Föreställning och eftertanke : bilder och verbalt språk i tidiga skeden av designprocessen
This thesis investigates why verbal language is not sufficient to express the experience and desires of the users and how imagery can be combined with words in the early stages of the design task to make this process go smother.
A communication tool has been elaborated from a set of experiments simulating the dialogue in the initial phase of the design process. The basic hypothesis is that the associative use of pictures (images) enriches communication and supports participants with regard to being able to better express that which is tacit, implicit or difficult to articulate verbally. But how can verbal language be an obstacle in the dialogue between actors from different professions in the initial phase of a design process?
In architecture, and particularly during the initial design phase, the concepts expressed verbally by users and clients are rather diffuse. The content of a concept is concise only within the praxis and the language game in which it circulates. It cannot be communicated between actors acting from different praxes without ambiguousness.
How is it possible to get round this difficulty? A foreseeable solution advocated in this research would be to complement verbal language with pictures used in an associative manner. But how can the picture complement verbal language in order to sustain this dialogue?
The picture is not submitted to a system of rules as words are. When used associatively the picture becomes an open sign or symbol to which different significations can be assigned according to the participants' fantasy and imagination. The content of the concepts then becomes negotiable. In this kind of communication the picture acts as a key opening up the sense that verbal language has fixed in accordance with the different language games. The picture is, thanks to its free association, a sign virgin of sense that serves to open up views and construct the new language appropriated to the design situation.
This construction is an act of design. Thus, design is not just a business for the expert. The right to think aloud, 'to design', is not just a result of making processes of change more democratic; it is also what helps to develop democracy!