The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 36, Issue 3/4, 2020

Design and Semiotics

Farouk Y. SeifOrcid-ID
Pages 179-215

De-Sign as a Destiny of Negation
The Paradox of Sustaining Boundaries While Traversing Borders

Boundaries and borders are undefined and ambiguous paradoxical phenomena, but there is a prevalent repudiation of their ephemerality and transitoriness. Crossing unaccustomed boundaries and traversing untried borders can be achieved by understanding the boundless scope of design and semiotics. Since the idea of design and the doctrine of signs are not restricted by either the humanities or sciences, De-sign (fusion of design and signs) is a boundaryless and transdisciplinary perspective that cannot tolerate cultural enclaves, social dogmas, and an insistence on absolute reality. Engaging in the de-sign process is a journey of negation through which human beings can traverse unfamiliar borders while maintaining their familiar boundaries. In negation, we experience paradoxical thinking and cognitive dissonance, which are associated with all antinomies intrinsic to De-sign. These antinomies can be endured by recognizing the audacity of design and the resilient role of signs. Negation goes beyond the perception of rigid borders and the acceptance of absolute boundaries, which frequently incite ethnocentrism and trigger xenophobia. The destiny of negation depends on a sense of wonder, awareness of epistemological fallibilism, and uncommon sense in order to persevere through contradictions between distinctiveness and sameness. Axiologically, where establishing boundaries can maintain identities, traversing borders can never diminish distinctiveness. Paradoxically, by delving into unfamiliar boundaries and crossing over untried borders, we discover ways to transform our own boundaries and reframe our conception of borders. Boundaries are more than barriers; the distances between them are bridges of invisible relations for thrivability and breakthrough insights.