“rhetoric, humanism, and design”

Noting that *design* is a capacious field, includes a myriad of objects and kind of objects, Buchanan argues that design studies ought to be understood as a humanistic enterprise where *design thinking* is inherently rhetorical

Products embody the intentions and purposes of their makers, and there is an intelligible pattern in the ongoing development and application of design. The essential humanism of design lies in the fact that human beings determine what the subject matter, processes, and purposes of design shall be. These are not determined by nature, but by our decisions.

invention/discovery — because design is indeterminate, i.e. because designed objects are created rather than found, design deals with indeterminate subject matters which mean the products of design are diverse and dynamic // myriad and always changing

Designers deal with matters of choice, with things that may be other than they are… The essential nature of design calls for both the process and the results of designing to be open to debate and disagreement. Designers deal with possible worlds and with opinions about what the parts and the whole of the human environment should be.

The rhetoric of products — the study of how products come to be as vehicles of argument and persuasion about the desirable qualities of private and public life

As a discipline, design is “being invented through the exploration of instrumentalities, technologies, and specific methods which are suited to the changing circumstances of contemporary culture. The discipline of design, in all its forms, empowers individuals to explore the diverse qualities of personal experience and to shape the common qualities of community experience.”

Design and human character –> design rests on the ability of humans to reason and act in solving problems that are obstacles to the “functioning, development, and well-being of individuals and society.” Design is inquiry, requires reflexive thinking

Contemporary design is supported by the technology and technique of production; the psychological, social, and cuntutal needs that condition the use of designed products,

Rhetoric/arts of making (rhetoric as a kind of making where rhetoric was imagined as a cultural art) –> though and argument is embodied in words; connects ethics, politics, and theoretical sciences with the arts of making. This is observed in the way that people employ materials (resources). This is observable in people like Ruskin and Morris (see: Gauntlett)

Intellectual virtues of designers:

  1. curious and inventive beyond specializations
  2. judge inventions based on demands of particular circumstances
  3. participate with others in production processes
  4. able to evaluate the worth of products in the social dynamics of their uses
  5. able to embody ideas in appropriate forms

Design as an instrument of power — the art of inventing and shaping forms that intended to satisfy needs, wants, and desires — thereby effecting changes in the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of others

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