Semiofest Tallinn 2016
Keynote speech “The Crucible of Innovation: A Fusion of Design and Semiotics”
Farouk Y. Seif, Ph.D., USA

Video by: Madis Ligema 02.06.2016 13787 views Philosophy and Semiotics

Semiofest Tallinn 2016 will explore one of the most important problems facing countries, economies and entrepreneurs alike by asking how can semiotic thinking be applied to foster innovation. Semiotic thinking is always in the service of innovation. You can’t do things differently or be inventive without grasping the cultural or communication context. With the help of semiotic thinking you can discover fresh spaces for innovation and can arrive at unforeseen alternatives that lead us to fresh solutions. You can use it for deep diagnostics, for quick insights or to spark inspiration. It helps to make sense of the complex factors that frame any new development and uncover cultural trends that work either for or against any novel product, service, process or application. It is a route to innovation by shifting perspectives!

Farouk Y. Seif, Ph.D., USA
Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Change at Antioch University Seattle, Washington

Although semiotics has been accepted as a transdisciplinary framework of understanding and communicating information, it is unclear how semiotic thinking fosters innovation without augmenting design approach. Semiotics as a new “third branch” of human knowledge embodies similar characteristics to those of design as a “third culture.” While Semiotics can be used for deep diagnostics and insightful interpretations, design is the approach to conceptualization and concretization of a desired future. Semiotic analysis can uncover cultural trends, but design synthesis can create wide a range choices for cultural transformations.

Beyond restricting design to the domain of products and artifacts, design thinking covers a whole range of human activities. The fusion of design and semiotics traverses the boundaries among the real, true, and imaginary. Through actual design projects, a case can be made for how integrating design and semiotics can encourage us to turn our attention to the development of our capacity to become incubators of innovation and agents of change. By recognizing the universal scope of semiotics, and tolerating the uncertainty and ambiguity associated with design, we are able to maintain the crucible of innovation.





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