The Semantic Turn: a new foundation for design

It has come to my attention recently that I have been remiss in posting a mention of one of the key academic texts treating human centred design . Klaus Krippendorff’s comprehensive text provides a wealth of information and perspectives regarding the issues which are at the heart of human centred design.

As Krippendorff neatly summarises, “humans do not see and act on the physical qualities of things, but on what they mean to them”, and the text covers in detail the sources of meaning which arise from language usage and discourse.

While the text is certainly not an easy read, and may appear to many designers to be over-intellectualised and overreaching in scope, Krippendorff’s rigour and depth of thought cannot be faulted. It is difficult to image a single source of information which touches upon so many of the issues which are at heart of modern human centred practice.