Two Modes of Artificiality: Systems and Whole

By Ahmet Zeki Turan.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper argues that any systems approach as the rational activity leading to a systemic outcome is insufficient in explaining the unifying essence, the intangible principle that keeps the created system together. Artifacts in systems mode have no meaning without the recognition of the intentional whole. This paper presents two basic ontological modes of artifacts as “systems” and “whole”, and theoretically examines these modes via figures and examples. In a system, parts co-exist in time and space with a determined organization constituting a functional body; when an artifact is considered as a system, it denotes the idea of autonomous parts existing and working in relation. While in a whole, any part will suddenly disappear in order to disclose an emergent meaning; when an artifact is considered as a whole there are no autonomous parts existing, nor the idea of partitioning. This paper tries to present the importance of these mutual modes in understanding the again mutual contexts of design with emphasize on organizing systemically and the context of use with emphasize on holistic sense making.

Keywords: Design, Design Theory, Philosophy of Design, Artificiality, Design Semantics, Meaning, Systems, Whole

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.106MB).

Dr. Ahmet Zeki Turan

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Product Design, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul, Turkey

Ahmet Zeki TURAN was born in Istanbul in 1976. He got his Bsc, Msc and Phd in Industrial Product Design from Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Between 1998 and 2010 he worked as researcher and teaching assistant in ITU, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Product Design. In 2006 he was a visiting researcher in University of Art and Design Helsinki. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Product Design in Istanbul. His research interests include design theory, philosophy of design, design semantics and design studio.

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