Re-languaging the creative: Designing as a comprehensive act of combination | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1753-5190
  • E-ISSN: 1753-5204



This is the first of two articles that aim to explore co-authorship in the light of ecological systems. The assumption behind each of them is that designers could make a creative contribution to the evolutionary sustainability of natural ecosystems, thus helping to reduce the ecocidal impact of human behaviour. Unfortunately, designers are trained as specialists who catalyse economic growth and their methods are therefore part of the old paradigm that needs changing. Part of the paradigm change needs to include the re-designing of design to be more relational and combinatorial, so that its primary focus is more associated with the co-creative relations between things, rather than on individual products or services. What we call ‘metadesign’ is intended to help designers, and others, to re-think the habits, assumptions and discourses that seem ‘normal’, or are invisible, to those in the existing paradigm. Its repertoire therefore includes methods for ‘re-languaging’ the familiar belief system in order to encourage beneficial change. Ultimately, metadesigners would be expected to co-create ‘synergies’ that will work together as a ‘synergies-of-synergies’. Re-languaging certain key terms will be vital to the quest for synergy. For example, in the corporate vocabulary, the term ‘creative innovation’ implies an egocentric ‘disrupting’ of the status quo. Metadesigners might wish to re-describe its purpose as a process that helps organizations to find more synergistic ways to coexist, within their habitat.


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