What is design? What is art? An old dilemma read through a Nelson Goodman text


  • Eduardo Côrte-Real IADE


Design. Design Studies. Designology.


From Nelson Goodman’s text “When is Art?” the article explores the possibilities of applying the same question to Design thus asking when is Design in order to answer the question about what Design is. From Goodman’s three conditions for the existence of Art: representation, expression, and exemplification, it is proposed that the Design’s when may be characterized by conditions previous of these: presentation, impression, and authentication. In order to define these conditions it is introduced the notion of pre-object. It is argued that a Design object is a pre-object when Design is before an object, and a Design object only exists after a pre-object when is connected symbolically with the pre-object. The Paper proposes that Design Studies, namely a Designology, should focus on that reflexive relation.


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