PRINT March 1992


the Term “Design”

Editor’s note: It was with great sadness that the editors of Artforum heard recently of the death of Vilém Flusser, a distinguished writer and teacher of communications and a regular contributor to these pages. A number of Professor Flusser’s columns for Artforum, completed but unpublished at the time of his death, will appear in the magazine in future issues.

MANY ENGLISH WORDS have become terms used internationally. At present this is taken to be a symptom of Anglo-Saxon predominance within the cultural realm. But the case of the term “design” is different. In its international use, “design” means something like a “pattern” or a “sketch,” and the verb “to design” means something like “to make a plan for the production of some object.” With this meaning the term has become important, and schools of design (industrial and otherwise) tend to become centers of cultural activity all over the

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