“multimodality needs design” – an emerging interest in multimodality necessarily leads to an emerging interest in design

Multimodality is indicative of late modernity, a time when social arrangements, work, the professions, and practices were demarcated by clear boundaries (think: the print house)

In that era, design was a higher order concern practiced by the upper echelons of management (think: strategies qua DeCerteau). Everyone else had a script to follow.

In a postmodern era, those scripts have evaporated; new domains of practices, new practices, and new practitioners are emerging, leading to a new social arrangement (think: convergence and divergence). In short, discrete practices associated with discrete professions are “all merging into a single new practice, through the availabilities and affordances of electronic technologies”

Design: “the organization of what is to be articulated into a blueprint for production. In that definition the task of the designer is ‘architectural’: the shaping of available resources into a framework which can act as the ‘blueprint’ for the production of the object or entity or event”

Boundaries of design:

  • Performance/Production and design: what about a performance can we infer was designed? This can be traced based on the way a performance/product created differing relations to audiences.
  • Resource and design: describes the awareness of resources that are or are perceived to be available to the rhetor/designer

It may be that we can treat the design process as that process which acts deliberately, with awareness, on visible, recognized, ‘available’ resources in a particular domain, in order to make the blueprint of that which is produced.

Grammars for design

(Works like genre) – Design practices, operating over extended periods, and in periods of stability, give rise, not only to the regularities of design itself, but also to the specific use of the modes involved in the design.

Design in rhetorical situations

Design happens in response to the demands of new situations. A discourse (or an ensemble od discourses) that are realized will likely be very different from situation to situation.

Design is the process that reshapes, transforms materials (textuality, etc.), discourses, and future discourses

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