Exploring the semiotic properties of design artefacts

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    Artefacts mobilized in the design discourse have been recognized by scholars as significant entities, whose intrinsic properties have the power to effect change and influence the course of events. For example, in architectural work, design artefacts have been recognized as “epistemic objects” (Ewenstein & Whyte, 2009); as multi-dimensional actors in design production (Unwin, 2007) and as boundary objects, with inherent properties to influence inter-organizational relations (O`Mahony & Bechky, 2008). However, design artefacts may be potentially utilised by organizational actors outside a specific “design” context: their properties and constitution aligning with the interpretive frameworks of diverse organizational actors. This paper explores the applicability of using semiotic-grounded theories to analyze design artefacts from a fresh perspective, as agents of organizational reflection and change: a role that advances their utility beyond a purely “design” realm. The theoretical explorations indicate that design artefacts may have a utility and potential value well beyond the “design discourse” within which they are traditionally embedded.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies)
    Place of PublicationHelsinki, Finland
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2012


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