Design and Translation









Towards Translation Design A New Paradigm for Design Research

Giovanni Baule, Elena Caratti

Politecnico di Milano

Keywords: communication design, translation paradigm, interdisciplinarity


In this paper we explore the concept of translation, starting from the assumption that it constitutes an essential reference for design culture. We assume that a designer (and in particular a communication designer) is a “translator”, since he realises a continuous process of mediation, transfer and re-transcription between the systems of departure and arrival. This perspective leads us to suppose that the application of the “translational paradigm” within the design domain can generate new design sensitivities and new research opportunities into language and into the processes of transferral between different supports and media. We believe that design has specific affinities with the field of translation on several levels and, at a general level, has at least two main shared characteristics, one relating to content and the other to process. If design is translation, what are the nodes of pertinence and the implications in terms of research?  

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Baule, G and Caratti, E. (2016). Towards Translation Design A New Paradigm for Design Research. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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