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INTRODUCTION In order to understand Harajuku (a district of Tokyo), one of the most exciting places to know Japanese fashion, I prefer to focus not on its sophisticated fashion trends but on its more casual and diverse “anti-fashion” styles which have no place to go. An objection against such an approach may be raised, saying […]

Design and Semiotics

In the normal sense of the word there seem to be things with good design and things with bad design. We often remark of industrial products, for example, that some are well-designed, which means that they look fashionable and feel natural in their use, and therefore the products are successful, while others are badly-designed, i.e. their shape is unattractive or their interface is unnatural, and so the products are failures. We sometimes consider “bad design” as “lack of design.” I think this correct as long as we understand design as a kind of value.

Homescreen Rhetoric

How to arrange your iPad apps by the rules of Rhetoric At first, my iPad Homescreen apps arrangement might seem very random, except for some color coordinated features. Fun thing about iPad Homescreen is that users can arrange their apps in any possible way they prefer, as long as it makes sense for them. A […]

The autoethnography of creative design: From Medium to Shift

Abstract This article explores the potential of an autoethnographic method for academic reflection on processes of creative design. Inspired by work such as Livingston´s Ethnographies of Reason, the author uses this method to trace her own reasoning and decision-making when trying to design or ‘build’  garments in such a way as to establish a dialogue […]


Abstract This article belongs to a series of texts exploring the potential of an autoethnographic method for academic reflection on processes of creative design. This contribution first counters a possible objection based on the individualistic nature of the approach which seemingly ignores social dimensions that have been captured by other authors from an outside perspective. […]

Gabriel Baradee: a profile in fashion

For designer Gabriel Baradee, “fashion” means many things. His unique vision and multifaceted approach has garnered him recognition and reward since the 2009 launch of his line, Shakkei. Influenced by architecture and Japanese culture, he approaches fashion with methodical creativity and an ethical commitment to environmental sustainability. He treats fashion as a handicraft, but also […]

Undressing cognition

At the end of a scorching December holiday, I found myself driving through a small South African village, on route to Cape Town. The heat was so overwhelming that it forced me to stop at a spaza shop (rural Africa’s version of a informal convenience store) to buy something cool to drink.  Once back in […]

Typology and typography: Bridging the type / token / tone distinction

  Abstract Peirce’s type/token (and tone) distinction is well known, and has proven useful in many avenues of theoretical and applied thought. This paper argues that, despite the logical dichotomy in which it is expressed, the distinction between what is a type, what is a token, and what is a tone is in fact quite […]


Launched in 2012, semiofashionandthecity.com is a blog dedicated to fashion semiotics, which deals with all-round apparel sense-making. Edited by Eleonora Chiais and Federica Turco, both PhD students at the University of Torino (Italy), semiofashionandthecity.com brings semiotics from dusty libraries to glamorous catwalks, throughout words of mouth, highlighting that fashion is indeed a matter of sense. […]

Dancing Tragedy: Alexander McQueen’s Aesthetics of Spectacle

Alexander McQueen’s work has had a huge impact on the fashion industry, both for the radical experimentation of his designs—often embodying a darker strain of Romanticism—and for the innovative ways in which he presented these, in a show whose concept was frequently inspired by cinema, also drawing from literature, theatre, dance and music, and even […]


Announcing the Ninth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices to be held at the Chicago University Center (USA), 12-14 March, 2015. Abstracts are accepted in monthly rounds. Proposals received at each monthly deadlines will be reviewed between two to four weeks of the corresponding deadline. Presentation types include paper, poster, workshop, or colloquia. All information available at:  designprinciplesandpractices.com
Visit the website of Design Principles and Practices here