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Article

Ícones do design – da Bauhaus ao produto final

Estudos Semióticos. 2010. Vol. 6. No. 1. P. 18-25.
Gambarato R.

“Icon”, from Greek word eikón (image), is normally understood as idol, exponent, something representative, notable. In Semiotics from Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), the concept of “icon” is quite particular and it makes reference to a specific type of sign: one that represents its object through relations of similarity or analogy, taking some of its essential quality. The iconic sign is related to design so far as the icon maintains with its object a relation of quality. The icon, in saying about the object, says something of itself, some of its characteristics are present in the product. The constitution of the icon by the similarity between the demonstrative materialities of the product defines its formal-aesthetic character of transmitting information. While employing the expression “design icons”, we attempt to refer to both meanings described above. We will mention great names of design in Germany and in Brazil but we will especially think the products of design as objects-icons, i.e. with qualitative characteristics inherent of the icon. We will consider the context of Bauhaus, the school that first established design as discipline, passing by its practical and philosophical methods, which inspired design in the world. The article culminates in the approach to the relations that we find between the iconic sign and the product of design, as well as to the specific references to German and Brazilian designers, icons of design.