Semiotics in a Regional Designer/Maker Community

John Reid Perkins Buzo

Punctum, 4(1): 27-34, 2018
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2018.0004


Designer/Maker communities have most often sprung first from designers, makers, and artists seeking to employ technology in their own work, but then they have often extended to embrace a larger vision of community empowerment via technology. According to John Deely, the movement from the Innenwelt of private concern, to the Umwelt of public exhibition or spectacle, to the Lebenswelt of human community forms an anthroposemiosis of social-historical significance. Following Deely, this article briefly examines the historical account of Philadelphia’s Hacktory, exploring the anthroposemiosis that shaped its development as a Designer/Maker community. Subsequently, it turns to the budding Designer/Maker community near Southern Illinois University. From obscure beginnings, the varied praxes of design have always played the critical role of disseminating the existence and activities of the OpenSpace organization of the Carbondale-Murphysboro area around Southern Illinois University. Notably, the anthroposemiosis leading from the Innenwelt to Umwelt to Lebenswelt has been remarkably similar, despite the large differences in circumstances. In place of a conclusion, the article makes an abductive conjecture that Deely’s philosophical semiotics, applied to the design praxes of these two Designer/Maker communities, accounts for their common anthroposemiotic trajectory, yet also clarifies their unique regional differences.

KEYWORDS: Maker communities, John Deely, Umwelt, Lebenswelt
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