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Human-Centred Design: sustainable ideas and scenarios for the development of projects and products based on knowledge and human abilities

Author: Sbordone, Maria Antonietta
Organisation: Internacional de Sostenibilidad, Tecnología y Humanismo
Publish Date: 2008
Country: Global
Sector: Social Development
Method: Creative thinking
Theme: Sustainability
Type: Article
Language: English
Tags: Sustainable design, Usability, Iterative design, User evaluation

At the beginning of last century, with studies in psychology (1899) and semiotics (1913-16) the way was opened for the analysis of everyday objects from a systemic point of view. Within the production scenario, modern industry transforms any materials into working and functional objects, but later on, having crossed the absorption threshold, and with production surpluses, the trend will be to reconsider the objects, endowing them with deeper psychological meaning. Together with the psychological there is the semiotic analysis, which, with de Saussure, establishes the existence of a link between words and things, in such a way that human activities are structured like languages and the analysis sees the Linguistics as the basis of a general science of signs, whose purpose is to deepen the social use and the functionality of the objects. The semiotic theorization of Barthes and then Baudrillard, relating to the analysis of objects, follows Saussure’s lead in thinking of the object as a sign or message. Within this area of semiotic analysis, divergent positions from different thought’ schools follow one after the other. Among these, we find Jean Baudrillard’s (1968) and Charles Sanders Pierce’s (2001); both, however, agree on various points: on the determination of the systemic and therefore relational character of the objects, and on the understanding of the mechanisms which are the basis of perceptive judgments, as well as the related elaborations which structure our consciousness (C.S. Pierce), and which come together as a frame of reference in the User-Centred Design approach.
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