All Design is Redesign

Peter Jones Wu Wei

So now also says Bruno Latour, in a keynote lecture given at History of Design Society, Falmouth, September 2008 “A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design.” The fourth advantage I see in the word “design” (in addition to its modesty, its attention to detail and the semiotic skills it always carries with it), is that it is never a process that begins from scratch: to design is always to redesign. There is always something that exists first as a given, as an issue, as a problem. Design is a task that follows to make that something more lively, more commercial, more usable, more user’s friendly, more acceptable, more sustainable, and so on, depending on the various constraints to which the project has to answer. In other words, there is always something remedial in design. I would add, there is nothing perfect in such an approach toward design or redesign. We move together toward a shared image that appears to others as a “progression” of designs. We muddle through, we bricolage, we construct multiple variations until one …