Deconstruction and Graphic Design

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Deconstruction is a method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language that emphasizes the internal working of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression. Deconstruction focuses on text as such rather than as an expression of the author’s intension, stressing the limitless of interpretation and rejection the western philosophical tradition of seeking certainty through reasoning by privileging certain types of interpretation and representing others. Deconstruction is first developed by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. The definition for deconstruction is not easy to understand, and Derrida and his interpreters actually intend it to be difficult. It was first meant a method of interpretation and analysis of a text or a speech. He introduced the concept of deconstruction in connection with his linguistic philosophy and grammatology. When deconstruct a text or a speech, it is to draw out conflicting logics of sense and implication, with the object of showing that the text never exactly means what it ways or says what it means. Though, it has been applied not only to text but also to the visual arts and architecture.

Derrida states that his use of the word deconstruction first took place in a context in which "structuralism was dominant", and its use is related to this context. Structuralism appeared in academia for the first time in the 19th century and then reappeared in the second half of the 20th century, when it grew to become one of the most popular approaches in academic fields concerned with the analysis of language, culture, and society. The work of Ferdinand de Saussure concerning linguistics is generally considered to be a starting point of 20th century structuralism. The term "structuralism" itself appeared in the works of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and gave rise, in France, to the "structuralist movement," which spurred the work of such thinkers as Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, as well as the structural Marxism of Nicos Poulantzas. Almost all members of this so-called movement denied that they were part of it. Structuralism is closely related to semiotics. Post-structuralism attempted to distinguish itself from the simple use of the structural method. Deconstruction was an attempt to break with structuralistic thought. Derrida states that deconstruction is an "antistructuralist gesture” because "Structures were to be undone, decomposed, desedimented". At the same time for Derrida deconstruction is also a "structuralist gesture" because it is concerned with the structure of texts.

For Derrida deconstruction involves “a certain attention to structures" and tries to “understand how an “ensemble” was constituted". As both a structuralist and an antistructuralist gesture deconstruction is tied up with what Derrida calls the "structural problematic". The structural problematic for Derrida is the tension between genesis, that which is "in the essential mode of creation or movement", and structure, "systems, or complexes, or static configurations". An example of genesis would be the sensory ideas from which knowledge is then derived in the empirical epistemology. An example of structure would be a double opposition such as good and evil where the meaning of each element is established, at least partly, through its relationship to the other element. For Derrida, Genesis and Structure are both inescapable modes of description, there are some things that "must be described in terms of structure, and others which must be described in terms of genesis", but these two modes of description are difficult to reconcile and this is the tension of the structural problematic. In Derrida's own words the structural problematic is that "beneath the serene use of these concepts (genesis and structure) is to be found a debate that...makes new reductions and explications indefinitely...
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