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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 36, Issue 3/4, 2020

Design and Semiotics

Dora Ivonne Alvarez TamayoOrcid-ID
Pages 281-313

Design in the Time of COVID-19: A Semiotic Angle

During 2020, humanity is facing an unprecedented event, the COVID-19 pandemic. Societies around the world have been shaken, and human capacities challenged. The effects are of superlative proportions in all human activity, highlighting the systemic condition of life. In order to demonstrate that people can perform Design Thinking for producing innovations, thanks to semiosis, analysis of cases from a pragmatist perspective are developed in this paper; the results show that Design Thinking is not an exclusive way to think of designers. The results also offer the possibility to infer that design-thinking mode activates when change and contextual constraints call for the population to produce alternatives and when the process accelerates facing a crisis. This paper presents a reflection on the concept of “Design Semiothinking” based on the integration of concepts from a design perspective and a pragmatic semiotic approach.

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