Objectifying Meaning: Using Blended Design in Tangibilizing Language for Cross-Cultural Communication.

Date
2024
Authors
Lee, Gayle
Supervisor
Joseph, Frances
Item type
Thesis
Degree name
Master of Creative Technologies
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Publisher
Auckland University of Technology
Abstract

Language, a conduit for communication, can lead to misunderstandings due to its intricate and nuanced nature, encompassing cultural connotations and subtle layers of meaning. This research explores the transformation of abstract language into tangible artefacts, ‘tangibilizing’ inherent meanings. By creating diverse objects inspired by sayings and expressions, the study examines how blending these conceptual meanings with physical forms enhances cross-cultural communication through multiple dimensions.

Guided by the blended design approach based on Fauconnier and Turner’s conceptual integration network (2002), this research offers a distinct perspective shaped by multilingual experiences. Incorporating multiple languages and cultural contexts highlights the complexity of translation. This approach acts as a bridge, connecting language and conceptual meaning to the tangible world and fostering cross-cultural understanding.

The exploration introduces a design paradigm in which linguistic and cultural concepts find expression through tangible artefacts, resonating across domains from data visualisation to product design. By merging imagery with underlying meanings, these artefacts evolve into shared experiences, transcending linguistic and cultural boundaries to amplify human connections. Furthermore, the process considers tools for designers to create more meaningful and relatable objects in specific and cross-cultural contexts.

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