Selection of Quotations on Design Languages and Their Relation to Design Layers

Andy Gibbons, Clint Rogers, ITForum, Nov 21, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a very interesting paper. The premise is that the process of, say, instructional design involves the participants in the creation of a 'design language' - a set of terms, metaphors, meanings and images - that will characterize their project. Design language is best thought of as a tool, rather than a theory. It is typically applied in layers, with different representations of entities in the design relating to different aspects of that design. I think the authors finesse the incommensurability of theoretical language, and I think their description of the layers in instructional design shouldn't separate the message and the representation (here I'm thinking of McLuhan and Derrida). But I think the discussion as a whole makes sense, especially in light of my recent exposure to the architecture of Gaudi while visiting Barcelona.
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