18 July 2007

VC Challenge

Building a Design Taxonomy

DESIGN is an ever-growing, all-encompassing field that accommodates a plethora of different disciplines. More and more we see new disciplines being shaped, named and supported in a feverish specialization route that influences many of us.

The distinction between some disciplines is not as obvious as it might seem, and in many cases is not clear where one starts and the other ends. Relatively new disciplines such as Experience Design and Interaction Design are still defining themselves and creating their own boundaries, and in the process delineating a conclusive spot within the overall Design sphere. Recent disciplines have also caused a twist in the traditional way we would look at the hierarchical organization of Design.

How would a contemporary hierarchical tree of Design look like? And is hierarchy even a good analogy to comprehensibly represent the ramifications of this field?

The Challenge

The proposed challenge is simply to visualize the contemporary Design landscape. The output can be as diverse as the projects featured in VC. It can be an interactive, static or even hand-drawn visualization. The basic criteria is that it should illustrate the levels of inter-dependency between all current design disciplines. The Wikipedia page on design is certainly a good place to start, but certainly not the last. The quality of the visual representation will be as important as the personal interpretation of the contemporary design taxonomy.


Anyone can be involved. Just send me an email to: lima [at] visualcomplexity [dot] com with an image or URL of your map and a short description of the thinking behind the execution.

All projects will be featured here and hopefully contribute to a rich debate on the extension of the different design disciplines.

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