Ballard, Glenn and Koskela, Lauri (2013) Rhetoric and design. In: 19th International Conference on Engineering Design ICED 13, 19th-22nd August 2013, Seoul, Korea.

The relationship between rhetoric and design has been the subject of numerous scholarly publications
in the last fifty years, but has not been addressed by scholars of engineering design. This paper argues
that the relationship is important for theory and practice of design in all its varieties, principally by
providing evidence from the literature that rhetoric and design share key characteristics. Both
- are broadly applicable across subject matters
- concern the particular and the probable
- require invention and judgment, and
- involve arrangement in space and time
From ancient times through the Renaissance, rhetoric was a key element in education, and its methods
were widely adapted to other arts, including design. Rhetoric's loss of status in modern times is
explained, and its resurgence in the latter part of the 20th century is described through the works of
three scholars that focus on the relationship between rhetoric and design. The conceptualization of
these scholars is best represented in the view that rhetoric is design limited to words and design is
rhetoric with an unlimited palette.


Download (454kB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email