constellation – New Materialism – Provocation 1

Meaning of the term body – What model of body do I think of when I relate it to my own practice (Graphic Design) How do we perceive our bodies in the world. Author M Johnson explores this notion in his book ‘The Meaning of the body’ – In chapter 12 he breaks this down to five different models of the body and its meaning;

  1. The body as a Biological Organism – The principal physical focus of the body in the world, made up of living flesh and blood
  2. The Ecological body – Our bodies in the environment around us
  3. The Phenomenological Body – As we live and experience life
  4. The Social Body – The human environment in which we live
  5. The Cultural Body – How the body interacts / grows in different cultures


My initial thoughts after reading this part of the book, from a graphic design point of view was the Cultural Body, as in our everyday life we are surrounded by text and graphics within our own culture. Its everywhere and almost merges into the background as it is so familiar to our everyday cultural life. However I am not looking at the boarder picture of what Graphic design is, as it is worldwide stemming over lots of cultures and environments. Graphic design is the art of visual communication or creating something that is visual to the eye. It involves a creative and systematic plan to solve a problem or achieve certain objectives with the use of images, symbols, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience. It is an aesthetic expression of concepts and ideas using various graphic elements, our own experiences and desires of the client. Also an important part of graphic design is to listen and interpret what the client needs. So when looking at the different models that Johnson talks about we need to use them all to get an overall balance, as there lots of different representations of body throughout the world as a result of the different cultures and life experiences.


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