If we think about the process of the language to be formed, isn’t it a phenomenological process? It’s just like the doing and undergoing model. We use our own language as a baby, but nobody can understand, then we learn, accept the language of other people which based on social rules, then we could be understood.

Does it mean that structuralism would ultimately end at phenomenology? Maybe no. This kind of relationship reminds me to think about the relationship between material and tool. Structuralism as a tool could participate the interpret process, will never be the material. Phenomenology seems more fundamental because it mixes the material and the tools together as phenomena. Is this true? I don’t know. Maybe nothing is true in the design world:P

Found or use conflict/related word is just the method of structuralism, but not their goal. By using those conflict words, they put the certain things into their frame which was composed by those words.  In these sense, structuralism  also include observation.  And on the other hand, phenomenologists also organize their language before observe those phenomena, use their language to interpret.

Language is the tool and also the material for a writer, but only a tool for reader. A specific paragraph is constituted by language elements, but it is not common sense language anymore, it could be the special language to express the author’s mind at specific time.


  1. davidroyer

    Interesting thoughts Mingxian. I agree with you about many parts.

    I agree that you can use structuralism as a tool, even if you don’t totally buy into it. And I also agree that nothing is true in design, it is real. 😉


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