Design’s Intrinsic Influence in the Creation of Reality: A Semiotic Analysis within the Context of Our Current Hypermobile Era


As technological innovations advance at fast rates, the boundaries between the physical and cyber worlds are becoming blurred. The emergence of a multidimensional aspect of space, is triggering changes within the spatial rules as we know them, while also raising questions about our perception of reality. In this hypermobile era, humans have transcended their ability to move around physical spaces as they now are also able to navigate through cyber realms. Thus, opening infinite new ways for human-kind to rethink, shape and create spaces to their will, ultimately shaping the reality we experience. Design has also grown in social significance over the latest years, playing an important role in human life, both in how our world is perceived as well as how we navigate and experience it. Thus, design seems to have an intriguing relation in the creation of our surrounding spaces of reality, but also in the way we navigate and experience them. Consequently, it can be deduced how design might actually affect the fundamental nature of reality as we perceive it. This investigation seeks to explore the intrinsic relation between design and reality within the context of our hypermobile era. To do so, a qualitative analysis of a design case study using Charles S. Peirce’s semiotic as a scientific analysis methodology is conducted. By analyzing design as a sign system through the exploration of its dynamic and immediate object, a deeper understanding of the intrinsic relationship between design and the creation of our experienced reality can be obtained.


Patricia Barros Francisco
Student, Masters, IADE University, Lisboa, Portugal

Rodrigo Morais
Coordinator, IADE, Universidade Europeia, Aveiro, Portugal

Edirlei Soares De Lima
Assistant Professor, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação, Universidade Europeia, UNIDCOM/IADE, Aveiro, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society


Design, Perception of reality, Cyberspace, Semiotic

Digital Media


Design’s Intrinsic Influence in the Creation of Reality (pdf)