE 2 | April 2008 | 03/05 | Past Radical Propositions

11 Ways in Which Design(ing) and Researc(ing) are alike: A set of reflections

Awoniyi Stephen

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Touching on subjects and elements of practice such as problem determination, aim for ideals, aesthetic agency and ethical action, the following paper addresses common forms between practices in which designers and researchers engage. It is hoped that ideas broached in the following pages will induce, at least, some readers to explore those, similar and other issues within their own practice and will facilitate combining values from each one of the domains explored in order to enhance problem solving in either one...

ISSUE 2 | April 2008 | 04/05 | Past Radical Propositions

The act of drawing as an interdisciplinary process. A case study on Victor Palla´s early works

João Palla

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This paper is a case study on Victor Palla´s early works, promoting the process of drawing as a mediator between different disciplines, and explaining how his artwork was related to the rebellious spirit that emerged and prospered in Portugal at the end of World War II. This paper will range from hand-drawn sketches to final masterpieces with the intention of enhancing a better understanding of interdisciplinarity.

The objectives are of two kinds: to develop a study and interest in Victor Palla`s work, and secondly, to analyse in a general view, the importance of ‘drawing’ in his different artistic activities. Our exploratory analysis will help reveal additional information about the artist’s work and demonstrate, hopefully, how Victor Palla´s contribution helped enrich the Portuguese Visual Culture. These artworks are part of our cultural heritage; therefore, this essay will assist the construction and preservation of a cultural and visual identity.

ISSUE 2 | April 2008 | 05/05 | Past Radical Propositions